Juggling

I left the last post with a pending fishing trip. No Mackerel!!! Thank goodness we have a few lobster pots and creels. We went out on Tuesday and by that time it had clouded over. So we were hopeful of some mackerel after Dorte’s boat had had two last week, but nothing. Not a bite. We have a few creels, basically just for our visitors and a bit of shellfish for ourselves, but the fascinating thing for everyone is the life that comes up with the catch, all manner of ‘beasties’ and not only are the kids amazed, the parents too.

Fay and the happy fishermen

Fay and the happy fishermen

So we caught no fish but had some prawns and some wee fishes which young Blair wanted for his creel that they had over at the holiday cottage.

Navigation by Tablet

Navigation by Tablet

We got back just in time to see the afternoon yachting arrivals starting to come into the harbour, this red yacht was navigating using his tablet, not a new phenomena!! But these guys were a family from Brittany, 6 in all the youngest of the four children was 1 year old!!! They were heading North with the intention of sailing to Norway.

Escapade

Escapade

Nick and Anne Webster on Yacht Escapade had arrived via Torridon shortly before the French couple and had decided to head for Rona after finding it very grey in the Torridon Loch. We were expecting them this week but on Wednesday, they were happy to have a night off in preparation for a busy two days with us.

Glance

Glance

Yacht Glance arrived in later that night back for more Rona life, after picking up new crew in Mallaig. Wednesday morning I had invited them out fishing in return for breakfast, I picked them up at 8am but we were held up momentarily by traffic at the mouth of the harbour.

Goose Congestion

Goose Congestion

Isobel (Skipper Glance) was keen to see creels being fished but the highlight was seeing Eric our master stag on Garbh Eilean at the mouth of the harbour. Back to Glance for some breakfast and with a few squatties for their lunch.

120 Years Old

120 Years Old

It is a fascinating boat (a proper yacht) but at 120 years old, a Fastnet winner in 1953, it is certainly a classic and full of character. So if you excuse me I’ll share a few photos.

It is Not Too Light a Boat

It is Not Too Light a Boat

I don’t think the steering/helm is original!! Isobel informed me parts of a bus were used here, but hey it works.

The Helm

The Helm

A yacht like this demands a lot of time and Isobel has three months of graft every year on it (minimum), David, second in command said the boom was home made by Isobel and a work of art using home grown timber.

Home Made.

Home Made.

All too soon breakfast was over and they lifted the ‘heavy’ anchor and set sail to the Shiants, what a day it was and I guess they would have a super sail that day.

After tidying up the boat and doing a few chores Kenny Shieldaig arrived just before lunch, Kenny had been in for a while with very few passengers, when I went down to see him I found out that there was  a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, so when I picked up the paper and some fish bait I was forced to join in the celebrations by drinking a glass of champagne. That is where the passengers were. I was working but decided to stop trying to juggle the days events and wind down. It is one of Rona’s working facts that there are no weekends, especially in the summer.

I returned to the Lodge prepared a ‘light’ lunch and captured Anne and Nick coming home from their mornings walk. It was such a nice day and although they had invited us to dinner we thought it would be a good day to write off, so lunch was served.

Just a Snack

Just a Snack

It was just a few old prawns from the freezer and some chanterelle mushrooms.

Nick and Anne

Nick and Anne

We had a lovely afternoon hearing about their travels and swapping stories. Four o’clock came and we went our separate ways but quite happy to be going out to Yacht Escapade for the second half later on.

Evening Meal for Four

Evening Meal for Four

It is always nice every year to have a meal aboard on a lovely evening and the sunset did not disappoint, neither did the catering, first class. I mentioned I had an appointment with the osteopath in Portree and Anne and Nick volunteered to come as crew. I was up sharp next day on another beautiful morning but my crew had fallen sound asleep after wakening early so there was a rude awakening as I came alongside around 8am.

Heading Home

Heading Home

We had a good trip there and back, no wildlife though but plenty in Portree!! We arrived back to find the bay filling up with the yachts we had seen in Portree earlier. I was not in the house 30 minutes and a Swedish yachtsman knocked on the door. He was looking for a beer, this is about the fifth time this year we have been asked for a beer, or a meal. it turns out that someone somewhere has written that there is a pub on Rona!!! There may be but not at this end. They then asked for a barbecue so we agreed on them having a barbie’ as long as they bought some Rona venison.

The Swedes

The Swedes

Anne and Nick were coming up at 7pm for an aperitif so I went down to meet them and the barbie’ was kicking off.

Barbie on the Beach

Barbie on the Beach

The Swedes were telling me of their travel plans so I suggested a visit to the Shiants, Nick arrived having just been there and he furnished them with a full breakdown of what to know. Hopefully they made it, the next morning they were gone and it was yet another fine day.

Every Little Helps

Every Little Helps

When we were down at the pontoon earlier I was intrigued that Tescos were delivering, early days yet.

We headed up to the house and enjoyed a glass or two of wine then Nick spotted the Edradour so we invited him to try a taste of the last remnants of the first Danish visit this year. Needless to say he liked them ‘a lot’.

The Websters were here

The Websters were here

Not much more for it but to put the feet up and enjoy the last of the day. Next day Yacht Escapade et al slipped away and we had the bay to ourselves, for a while we thought that we may have a quieter bay for one night so we headed over to Dry Harbour to carry out some chores, the sun was beating down and the sea has taken on an almost Mediterranean colour.

Bloom

Plankton Bloom

As far as the eye could see on the East side but only up just North of Staffin on the West side the sea has turned the colour of the water round any Greek Island. Quite surreal and my Marine Biologist pal tells me it is a plankton bloom, but which one he does not know. In the meantime the sea is still deathly quiet here but there are a lot of reports of whales, sharks and mackerel around the South of Skye and at the Shiants.

When we returned to Big Harbour after admiring the sea we found the bay filling up yet again as another half a dozen or more yachts came piling in. The cloud soon covered Rona and it was a grey afternoon, the highlight was one of the many cruise boats that Portree gets passing on its way North.

Cruise Time

Cruise Time

Not long after that Calum, Irene and crew Seoras arrived, Calum was going to strim the path North up at the Loch as it had become overgrown and in danger of disappearing. As we are going to have Hugh (next April) re-instate the path from where he finished this year we thought it would be a good idea to keep what is there open for guidance just now.

Everything was in place for our changeover which was not going to be as frenetic as it usually is as one of our guests had had to cancel at the last minute due to a family illness, hoever as I write this he is trying his best to make it mid week as we have a ferry for our short stay guests from Denmark.

Relaxing Rona Style

Relaxing Rona Style

Now the Danes are pretty laid back and here is Pedro, enjoying the Rona air after arriving with his family from Denmark for the first time.

Wish I could do that!

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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.
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