After the rush of summer the season, all of a sudden the days with visitors has quite literally ‘fallen of a Cliff’. 8th Sept’ dark by 7.45pm, no yachts in, a gale blowing, looks like winter. But at last, time to take a deep breath. It happens every year, one week lots of visitors, yachts, change of the weather then bang, some gales then everything changes.
Lots to look back on these past couple of weeks but talking about falling off cliffs:
Spot the two lambs on the cliff, stuck there for a few days.
Saw them on the Thursday but thought they were just feeding, Friday they were still there but had no chance to rescue them, which was a bit silly because we had two cottages full of climbers!!!!
Saturday I grabbed Robert who had just arrived on Rona to witness (or help) any issues on the cliffs. As it happened the two escapee sheep jumped off landing 20feet below on the heather, when I got to where I could see them I could not get down to them anyway. They are still dodging us (saw them to-day along the shore) and they look not the worse from their jump or thump as they landed.
Talking about getting a hand one of our late visitors this season was Colin on Yacht Fulmar, Colin is a retired sawmill owner who, like quite a few of our yachting friends likes to help out. In Colin’s case I was glad to get a hand with the decking at the bunkhouse. Good to see him again.
In between decking, we had a ‘Cook what you catch’ with Andrew, Claire and the kids who were in Escape cottage, we had a few bits and pieces, quite a few prawns and lobster but they were put back as most of them were too small or were carrying eggs.
Kenny was over from Shieldaig with a group on MV Seaflower, so I pressed him into service with his marine biology qualifications to tell our guests what was what with the brown crab.
Back to base and the kids mucked in cleaning crabs, making mayo’ and eating the proceeds, that is the best bit!!!
Work continues though and I was aware that despite an annual ragwort removal, the plant thrives. This year as much as ever, it is a pest, good for bees but it would quickly invade the whole of Dry Harbour where it is most prevalent.
I’m sure it will be back next year.
This was the 24th August, looking out the window tonight (Friday 9th Sept) it feels like a long time ago.
Even the trip out with some of the climbers seems so long ago, beautiful days that last week in August it was all going well.
Mark and his colleagues were keen to see some of the cliffs along the shore at the West side of Raasay, for me it was very interesting as I had not been along that shore before.
That was a good day for sure, followed by more sunny weather.
MV Aspire made a mid week visit, good to have a sunny trip and the yachts were plentiful too, we were wondering what this guy was doing, heading for the shore but he did pull out at the last moment.
After the deer with the bucket stuck on its head we are looking out for the rubbish on the shore, this was washed up all together in the days tide, not unusual I have to say.
Working away at the bunkhouse I saw this RIB coming in, they were looking for a campsite and were not too sure where they were? We sorted them out giving them directions to the Shiants which they visited in flat calm weather the next day. At this time of the year we often get a late rush, with all sorts turning up.
Friday night 26th Aug over at Dry Harbour the sun was going down, looked like a good day coming for Saturday but overnight it rained pretty heavy.
Saturday was grey, a changeover followed by the sheep on the cliff. It was good to see the sun going down on that busy Saturday for sure.
Sunday was a bunkhouse day, quite windy when Calum arrived midday then we had a go at installing the new shower, which defeated us but it does help if you read the instructions correctly.
Monday off to Inverness, first time for Lorraine since April, second time for me, I did have a day there in May. Been busy as I say!!
Anyway why would you bother, we don’t have traffic issues on Rona, it seems that all the windturbine columns were being shifted last week, very frustrating.
Very soon we were heading back to Rona, accompanied by a few dolphins, there has not been a lot of movement in the Sound this year, no Basking Sharks a few Minkes, not too many seabirds so it was a pleasure to have Dolphins play with us.
Friday a week ago it was flat out at the bunkhouse, getting ready for Saturday and looking forward to quieter days.
Saturday came, weather calm and a few extra guests were over for a quick visit, no yachts to be seen but the forecast was poor so no surprise.
We had another quick visitor when the SAR helicopter had a look around on Sunday, we did in fact have a yacht come in, Lunga from Ullapool hoping to get some shelter from the gale forecast.
They had a surprise when the SAR helo had a circle round their yacht. They are new to this boat so were keen not to try it out too soon and a good choice as the weather for the next couple of days was very bad with strong gale force wind. That day Sunday we had a fishing trip with our cottage guests Robert and Mary, not much to report, it was very quiet out in the Sound, the only positive thing is that the Terns are back in good numbers. There must be food for them but there is a distinct lack of other seabirds, it is very noticeable.
We headed round to Dry Harbour for a quick drop off but no fish or seabirds round there either.
Back to the bunkhouse which is now called Cabin 32!! The reason will become obvious soon.
There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, sealing Lorraine’s window is one to try me, it is the door from the late Miele wash machine!!!!! Makes a good port hole.
Up to the larder to get something and I spotted this moth in the sink, we have plenty of them but always good to see them, amazing colour and design.
It is all about the cabin now as we try to get it ready in time for the stalking, there was no hot water or shower there so that is the new project, we are kind of making it up as we go along but it is all coming together.
In between times the roof on the hen shed needed a new cover, after a night of rain they were looking a bit damp!!! Some of the day to day jobs are getting neglected I’m afraid.
As this last week has progressed despite the poor weather I have got the replacement lean to at the bunkhouse/Cabin 32 nearly there, I think this time next week it will be 99% complete.