Visitors often ask do you get fed up of Rona? My answer is always ‘ well not really’, you get fed up of things that happen but Rona itself is very ok. Issues like the JCB tyre (ongoing). Normally I would get it into the trailer and visit Dingwall Tyres, however, as it is a boat journey and 2 hours drive, fighting with mobile homes on the road, etc. Repairs like that you just get on with it. But this one is testing me, maybe making me a little ‘fed up’.
After much sweat and nearly tears I took Hugh’s advice and got the big grinder out, I should have done that at the start. By the time I got the tyre off I had absolutely no energy to put the other tyre on. So I left it for another day.
The other day was Friday the 13th and it was a grey day, very foggy, wet, wetting rain. It didn’t stop the MV Seaflower with 12 guests arriving in the mist. Kenny was on holiday and skipper Dave took the boat in without any problems, dodging the yachts that were all over the bay. For us it was a day inside and another go at the tyre, but as the day progressed it became less likely to make the visit to the shed for the tyre and I cannot say I was sorry. The desk was piling up because of the good weather and it was a full day shuffling paper about. We did get over to Dry Harbour to prepare for our visitor coming on the Saturday but it was rushed, rain certainly makes you get a move on.
Saturday arrived and Kevin and Pam had Ben with their Grandson Harrison on board, he was very keen to deliver ‘his’ Commonwealth Baton to Rona and took Pam for a walk off the boat onto the Island. Harrison was very proud of his playschool baton, very professional.
We headed over to Dry Harbour with the baggage and were checking out the other houses and L spotted the tell tale smudges. On most of the windows of the holiday cottages we found greasy nose, cheek and hand marks from our boat visitors keen to do a bit of peeping into the cottages. After all these years I still cannot get my head round what they find so interesting about the cottages that they have to peer in the windows. It does not happen so much now at the Lodge but in the past it seemed it was norm’ . Quite disturbing having a head peering through your window whilst eating your porridge.
But the worst thing is having to clean it off again just after we had cleaned the windows, Bah!!!!
After that rant it was back to base and the tyre. Putting a new tyre on anything is going to be tight but a JCB rear. Now there’s a test but it is all part of the learning curve. After a few interruptions with our yacht visitors which was not a problem I finally got the tyre on the rim. Now the tube. I pulled out the brand new tube and fitted it and thought I was doing so well but made the fatal mistake of starting at the valve and promptly cut the valve clean off the tube, now that really made me fed up. But there is nothing you can do so I just messed about with the old tube, fitted a patch to it and tried that but that was a fail and by this time I had had the tyre off and on the rim several times. So now I’m an expert. The advice I would give to anyone is take it to Dingwall Tyres whatever the time/cost!!!
With a few bruises, cuts and a sore back I retreated to the house. I had put MV Rona on the beach an hour before and was keen to scrub the hull. The weed and barnacles grow too quick. I arrived at the shore to find another guy having problems, it was a very low spring tide and they had got caught out. I guess if the wind had been out of the East there would have been no problem, but it was an exceptionally low tide and here’s the result.
And there is nothing you can do, a bit like useless tubes for JCB’s.
It wasn’t long before the tide turned and he was upright. Mv Rona was back on the mooring and ready for fishing first thing.
First thing this morning, Sunday, we went out and steamed down to Kyle Rona. The port engine was reluctant to start and that was maybe an omen. However we got going and arrived at the gap, I put the helm to starboard and pop the steering cable broke. Fortunately it was a calm morning and L took the throttle controls, I sat on the back and twisted the engines as required, thank goodness I had crew and it was calm.
We got back after a fashion and that really made me fed up!!
Think I’ll take the rest of the day off.