Merry (Stormy) Xmas

Better get this away before the 927mb low hits us!! Last week there were  some odd skies around when the storms break up!!



The thunder and lightening had passed after this one and the clouds broke up, the rain of course was torrential. It will soon be over (we hope).

Clearing out the Freezer (Herrings)

Clearing out the Freezer (Herrings)

Friday it was not worth going outside, we had filled the freezer with venison so it was time to clear it out. We had some herrings from Kenny and I’m the only one who eats them (fried in oatmeal) so they do not get used much. I had 1 dozen fish so rather than let them waste, we decided to pickle them. I filleted them and put them under salt, for a week. L  likes the Ikea herrings so here’s hoping!! (Yes you can buy fish in Ikea!!) After that we headed over to the cottages, for a bit of painting and finishing off.

10.30am, it went dark

10.30am, it went dark

Next day it was much the same but it never actually got light until 11am, it was another poor day but it soon passed, then believe it or not the sun came out, so despite the gale I had lots of jobs outside to do, so took advantage of a brighter, dryer spell. But when I looked around the job just got longer.

I didn't spot that last week.

I didn’t spot that last week.

I spotted the spotlight on the bunkhouse had been blown up onto the roof, round the corner and it was obvious that the gangway had issues.

Off The Plate Again

Off The Plate Again

It had come off the plate and was through the grid. The flap was under the second plate and stuck. With no further ado I got the tools and set about sorting it out. Once the weather settles down we will get some new steel for the damage but it is not easy to nip out to Caley Steel just now.

More Damage

More Damage

It was quite blowy and interesting getting the gangway back on the plate. With the trolley jack and the pontoon bouncing a bit.

No Sign of MV Spindrift but plenty in the bay!!

No Sign of MV Spindrift but plenty in the bay!!

Plenty Spindrift in the bay but no sign of MV Spindrift, she was safely tied up in Portree harbour. There has hardly been a boat about, the gaps in the weather have been so short that it would probably be a waste of time to set out. The speed at which the weather changes just now is quite scary.

Breaking over the pontoon.

Breaking over the pontoon.

The waves at one stage were breaking over the pontoon, as I write it is much the same (Xmas Eve) with 70mph on X C Weather and some of the walls of wind hitting the Lodge are certainly up there.

On Sunday we went to the forest at Dry Harbour to get our (Birch) Xmas tree. We planned a wee look below the cliffs to the South of the cottages. This year a sailor had told us a story about how over 25 years ago he had gone walking on Rona and had fallen off these cliffs, breaking his leg. His wife had gone for help, sailed the boat round and with the help of a fellow yachtsman, rescued the casualty. They had to cut off his brand new sailing (welly) boot. He had been back to the spot to see if he could find it, but to no avail. As it happened I had been in that area looking for deer not that long before and had seen the boot, thought that was an odd place for a boot to be. Did not look too closely as there may have been more to the boot!! But there was my answer.



We did not find the boot (this time) but did find this, it is a sort of vent with a flap which has a handle to move it. It was away in a hole in the cliffs, quite dry and out of the elements. The handle is brass, with a fist on it. The writing says E.N. Shortland  Manchester. It looks like it may be off a boat and how that got there is beyond me.

The Escapees

The Escapees

Yesterday started calm. Around 8ish the wind dropped and for once I was up early as we had a lot to do before the storm came. For three hours the wind steadily dropped and at one stage the windmill actually stopped but not for long, by 11am it was picking up again and on my way back from Dry Harbour with these escapee sheep, which fell into my trap in the garden (a bag of feed being rattled!!), I saw it had begun to show some white tops on the East side. Kenny was planning over with fuel but had called off as the forecast wasn’t showing a long enough gap. Just as well. By mid afternoon normal service had resumed and we cut up the last of the firewood that had been lying in the forest.

Very Important Job

Very Important Job

One last very important job was to re-instate the second TV Dish, it had been blown about and had lost the signal so we could not record anything on the VCR box. It took a few minutes to tune in which was a relief, good to have a back up.

Finally a big thank you to the readers who send the odd email, very much appreciated. We try our best to condense the news and hopefully keep a record of what ‘actually’ happens on Rona.

The summer will be here soon enough and for sure that is one of the three questions I always get asked.

Do you live here all year round?

Who owns the Island?


What do you actually do?

A Very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you all, Bill and Lorraine.

About Bill Cowie

I've been living on the island since April 2002, alone for the first 5 years, my partner L joined me in 2007. We manage the Island for a Danish family who bought the Island in the early 90's. Their hopes for the Island are to make it self sufficient supporting its inhabitants and that is where we come in. We look after the stock, 3 holiday cottages, machinery, boat and of course the visitors. It is pretty challenging but it is a beautiful place to live and work, we love it and strangely enough we love it even more in the depths of winter when all is quiet apart from the gales and rain. We do a bit of fishing, stock work, stalking deer and loads of other stuff. We have good support from lots of people whom we have met over the years and have become involved in the Island. Too many to mention here but keep an eye on the blog, they'll be there for sure in the future.
This entry was posted in Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather, Yachties. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Merry (Stormy) Xmas

  1. Alistair says:

    A very merry Christmas to you both and have a great new year. Your blog realy brightens up my day so please keep it coming.

  2. The Olivers says:

    Merry Christmas Bill & Lorraine from Craig, Deborah, Hannah & Will. People in the Cotswolds bleating about a bit of water on the road have no idea about your ‘proper storms’. Best Wishes too for the new year and see you in August. We enjoy reading your blog;
    I’ve read it in the US, Japan and Switzerland in the last year ! The Olivers.

  3. Ali says:

    Hey Bill, just checking for a reply from Amazon re missing Crimbo presents! Thought I’d check out your blog. Been thinking about you in this horrendous weather! Southern softies just don’t get it? Have a great Christmas, hope you get some February weather soon. Raising a wee whiskey mac to you both. Best wishes Ali, Clive, Harry and Georgie x

  4. Lesley Few says:

    How’s it going up there, looks pretty rough!

    Hope you managed to have a lovely Christmas despite the bad weather.

    Hope you all ok Take care Lesley Sent from my iPad


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