People ask when is the best time to be on Rona, my answer is always a bit vague because it is always the best time to be on Rona. But, the best time for me is undoubtedly waiting for the Red Deer Rut to start and that is the Autumn and that is now. We stalk the deer here because we have a deer management programme, for the well being of the herd and the Islands ecology, that is what we do. However, the true stalker appreciates the fact that the job they do takes them out into the natural environment and allows them to enjoy the season at its best. Forget the actual end result, this week it has been the scent in the air of heather, pollen, cool, possibly a sort of richness after the growth of the year, the summers end. Also the odd smell of the stag or the hinds hanging in the air when you pass through the forests or out on the hill. Electric.
Coming up to when the stags chase the ladies (the Rut) I always want/need to be out in the forest or the hill just to watch, to see how things are going and this week has not been a disappointment.
Myself and Nick went out, walked a lot and saw some deer but the main event was the weather, the views and the the company.
Nick had given me a call earlier on asking me to come to the pontoon, where I was delighted to be handed a belated and gratefully received wedding gift of wine and Champagne, never wasted on Rona.
The night before we had enjoyed a wonderful meal on Yacht Escapade courtesy of Anne.
We reciprocated Tuesday night and enjoyed a lovely evening with possibly the last of this years Yacht visitors to Rona Lodge.
I woke early and because the forecast was looking fresh I headed out to lift the creels and see if there was a late catch to stock up the freezer. I was not disappointed and had a couple of hours cooking crabs when I got back. I had hoped to bump into the Minke Whale, Sea Eagles and Dolphins we had seen the day before when we were out looking for deer. But no sign which is often the case.
Two of Isle of Skye Yachts were in and getting ready to go as I came back in, the forecast was for freshening winds but as it happened the weather was quite benign.
As it was the late summer on Rona and dry at last, I got a chance to shift one of the excess mattresses to the Skyescape cottages, have bed will travel. What a difference to be working and not to have waterproofs slowing you down.
Nothing for it at the end of the day but to enjoy a late glass of wine out front and enjoy a midgie free evening, bliss. That was mid week and the sun was shining for the third day running, a record this year. It was warm at last and hardly any yachts about, nice and peaceful.
Thursday I was keen to get ready for the landing craft because if I left it until Friday I would encounter some sort of problem and I was not wrong. In the meantime the digger was sold and moving on, the fuel was coming so I got rid of the remains of the last delivery of kerosene into the tank at Rona Lodge. The ATV might go off too so it had to go to the shore just in case.
This morning I got up early it was such a bright start so I went for a run over to Dry Harbour looking for deer. The night before I had been over up to my usual spying place and had seen quite a few young deer, hiding in the bracken. So I was keen to have another look.
There are 5 deer in the picture, plain as day but maybe better to blow it up. After my spy up North I headed South and all of a sudden the exhaust on the (old) bike blew. So that was to-day’s job. Just in case I needed parts I thought I’d fix it if I could and set too.
I was happy to see a bit of meat on the pipe when I eventually got it off, otherwise with my welding I would blow holes in anything thinner. The welding was not pretty but at least it has saved the cost of a new one, at £200 + Vat, not cheap.
So here we are on Friday night chilling out but waiting now for the changeover and landing craft tomorrow.