Storm Force Sunday

Here’s the story to-day, stormy night followed by a very windy day, the seagulls around the bay are grounded, it feels like a winters day and it is the first week in August. Highly unusual gales, that was the way that the Met Office forecast described the weather in the North West/Northern Scotland to-day!!

Sunday Storm

Sunday Storm

Been another hectic week, maybe I should pay a wee bit attention to the advert on the screen?

Early Morning Cuillins

Early Morning Cuillins

It was a calmer day on the 1st when I headed over to Portree to get a brand new mixer, why did I not get one the previous week? I guess the traffic and busy Portree got to me on the last visit and I took off a bit too soon, keen to get back to peaceful Rona. The weather was grey in the morning but it was promising a quieter, calmer and maybe clearer day.

MV Aspire Re-paint

MV Aspire Re-paint

Kevin and Mikey were busy painting up Aspire in the harbour, it had calmed down and was dry, so a good chance to get a final coat on. I was careful not to create too much wash which makes for a scary minute or two on the raft!

Unloading the Mixer and Material.

Unloading the Mixer and Material.

I had taken the opportunity to get some more material for the bothy when I was over, the bulky light stuff like insulation doesn’t slow the boat down, in fact it took me just over 35 minutes on the return leg. No wildlife to report, just the observation of how quiet the waters are around these parts this year. At least the Terns have made a bit of a comeback. There seems to be a lot of them about after being posted missing for several years.

Getting on with the Job

Getting on with the Job

I arrived back around 12, had lunch then started batching, what a difference with the new mixer but it still took us until 8pm to finish.

Contemplation

Contemplation

The original toilet was inside the bothy but never really worked, the septic tank I made and connected to it was not really a success for various reasons and the lean too outside was not suitable, it was too small, so we have made it bigger and more substantial which is a better  bet especially to-day with 50 mph winds giving it a test.

Good To Get it finished

Good To Get it finished

Hugh arrived next day with yet more material. It was a good calm start with sun at last. Hugh had a tidy up to do then we had planned the landing craft for the end of the week, unfortunately a few hiccups put a spanner in that plan.

Aspire On Route

Aspire On Route

The tide was dropping so we loaded up our boat so that we could get the load ashore easier when the tide turned.

Waiting for the Tide

Waiting for the Tide

We had a booking for the mooring from a Dutch yacht, so we put the sign out, ‘Mooring Booked”. The yacht sailed into the harbour, round the yachts on the West side of the bay, looked at the ‘Reef’ marker buoy and then sailed out, no sign of picking up the mooring, no call to say why, ah well it did say ‘Round The World or Across the Atlantic Sail’ on the side of the yacht, so maybe they were in a hurry?

Pontoon Repairs

Pontoon Repairs

Hugh’s first job was to give me a hand with the pontoon repairs, nothing lasts forever out here and especially by the sea. Some of the grids on the pontoon were getting pretty dangerous, so a few replacements were found and fitted.

Stripping the Quarry

Stripping the Quarry

After the pontoon repair Hugh went up top to the quarry to win some material for when it eventually dries up a bit, then we can get some smaller stone on the ‘muddy’ road.

Sign of What is to Come

Sign of What is to Come

At the end of the day it is down to the shed for a beer and a chat about tomorrows plan, maybe a tidy up?!!!!

Looking For The Rise

Looking For The Rise

Thursday started good, sunny and breezy, not like the day before when it was midgie hell for a lot of the day. Most of the sheep were in so we decided to get the shearing out of the way. As Hugh is the expert he was ‘trying’ to give me some lessons, but of all the jobs on Rona this is the one to try my back, bending over for any length of time and I’ll seize up so it is good to get a hand with this job, I think I did one and a half sheep, Hugh did the rest. I’ll get the stragglers in the next few weeks, one by one. Which will be easier.

All done and dusted

All done and dusted

Ready For The Landing Craft

Ready For The Landing Craft

Thinking about it, Thursday was a very fine day but it absolutely blew from the North West, several boats that were in for a few days had decided to go North but when they looked round the corner we were not surprised to see them heading South through the Gap. It was a high sea with a massive swell, we thought about heading to Portree with Hugh that night but the wind continued until late. So an early start was planned.

Ten to Six, Friday Last

Ten to Six, Friday Last

I think I woke about three then could not get back to sleep, Hugh was the same, so around 6ish we left the harbour but it had calmed right down and was a beautiful morning for a sail. It had clouded up from the South but looking back the views were good.

Looking over to Torridon, Over Raasay.

Looking over to Torridon, Over Raasay.

We were in Portree before it had got going and were surprised to see parking spaces on the pier, there were a few tourists out taking photo’s, but quiet enough to get everything done I wanted too.

Late Sun at Dry Harbour

Late Sun at Dry Harbour

Another load of building material and a few stores later I was back on Rona and helping Ian with the bothy. At night we headed over to Dry Harbour to let our visitors know that MV Aspire had had a breakdown and that Dan’s MV Stardust was stepping in to do the run. The only problem was that they would have to get up early as Andy, Dan’s skipper had to be back by ten to fulfill their bookings. Our guests did not let us down, ready to go and the cottages left spick and span.

Taxi!!!!!

Taxi!!!!!

Our guests did very well and thankfully everything went to plan, even packing the odd guest into the jeep with the luggage, no complaints there then?

And They Were Off

And They Were Off

The forecast was all doom and gloom so it was a relief to get our changeover done quickly and Andy made it back to Portree, just in time for his bookings. The weather that was promised did not really materialise until late afternoon but when it came it was very heavy rain followed by gales and that is where we are to-day.

Tell Tale

Tell Tale

Late afternoon yesterday I spotted water coming up on the middle of the road, big time. Oh! Oh! problems. So I started digging. It was possible that we had a burst water pipe or when we were putting in the cables for the new house we had upset an old field drain. But once I started to hit stone I got the digger. Being aware of the new cables and water pipe, Lorraine acted as banksman and we were happy to see the warning tape we had put in come up with the JCB bucket. I got digging again with the pick and shovel and found a four inch soil pipe that we had obviously missed when putting in the cables. No harm just a big mess which will take a dry day to get tidied. I put in a new pipe, more warning tape and back filled quickly as the hole had turned to porridge, ah well just another Rona issue.

Great Way To Spend the Afternoon.

Great Way To Spend the Afternoon.

Looks like fun, after that I cut up foam/Kingspan for Ian another pleasant job. So to-day I’m taking it easy.

Remember the footprints in the concrete?

Mink?

Mink?

Last week, I was on the decking, I think it was Tuesday. Ian shouted that there was something below my feet running about. I could not see it then Ian pointed to a mink looking up at us, what it was doing in the middle of the day around the work I do not know but possible hunger? Anyway I had not checked the trap in front of the bothy that I had set up and wondered if it had a mate trapped inside it but no. The mink took off and surprisingly ran into the trap, turned around and looked out at us them turned back in, whereupon the two spring traps went off, killing the unfortunate animal quickly. Seems it had eaten the bait, been in and out without setting off the traps then unfortunately for it, it went back in and was not so lucky this time. But a surprise all the same to see these bold creatures in the middle of the day.

I think at the end of the season we will need to have a major effort on mink trapping around the Island, the seabirds are certainly in decline this year.

 

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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, Yachties. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Storm Force Sunday

  1. James Withers says:

    Me thinks you could be doing with a holiday Bill.😛

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