Fallen Off a Cliff!!

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:

Stuck

Stuck

Spot the two lambs on the cliff, stuck there for a few days.

Properly Stuck

Properly Stuck

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!!!!

Vertigo

Vertigo

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.

Colin

Colin

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.

Cook What You Catch

Cook What You Catch

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.

Marine Biology

Marine Biology

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.

Cooking What They Caught

Cooking What They Caught

Back to base and the kids mucked in cleaning crabs, making mayo’ and eating the proceeds, that is the best bit!!!

The Annual Ragwort Pull

The Annual Ragwort Pull

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.

Cleared

Cleared

I’m sure it will be back next year.

Allways Worth A Picture

Always Worth A Picture

This was the 24th August, looking out the window tonight (Friday 9th Sept) it feels like a long time ago.

Heading to Raasay

Heading to Raasay

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.

Exploring

Exploring

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.

Interesting Rock Formation

Interesting Rock Formation

More of the Same

More of the Same

That was a good day for sure, followed by more sunny weather.

Chilled

Chilled

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.

Where Are You Going

Where Are You Going

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.

Marine Pollution

Marine Pollution

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.

Late Visitors

Late Visitors

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.

Late Night Sun

Late Night Sun

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.

Big Harbour Sunset

Big Harbour Sunset

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.

Back to the day Job

Back to the day Job

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!!

Could You Be bothered

Could You Be bothered

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.

Dolphin Day

Dolphin Day

Dolphin Day 2

Dolphin Day 2

Dolphin Day 3

Dolphin Day 3

Dolphin Day 4

Dolphin Day 4

Leading the Boat

Leading the Boat

Friday a week ago it was flat out at the bunkhouse, getting ready for Saturday and looking forward to quieter days.

p1080015

Day Trippers

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.

Andrew Fly Past

Andrew Fly Past

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.

Novice Sailors

Novice Sailors

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.

Clambering Up The Rocks

Clambering Up The Rocks

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.

Through The porthole

Through The porthole

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.

Very Distinct Moth?

Very Distinct Moth?

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.

Getting There With The New Shower

Getting There With The New Shower

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.

Emergency Roofing

Emergency Roofing

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.

And Finally, Nearly There.

And Finally, Nearly There.

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.

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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.
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