Surprise, Surprise!!

To-day Sunday, Day off!!!! If you can have that on Rona our latest arrivals (not tourists) appeared. Last week sheep (ewe) no 361 turned up, obviously having just had a lamb, despite searching for hours, along the cliffs in the outrun, no lambs. But to-day the fears of lost lambs was averted when she turned up, proud as punch with these two. Well done her without the ‘so called’ shepherd’s intervention. Sometimes I think we should just leave ‘Blackies’ to it.


All I could do is treat the navel,  number them, feed the mother extra and let them get on with it.

looks like Spring is about here.

Settled, happy and well, just a pity they are males.

Spring Sunshine

Back to the day job though and what have we been doing? Been a few days since a blog so here goes.

Spring is Thinking about it.

We had a bit of warmth and all of a sudden we had birds, amazing how they turn up the minute the weather changes. You worry about them at this time with the vagaries of our climate. Here we have Skylarks in the garden, many of them, performing I have to say but now they have disappeared leaving Oyster catchers and common gulls in residence.

Solar Array 1

Solar Array 2

How’s That?

What has been concerning us is power for the future and with Hugh Piggot’s Scoraig Wind Expertise we have decided on solar panels, new batteries and better controllers. We will see, but anything is better than the performance of getting diesel to remote communities. So to that end we have been designing a stand for the new solar array on Rona.

New Road For Ian

In between times we are still doing our day work, a new track into the cabin for Ian our joiner who will be staying in our cinema, lucky guy!!!!!


There was a problem, so when I took the tractor up top  I was looking at the engine with my 40 year old ‘Snap on’ pit lamp (original bulb). Got to be the best. I tipped two JCB loads into the tractor and on top of the lamp. Shed it at the cabin and weh-hey it still worked!! Good stuff. I’d left the lamp in the back of the tractor.

Well At Least the Weather was Good

Got that surprise sorted and as the weather was pretty good lots to do and as usual not enough time (anyone wanting a job?????).

The OnGoing Fence

When you get up in the morning here you say, what is the plan to-day? It is an unknown for sure and after many months of procrastination It was time to finish the wee fence around the Scots Pine plantation.

Looking OKAY

A couple of days at that and then things change.

KP were out

Kevin and Pam were out with mail and things pre-their winter holiday so we were looking for bits and pieces ordered off ebay but: we did not get them so back to the drawing board with that.

Nesting time

Hugh our digger driver/machine man had come out on that boat for a tete a tete on the plans for the new house, all was well, plenty to think about and Saturday morning I collared him to strip the JCB  hydraulic problems!!! I’m sure he was thinking what an I doing here as we had the devil of a job separating the drive shaft for the hydraulic pump.

Nightmare, WHO designs this?????

After much sweating, we got there.


Turns out we had to grind the casing off the shaft, West Coast ‘permanent’ Fix. RUST!!!!!

Nesting time

In the front valance we found a nest, we hope the birds succeeded.

Wrong Seal

it was not all good though, a leaking gearbox seal, serviced at the same time and of course JCB Muir of Ord sent us the wrong one, Doh!!!!! Nothing lost though, in true Rona style we move on. Next day I decided the taste of Kenny’s prawns from Shieldaig were too good so I set up a couple of single ends to try and get a fat brown crab, probably an impossibility at this time, but needs must and headed out with two creels loaded with bait.

Old Man Of The Sea!!!!!!!!!!

I was dropping my two creels when Yogi came into the harbour which was a surprise as it was a fair breeze out in the Sound, however he told me the tide was right for this fleet he was lifting and they were keen to shift them. Unfortunately despite a request there were no lobsters aboard for mew!!!! Maybe next time.

Site Prep’

Back ashore it was time for site prep’ shifting the water and power cables. In between waiting for the storms early on this week it was good to get things moving. However!

Tie Down

With the storm coming we must be aware to tie things down and after three times destroyed, the Wayfarer which is now my dinghy, I’m not taking chances.


Okay, BBC said storm but it was beyond that, first thing down to the pontoon,that’s the first port of call after a storm, no disappointment, the pontoon had parted company with the shore!!!!

Storm Surge

Nothing for it but to repair.

Getting it Fixed Whatever

Fortunately I had ordered chain for the mooring, 10 meres which was just right for this job. It had only arrived on Saturday’s boat, so the mooring will have to wait a while.

There’s The

This chain holds the pontoon to the shore, 12 years constantly in and out of the water  it has done not bad. But time moves on so here we are.

All Fixed

Next day all was well, we can sleep!

Just what I needed

When I was doing all that pontoon stuff I went up to the garage. Out on the bog here was this heavily pregnant ewe lying in the bog, just about drowned, hypothermic. Oh dear, what next. BUT she has survived and fingers crossed we will have lambs?!!!

Trying to stop the death

I put a ‘very’ temporary fence up to try and stop these ewes killing themselves. Seems like they have a death wish.

And finally

Lastly but not least here is the bonfire up at the site, the camera fogged up but the picture is the best in my humble opinion. This picture is for Angelo, our very dear friend from Salo, Lake Garda. Always in our thoughts.

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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