At Last a Hint Of Summer.

If you ask our guests, Roy and Shirley if it was a good week, their suntans should say it all. It has been a very good week, no rain!!!! But going off to-day the wind is out of the North and in the picture, no one is in T shirts!!!

Leaving Rona, Suntanned!!!!

Leaving Rona, Suntanned!!!!

The pictures a bit squint, but you get the drift.

Rona Whisky delivery

Rona Whisky delivery

Calm in the bay this morning (Saturday 13th June) but a good force 3 to 4 running outside, giving some interesting conditions. We have had Kayakers in already to-day and they headed North up the West side into the North swell but they were quite upbeat. They had stopped for some fresh water and a look at the bunkhouse. Then off they went, but I do not fancy a paddle up at the North of Rona just now. (See footnote) Talking about paddles, Calum lost his paddle in the gales the previous week when were off. When I came up from the ferry there it was in front of the bunkhouse, where most of the debris lands, it must have been floating about all week.

The Lost Paddle

The Lost Paddle

What I did not see lying beside it until the kayakers pointed it out was a seal pup, dead of course and it had been for some time. What is surprising is that we do not see more with the population around Rona growing to huge numbers, this winter I guess we had around 200 in the bay on particularly stormy days. This year (spring) there is a distinct lack of sea birds, the cliffs at Dhu Chamas are bare of birds, a handful of cormorants are there but no Fulmars. Of course plenty Black Back Gulls who are very good at nest robbing.

Heading off North into A Force 3/4

Heading off North into A Force 3/4

Back to last week, the first day back at work I was conscious my creels had not been looked at so as it was calm I took off to lift them.

Grey Outlook

Grey Outlook

It was very grey and no sign of the promised sunshine on Monday.

Lots of crabs in the creels and best of all I spotted an antler right beside the shore on neigbouring Eilean Tighe, I was close in and there it was sitting up. A quick scramble ashore and we added it to the collection. I caught an Octopus too who was going all shades of colours until I had time to put it overboard.

Sitting Up

Sitting Up

Back to Base and on with the big pan, then next morning I had an hour or so dressing crabs with the company of George the cat, looking for tit bits.

Crab for T

Crab for T

After dressing the crab I thought it was so dry I would go up North to retrieve some firewood from last years road line. But as soon as I got into the settlement I found the path to be just as wet as it had been all winter. One pass was about it and I got a trailer load for home. Whilst I was there I took a walk through the forest to check on trees blown across the track. That filled the trailer for a second time.

Well Seasoned

Well Seasoned

It had been a long day and the evening was very warm, calm and clear. A promise of a good day coming.

The best day yet

The best day yet

Next day it was not as clear as promised, in fact it was very overcast. I had taken a film camera to the wedding in Applecross instead of the digital. I wanted to try out the old camera and to see how the pictures came out. The night before (late) I developed the film and that next morning I scanned a few negatives. I had not done it for a while so there is a ‘lot’ of work to do but it was good fun and I was very pleased with the old style of photography. The digital is great for sure but there is just something about the film medium. More when the bride and groom come back from honeymoon and see the results first!! MV seaflower was coming from Shieldaig on a trip so I was spurred on to get as many ‘proof’ prints done as possible. Mid day Thursday they arrived and we enjoyed a good few hours over lunch catching up on the wedding.

Paula's Project

Paula’s Project

The Rona wool at the moment is not worth sending away, the fleeces are patchy so we were happy to see one of our better fleeces going away to be ‘worked on’. It is good to see them being put to some use, especially with a lot more coming this year.

Spinning

Spinning

This week has been patchy with visitors, Sunday night we had 9 yachts in but it has been dribs and drabs since then. There are two in the bay at the moment but we have had a few nights with an empty harbour. This ‘Wayfarer’ arrived on Thursday having circumnavigated Skye. They had a very good sailing week with no surprises although coming round the North tip of Skye was exciting!!!!

Tented Up

Tented Up

I cannot imagine what facilities are available to the overnight stay on the dinghy, quite compact for sure, but I am assured there is everything you need!! They were certainly glad to see our showers.

The Spring Clean

The Spring Clean

At the end of the week I finally got around to doing some serious work outside and started cleaning the stackyard. It has been a bit untidy this winter no thanks to the gales now it is a bit calmer it is good to get going and to think about the summer projects.

The Sandpiper?

Spot The Sandpiper?

Down at the pontoon to-day I had a very irate Sandpiper trying to lead me astray with the broken wing routine, for sure her chicks were not far away. That was good to see and the Wheatears are still as plentiful. It seems that it is only the sea birds that are suffering this spring, on Rona. We have now three if not four sets of Greylag Goslings, eating their way through the sheep park every morning when I get up. So although the weather has been weird and very unseasonal, somethings carry on regardless and the nesting birds around the Lodge are very busy.

The kayakers are on the radio finding it a bit rough up at the North end of Rona, I hear suggestions to turn around but they are having trouble keeping in contact, sounds like fun………………………

 

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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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