We are off for a few days to meet Dorte, Arne and Family. The weather (at last) is shaping up but looks like from one extreme to another. Yesterday it went up to 25 degrees, to-day it looks like 25+ now we will moan about it being too hot………
Last week we had quite a few yachts in but mostly from abroad, in fact if we did not have the foreign visitors it would be really quiet. I guess most local or UK sailors can choose to head for home when it is a poor sailing season. But they are upbeat the ones that come and are quick to come up to Rona Lodge to say hello. The Silurian was in (The Hebridean Wildlife Trust research yacht) but I did not see them.
Lars Larsen the Swedish skipper of the yacht in front of them came up to the house, sailing on his own across the North sea at 70+. A really nice guy and we had a good crack with him.
When these yachts were in we heard shooting around the harbour at around 10.30pm on the 25th, I was so concerned I called the Police then spent a long time late at night trying to explain the unexplainable. One of the yacht skippers suggested a sonic boom, which may be the explanation, who knows. But still quite frightening.
Next day it was back to work and an overdue job at last got done. The sheep needed a second dose of Bravoxin and a checkover, as they all appeared in the field first thing we captured them and sorted them out, only two missing, the usual suspects.
Next day it was the turn of the Tup and the male sheep, usually it is a bit of a rodeo to catch them up but for once they went straight into the pen and very quickly we dealt with them. It was a real surprise and bonus that the sun came out and stayed out for a whole 3 hours, it was so nice we sat out, midgie free and had a very nice bottle of red!! During the week I had been seeing ‘floaters’ in my right eye, the morning after the sheep sort I started to see flashing which was quite disturbing. I was speaking to one of the yacht skippers about the crew member that had fallen in the previous week and was saying how lucky they were to have a Doctor on board. Half an hour later he was back at the house with the retired Doctor, still on board. A quick consultation later and the diagnosis was a ‘Vitreous Detachment’. It is great to have Doctors on call in the summer!!!! His recommendation was a visit asap to the Optician, who would see for sure it was nothing more serious. I was very grateful as the flashing was becoming very regular.
The ferry had been in and we had a visit from the local Police, not to check up on the mysterious shooting on Thursday night but to check my firearms certificate, quite a procedure nowadays.
Once the guests were settled into their cottage and the police check was over we set too and got ready for our visit to Ft William to meet our Danish visitors. The forecast for Sunday was for wind but dry. as it happened it was very windy, the bay was busy so as we were leaving we decided to transfer at sea rather than risk being blown onto the pontoon or another boat with MV Aspire. Kevin arrived with the boat and in the glorious sun (for a change) we did an at sea transfer in the lee of the South of the harbour.
It was very breezy but no problem and any thought that it was going to be a rough sail were quickly dispelled as it turned out a very pleasant crossing.
Just outside Portree, Lorraine shouted out ‘Dolphins’ and from there on in we were accompanied by a big pod of Dolphins showing a lot of interest in the boat.
We had a room booked in the pier Hotel which was looking good after a recent refurb’. Of course we went to see Donald in the bar and then enjoyed a good nights entertainment with Dan, Joan, Ann and Niel (Too good)!!!!!
Next day we headed leisurely off to Armadale to get to Fort William to see the optician, MacBraynes let us down and we missed our bus, we queued for two hours in the hope of getting tickets on the Steam Train and we were so lucky to get a ticket from a visitor from Alaska who had heard me telling the guard about my eye. The eye was quickly forgotten as we steamed into Fort William. We were coming back on it the next day but this was a bonus and I have to say I was very impressed with the whole experience and it was unusual to see so many happy faces on a train, usually everyone looks glum. as it happened the optician was not there but we got an appointment for the next morning first thing. (Spot the stags head/antlers).
Our guests arrived from London after a twelve hour drive and we enjoyed the ‘Lime Tree ‘Bed and Breakfast in Ft William (highly recommended/good food too). After a frantic wait for the optician who was held up in traffic, I had an examination which confirmed the Doctors diagnosis, that was good, a sigh of relief. Lorraine had a taxi waiting as we were very tight for time for catching the train, but no worries, the taxi drivers wife was on it and he had to give her some keys. We had a lovely run (again) back to Mallaig on a full train 360 people!! The sun came out and the mercury hit 23 degrees at once. I had a mooch round the harbour and enjoyed a good blether with Greg Milligan and his son from the Spanish John, our landing craft that delivers Hugh, fuel and bits and pieces.
We were on the boat (on time this time) over the Sea To Skye and installed in Kinloch Lodge for the night.
Back to Rona tomorrow.