On Wednesday probably the best day of the week I had another wee walk up to the Qinetic Base. With no prospect of a ferry boat before Xmas and a stash of mail plus Xmas presents in Portree, bought on the internet there was no option. Also with the hind butchered and ready to go I was keen to get some venison off the Island. First of all we had loads of mail going off plus the late Xmas cards. So Tuesday was split with sorting venison and doing paperwork of one sort or another. I also knew that the half way point going North was really boggy and would need some clearing to get through a dryer route. Of course the saw started to give trouble but I got it going and cleared a road.
I had two polystyrene boxes in the North Face Bag and one made up like a suitcase. I had the waterproofs on but it stayed dry, in fact it was quite a pleasant day. Seamus in the ops’ room at Kyle had told me in the morning that the helicopter that was taking up the mail, had gone back early on the back of the day’s forecast. As it turned out the wind dropped away all day. It looked do-able out on the East side as I walked up but it was still blowy, from the East. I thought I might see some fishing boats out there but not one, only the fish farm well boats that are very busy just now transporting salmon for the Xmas/New Year market.
The ground was still very wet so I put on my proper walking boots, a pair of Meindl’s. Excellent boots but very heavy, good grip. For me the Viking Dry Boot is best as it is light and it dries very quickly if you do get a deep hole and water gets in (which happens every time you are on the hill here). As it happened I had a seat behind a rock (it was still quite windy higher up) and called the Base on the phone to let them know I’d be 20 minutes then took off again only to land on my backside without warning, there were as much grip with my other boots. But the ground is very wet, sodden and I was quite unstable with the weight. Goodness knows how the army guys manage with much more weight and a rifle!! They had been here on night excercise many years ago in the dark!!
I came up to the lighthouse and caught sight of a very good stag around 6 years old heading off over the hill, it was good to see him. No hinds though.
Two bags of mail were waiting for me and I sorted them out to reduce weight, then had a welcome cup of tea with the guys and just before it got too dark I headed home. No deer around which was a surprise. I thought they would be out feeding. I got back and we were pleased to see Amazon had done most of the job, but it is always fun to get Xmas presents after Xmas out here. First thing I saw when I sat down on arriving home was a fishing boat at the mouth of the harbour, that’s the first one we have seen for some time. I’m sure the market must be good for prawns this Xmas as no one around here seems to be out, no surprise.
Next day it turned colder but at least there was sun. During the night it really blew and kept us awake but no visible damage, and it had turned a lot colder, hail was falling with every rain shower. But the sun would appear and it was sooooo bright.
It was nice to see some sunshine and around mid morning the fish farm landing craft went sailing past, it looked pretty calm but within an hour or so it was nuts again, just short gaps for boats to get about, much too risky. I fed the sheep and of course Julie arrived, I swear she can hear a bucket being rattled miles away.
It was nice to get out between the showers and do somethings outside for a change, the JCB tyre has a big slice on the face of the tread, so a call to Hugh with the details and hopefully he can pick up a replacement.
It is so easy nowadays to take a picture and email it instead of writing it down, lifting the phone etc etc!!
Last thing was to phone the Vet in Portree to let her know her Xmas venison order was on its way via the Base, helicopter, Kyle Base and road to Portree. Her response was, ‘I thought it was only Santa who had flying deer’.
So there you go, it is not only Santas deer that are flying around just now.