The Black pot- Poit Dhubh

This was the scene in between the snow showers to-day, this is for JB at Nikon, Dublin who, most of yesterday had to put up with my questions!! Yesterday the weather was foul and the day was not fit for anything other than inside work. A bit of a storm, I heard 90 mph somewhere? What happened to storm names? It blew all day and absolutely chucked it down. But the weather has been a bit better lately.

Snow Showers over The Sound of Raasay

Snow Showers over The Sound of Raasay

Yesterday fter much emailing we got the Nikon D300 firmware upgrade done and I can report better focusing. Normally I use the wee Panasonic which is handier but the Nikon certainly is the better camera. That was part of yesterday’s long overdue in house jobs.

To-day, Hinds enjoying the sun.

To-day, Hinds enjoying the sun.

The sun has been out most of to-day in between the showers which gives us all a lift.

Snow Showers over the Storr

Snow Showers over the Storr

I see the fishing boats are managing to get a run up and down the Sound.

Back to the week past and I found this guy on the shore I think a week last Tuesday.

Otter?

Otter?

It looks like it has quite a fierce set of teeth, possibly an Otter maybe a young seal? I’ll leave it on the window and wait for comments this coming year.

Otter 2?

Otter 2?

That was the day I went to photograph the 200 or so seals in the harbour. Now, I have been almost every where on Rona, there are not many corners I have not been into. I keep thinking one day I’ll stumble on the old Rona whisky still, I live in hope. But last Tuesday I came across this ruin, SE of the house across the harbour. In it as you can see was a very good old cooking pot. So I thought I would take it back to the museum up at Dry Harbour.

The Curse of the Black Pot

The Curse of the Black Pot

The bottom of it was rusted away but it was almost whole. To get a good picture of the many seals I decided to climb up higher, I took a wrong turning and had to double back. When I turned to go back again I slipped and shot off this rock face and luckily landed 20 ft later in the heather, thankfully there were no rocks to fall on. I got away with it but the Poit Dhubh was in a thousand pieces. I wish I had left it where I found it now.

The Fall

The Fall

So I was a wee bit stiff the rest of the week but I did call Julia yesterday and was asking her about the black pot. Her story is at the end of to-days blog.

Weekly Delivery

Weekly Delivery

Wednesday despite the stiffness the excitement of a ferry got me going and we went down to meet Kevin and Pam mid morning. We had some fuel and building material coming out as we try to maintain a weekly boat just now. We had 900 litres of Kerosene and some flooring for the shed. Plus the goodies, always good to get a daily paper.

Improving Picture

Improving Picture

The day was calm after a stormy Tuesday but it improved as the day progressed and there were reports of a calm sail home and even Dolphins.

We Hope This Will Work

We Hope This Will Work

Kevin had brought some connections and chain to try to stop the gangway wandering. So that was the first job after we had read the mail.

Hungry

Hungry

I had not fed the sheep in the morning but did later on, Julie our pet hind was mooching about as usual, at this time of the year she likes her share of the sheep pencils.

Fish Farm Boat Heading West

Fish Farm Boat Heading West

The showers had been all around us but it generally was a good (cold) Wednesday.

After The Storm

After The Storm

I was over at Dry Harbour Thursday morning and spotted something on the beach but it turned out to be an old packing case, fish farm debris by the look of the other bits and pieces of plastic pump that came in on the same tide and were lying beside it. No mink though.

Clear as a Bell

Clear as a Bell

I had said to L that the light was good and the sun out so we went back to DH this time to take some photos. With the D300 which is why I was trying to get the new firmware uploaded.

Clear Blue Day

Clear Blue Day

It was a really fine day and very cold, there was a promise of minus temperatures that night

cumulonimbus

cumulonimbus

On the way back from DH the clouds were really interesting, lots going on up there.

Tanya's Bed!!!

Tanya’s Bed!!!

Friday dawned cold and frosty, very dry which meant outside work. We have new tenants coming to the bunkhouse for a few weeks in the season so there is a bit of a change around going on in there. Myself and L had a site meeting and discussed the way it would lay out, then I set too. First thing to dump was the old single bed, finally ending up as kindlers like most of the wooden furniture, eventually.

Safer Steps

Safer Steps

Then although it was a sunny day I decided to make the new stairs for the cabin, the Ramsay style ladder does not feel too robust, especially after a beer or two.

Fits Like It Was Made For It.

Fits Like It Was Made For It.

Finally on Saturday late I got it down to the cabin but I needed to do a bit more to support the steps (or stringers as L has just told me). but it is a hundred times better.

De frosting

De frosting

Sunday morning, Valentines day, a long lie then a nice breakfast, not!!! I went to the bathroom and the first thing I found was that we had no water, a look out the window and it was not hard to see what the problem was, the ground was rock solid. As we are 90% rock it is always hard to bury the pipes but over the years we have hardly had frosts so you get that wee bit complacent. I quickly discounted various things and was delighted to find the water solid in the valve behind the genny shed. Out of the sun it must have been pretty cool.

Frozen Solid

Back Together Now Buried

I had always been meaning to put a tap back at the bothy and here was my chance. As I waited for the sun to come round I put in a new valve and tap. Then I buried the bits of pipe that had been showing. By the time I did that there was a dribble coming out of the pipe, with a bit of persuasion the flow increased and I was able to re-connect and carry on business as usual.

It is always good to have a sunny day and there is so much to do it gives us a chance to catch up with the outside work. There is no one about but there is plenty going on. Julie was on the other side of the fence when I went up to the garage, I stopped the car and she was over the fence and straight up to me looking for food.

Julie Looking For Food

Julie Looking For Food

The SAR helicopter is often about too, (spot the helo’) especially at the weekends, their route often takes them over Rona, I can understand how easy it is to slip and fall on the hill paths, it was a first for me sadly at heights it can be some folks last!!!! People ask ‘Do you not get lonely?’ No never, there is always something happening, even if it is just the wind and rain trying to blow us away!!!

It's the Weekend it Must Be The SAR

It’s the Weekend it Must Be The SAR

Monday this week was not a very inspiring day, grey and cold but at least it was dry. I had a morning at the laptop then tidied up the shed after the pipe and stairs jobs. By the early evening it was vile and all day Tuesday it got windier and windier, with torrential rain to finish the day. I took a wander around 4ish to check up on the sheep but they were posted missing. I cut through the forest to check the water, the wind was pretty fierce. Up at the water tanks there were new broken trees so I did not hang around and headed back pretty quick.

Storm Damage

Storm Damage

To-day we were going to have another ferry but after the storm we were unsure how it would be for a trip. It was fine out in the Sound but the showers were pretty wet and by the time we would have been organised it would have been getting late. So just the usual day here instead, feeding sheep and after Dion the fire extinguisher guys phoning, the rest of the day was spent looking for missing fire extinguishers. That is the job tomorrow, the annual service.

Breakfast, Feeding the stock

Breakfast, Feeding the stock

When I fed the sheep this morning Julie came down for her feed. One of last years lambs made the mistake of coming too close and Julie beat her up, she can lash out quite deftly if she needs too.

Finally, Julie’s tale of the Poit Dhubh  (hope the spelling is correct?):

I had asked why a pot like that would be in a very small ruin, obviously not a house possibly it was built for a boat or maybe it was a shelter.

“Once my Mother’s pots got pretty thin, cracked or just old, they would end up getting used for outside things, one was making seal oil from blubber. The smell was pretty strong. My Father would make the oil by boiling down the blubber, then bottle it. We called it ‘Norman’s Special’. We got it instead of Cod Liver Oil or rubbed onto our chests when we had colds.”

‘What about Cod Liver Oil?”

“We had plenty of that too, it was made with Cod Livers (or other fish livers) a lot stronger than that stuff you get from the chemists.”


I cannot imagine…………….

Did your Father ever fall of the cliffs?

“No, not that I know of, but they did go up the cliffs to rescue sheep. The man who lived in the house which is now the Green Roofed Bothy (MBA bothy) was called Norman MacKenzie, he was the man whom my Father would lower over the cliffs on the end of a rope to rescue any sheep that had got stuck on a ledge, my Father would not do it. I think it was quite dangerous.”

More Soon……….

 

 

 

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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.
This entry was posted in Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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