That will teach us to leave Rona for a few days, glorious sunshine from the moment we left enjoyed by Calum and Irene. Inverness had some too but not as much as the West. It certainly has been a good week and we woke up this morning with rain but as I write it is cloudy to the South and blue skies to the North, guess we will head North to work this morning.
We came home Monday evening and found Yacht ‘Rub a Dub Dub’ on the mooring, he arrived over the weekend and apart from a few sightings, we have not seem him since, and it is Friday, as far as we know he has not been ashore!! There was another yacht in on Saturday night, a local one enjoying the late summer (autumn) weather. I had an email from Eric who reminded me of an incident last month. I had seen a yachts mast uncomfortably close to the shore so I went down to the pontoon and found a yacht in a peculiar place.
Turned out that a rope had fouled the prop and they had put put out the anchor quickly in case they got blown onshore, then the stern had come pretty close to the pontoon. Once they had it safely moored up Eric the skipper had a wee (enjoyable by all reports)swim and freed it without any bother. It has happened to lots and with our boat at least you can lift the props’ out to cut or free the rope. On our trip to Inverness we saw Yacht Ashling safely in Strollamus boatyard. It is a surprise to see a few yachts still about but with this weather I’m sure the ones still on a mooring will be sorely tempted to go for a sail.
Just before we went off I was still trying to come to terms with just how many deer are on Rona and had some wonderful mornings and evenings on the hills, the rut now in full swing did not disappoint, with not too many mature stags but quite a few young ones appearing. The views heading back for breakfast last Thursday were pretty impressive.
Nothing much for it but off to Inverness and some RnR. The Craigmonie Hotel was excellent with a welcome swim in their pool to cool us down as the heating (as usual) was full blast. I did not ask but if you tell them you are from the west when you book this winter they sometimes do some very good deals. We had a busy Friday visiting, a shopping Saturday morning and thank goodness it was quiet. Then the rest of the day with my grand daughter, which was real good fun.
The sun shone and we were treated to the new play park up at Drakies, great to see so many young families, grandparents, dogs and kids having so much fun in the late season sun. It is incredible to see so many houses up above Inverness now, it has really grown.
We had a lovely meal at Dores Inn and fed the ducks (stones!!!) then back to Inverness to an early night, the sunset in Inverness was amazing.
Next day we met up with stalker pal Wayne and his family, catching up on the news from the east coast rut, then down to the RNI to visit Julia (Whirlygig Beetles book) , she had fallen and broken her hip, not good when you are ninety. But she was in great form, sharp as ever and just wanting to get home.
Next day, nothing for it but Monday morning shop for Rona. Inverness was by contrast very busy compared to Saturday, amazing. So we battled with shoppers then quickly got out of it and headed for a rendevouz with MV Spindrift. It was a lovely evenings sail, calm, warm and bright. Dinner was waiting for us and the de-brief went well with Calum and Irene. Next dat back to the coal face and with no wind forecast we set to get the windmills down. Calum’s experience with the Soay windmills was put to the test and comparisons made. We had new bearings and bushes but there was not much wear so that was good, we got them back up but broke the turfor for lifting the mast. Fortunately it was only temporary and we had them up but not running by 4pm. All I have to do now is check the bolts after the first real blow (still calm to-day!).
We were working on the Dry Harbour windmill and the big stag was on the hill across from us having the odd roar. He was holding about a dozen hinds but yesterday I counted him still there with 20 hinds and calves, a bit greedy. Calum and Irene headed off Tuesday en route to Portree but back out to Fladda catching a few more days before MV Kestrel goes in to the boatyard. We are starting a small lean too on Saturday at Dry Harbour so that had to be organised and most of the morning was spent on the phone or emails, for me that is more tiring than stalking so in the afternoon I headed north looking for deer. I saw 43 mixed and was quite pleased with that, the day was so warm, it was good just to lie off and spy for long periods.
I was up at the cairn above the Danish Princess’ grave when the Qinetic helicopter arrived, I had just spied three or four hinds and a stag lying down above the lighthouse and I was intrigued to see the helo’ crossing very close to them over their heads going into land and they paid not the slightest bit of attention to it. The deer you can see are three wee dots just to the left of the helo’, pretty far away.
Rona is changing colour pretty quickly now as we have had some frost and it is always a good time of the year to be out, Thursday was the turn of the South end and I headed down at first light. Not so many deer here but still 20 counted and still roaring. Lying above these Aspens were the Big Harbour group with Julie and her calf but they are well hidden in the heather, enjoying the sun.
The seals were having a play too, another lovely day and to finish I painted half the ‘museum’ roof at Dry Harbour, it was very warm and for once the bitumen went on easily, not so good to-day as it is a lot colder, the wind (for all it is) out of the North East.