Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, I was reading the paper from a fortnight ago, news travels slowly here. An article caught my eye, ‘Extreme Survival, Island, N W Scotland’. I immediately read through it, just in case it was Rona but no, it was far from it.
However, it made me jump and get going, I was looking to complete the deer cull and have a look around, just to see what the deer were up to. As I was walking in the south end of Rona I was thinking about this article (not really keeping my eye on deer stalking) and peoples desire to experience ‘Extreme sports/survival’ when the phone rang.
Back to earth with a bump, I don’t usually carry the phone but I had an idea that ‘Dan’ would call once he saw the rest of the weeks forecast. So there I was taking a call, in the ‘remote NW Highlands’, discussing the possibility of getting 1000 litres of much needed diesel over and the Applenet cable which I guess is much needed too. To cut a long story short, we had planned Tuesday for this ferry, but Thursday looked better, but as what happens here the weather took another twist and Tuesday was definitely the best day. I made an about turn and got home to get prepared for the boats arrival.
I had to get the pipe out for transferring the fuel and all the equipment. Make a Cable stand for running out the 750 metres of cable, get the mail, rubbish and stuff to go off all in under an hour and a half. Very quickly I could see MV Stardust heading up in an increasing wind!!
Dan duly arrived with Ian and Calum, we manhandled the cable off, with ramps and a high tide we did not have any problems. We then left Dan and Ian with the fuel whilst we took the drum of cable to the site and ran out half of it.
After an hour or two the fuel was in the IBC and the wind was getting stronger, the pontoon was at a queer angle so without more ado, Dan was off to bounce back to Portree.
I disconnected the pump but did not manage to retrieve the pipe, I had no option to leave it where it was but it is pretty strong and quite safe.
First of all I had to get the derv’ into the tank, I hate leaving it in the IBC, they have a habit of springing a leak!! I started pumping and headed to the house for a cup of tea.
When I got in Lorraine told me she had spotted one of the late twin lambs was limping, so we had to capture it and see what was what. (another quick lunch) Half an hour later we had the two of them in the shed and here was a three inch piece of bramble caught in the lambs groin, it had ‘worn’ a groove into its flesh, poor brute. So an injection was required and one the next morning. I’ll give the cut a spray with ‘stuff’ and let it go. Brambles are pretty hard on the sheep, they get caught often and cannot get out so you have to be vigilant.
Once we had finished that, time was getting on. There was an hour of light left and lots to do, the tractor had to be put to bed and I had to tidy up the cable run. We had left some of the cable hanging up in trees so I was keen to get it down before the wind got going. I ran all the cable off and finished up pushing it through an ancient drain. It got stuck and I could not see where, cameras can be handy things when you don’t want to lie in the mud to look.
These track drains are all over Rona and it is amazing to see the quality of the old stone masons work, even to-day, 100/50 + years on they are still running, clear and usually just as they were built. No plastic required here. Just about there, I collected a trailer load of birch for the ever depleting wood pile.
Just another day on Rona!! Extreme survival, I don’t know, just making it work, but at the end of the day I switched on the lap top and clicked on the link to see where this remote NW Highland extreme survival course I had read about was happening, because as the day was unfolding I thought I could do that here with a day just like to-day. Which happens pretty much most of the winter, and charge for it. Given the prices quoted on the ******survivalacadamy.com web site we would do rather well.
I’m thinking maybe Rona at this time might just be a bit too extreme. Last weeks visit from Tom, where he was looking at the potential for Rona to host his survival courses has so far drawn a silence!!
By the way the Island in the newspaper article is ‘Alladale Estate’ west of Bona Bridge, which is slap bang in the centre of Northern Scotland, it could not be farther away from a remote Island although handy for the airport I guess.