Catching up

Kevin was asking when the next Rona Blog was coming and after finding out I’d missed posting last months effort, I’m trying in between torrential rain to get up to date with Rona things. It has been extra busy with the house for sure and the weather has not been too bad until the end of this week when it has rained, got cold and of course windy. No yachts in to speak of and just the odd sail out there. But it has dried up here at lunch time so I guess there will be a visitor in the Bay tonight. (2 in at 7pm)

It seems a long time ago since the Raasay kids from the primary visited, 28th June I see!!

Raasay Primary

Cottages are busy and that was where we were this Friday night transferring our guests at sea, the tide was too low for MV Aspire’s draft alongside the pontoon so we transferred everyone and the baggage at sea, even the dog!! Brian and Gill know the score but Malcolm and Dascha our new and first Airbnb guests were not sure what they had let themselves in for, but it was very calm and very safe.

Sea Transfer 1

Tesco’s delivery at Sea

Lying alongside

Getting Ready to cast off

That was Friday and Brian, Gill and Teal the dog who had been with us for a month were heading home and we were sorry to see them go, been good to get support during a busy building month.

The house is coming on fine and after our initial hiccups with folk coming onto the site I have to say almost everyone has respected our signs and been aware of diggers, dumpers and material getting shifted. Rona, off Yacht Eynhallow’s was an exception to site rules and I think she approved, especially when she got her usual venison bones.

Rona Visits The Site

(More on the house build page)

Summer Afternoon on Rona

Early on this month the weather had been exceptional, however we did have a few days of real crappy weather, but overall we cannot complain. These last few days have been trying but the sun’s out now. Yachts have been thin on the ground. That has not stopped some of them blotting their copybook.

Stuck on the Mooring Chain

The Morning After

This yacht reversed onto the strop of the mooring, why yachts have to moor so close to our mooring I have never worked out but it leads to this type of debacle. Once they cleared the strop from their propeller, or rudder? They put their anchor through the mooring chain and promptly got stuck. They messed about with it that night then for a couple of hours in the morning they did the same. I asked them to come ashore with their contact details but once they freed themselves they took off, I was  not impressed. Because they may have damaged it. I will check!! We know where you live!!!!!!!!!

We Have a Swimming Pool

To say we had some rain is an understatement, so much so that we had an accidental swimming pool, now sorted.

Back and Fore to Portree

Been good weather for multiple trips to Portree,  passing Yacht Sea Rose quite early one morning.


I don’t think I’ve missed a gathering off the cliffs around Portree bay. Every year I seem to catch the shepherds on their vertiginous walk, always impressed at the dogs speed running back and fore.

Essential Supplies

Of course we did have building supplies on board but it is dry work.

Danish Visitors

We had Danish visitors for a week in July and a fishing trip was arranged. We were invaded by RIB’s just as we left, they were on a West Coast 500 boat trip, heading I think to Ullapool/Lochinver and then round the top of Scotland.

Stags Down South

We caught a few mackerel, some langoustine and even a lobster, which the guests enjoyed very much.

Hiding in the Bracken

When we were down at the South end it was good to see the stags hanging about there, even one with one antler.

Outboard Trouble

Coming back from Portree on one of the evenings  and the engines started playing up. We spent a whole day (which was missed from the build) trying to fix the engines but were not successful. They still did not run right but they did come good last thing at night when I took a final run round the bay.

Round the Corner.

I got a surprise when we came onto this huge yacht moored out of sight, the engines were going well so I decided I would go to Portree in the morning.

Welcoming party

Again Portree was like a Blackpool weekend, very scary.

Our only Kayakers this year.

Back to Rona with building material later that morning and our  paddlers from Applecross who stayed overnight were ready for the next part of their trip, around Raasay. Weather very good.

Shifting Steel

Round about that time (Which seems weeks ago) we decided to put up most of the steel, a slow process but all went well and thanks again to MacKay’s engineering Invergordon for their precise engineering.

Double Pick Up

Yet another trip to Rona but this time I found out what was wrong with engines of the boat, the fuel pipe on one petrol tank had split and was drawing air, sorted. This trip was to pick up Ian Bolas from Rum and Hugh at Arinish, Raasay. Ian was coming to sort out the Applnet / Rona side of the internet service and he set to sorting it out in good time, much appreciated the in depth training, on how too………

Full Up

Back to Rona early evening to find a fair few yachts in the Bay.


Good to see Kenny on Yacht Sula over from Shieldaig with his mates, we enjoyed a dram that night with them, good fun and a good diversion from the build.

Steel is Almost There

Back to the house and the steel went up quickly as the connections were as they should be.

Room With a View

From the front window

Here’s the view we hope to enjoy next year when we are all done and dusted. Without the digger boom!!

Grey Day

One of the greyer trips to Portree, shades of things to come with more rain forecast.

Sure Enough

Sure enough on Saturday during the changeover it poured which was a bit of a damper on a relatively good week.

Grey but not Too Bad in the Bay

The rain did not last long that day, I think it was on all day Sunday but once the sun comes out it is pretty clear. Red Moon charters were in for a few days, with no charter that week they were holed up on Rona.

Yacht Shivinish

Yacht numbers are a bit down but I don’t think it is because we are shut, possibly the weather and too much information via Internet weather websites? But it was nice to see our good friends John and Jane MacInnes from Tayvallich rock up on their latest Yacht ‘Shivinish’.

Jane and John MacInnes

Always up for a job it was not long before I press ganged John into a nights fishing.

Flat Calm Fishing.

Also a quick trip next day  to Portree yet again to pick up some 9×2 for the web packing of the steel on the house. Flat calm and the boat went well.

Yet another Portree trip

But there is always the unloading and these guys are not light.

Early Morning Crowd

Another good day and I had a wee prowl looking for a stag, it was a very calm bright morning which I’m sure the yacht people enjoyed waking up to.

Chief Burger Maker

Having got the stag and butchered it in between shifts at the house I gave Brian a day off the tools and as he was good at mixing concrete I gave him promotion to chief burger maker. With lots of contractors and helpers about the venison is not going far.

I’ve lost track of days that all the above happened but this was last Tuesday, Joyce had been in touch looking for Rona whisky and was very keen to visit Rona. There was a boat last Tuesday with the architects and we offered her a seat on it. I had been to Portree first thing to unload a lorry load of insulation and then pick up Hugh, it was quite rough and as Kevin was coming out with the rest of the load Joyce went on MV Aspire and had a great day.


The architects, Hazel and Nick had a look around the site and answered all the questions then all to soon they were on their way. Joyce’s round trip was North Berwick to Inverness, Inverness Portree, Portree Rona and all on the way back over three days, well done.

Time to go.

Once they had departed it was back into the house build and again shifting lots of material, this time 90mm Quin therm. But where to put it?

Easy Unloading

In an effort to save my back it is always wiser to work with the tides.

The Weather Has Broken

But the rain came on pretty quick and to be honest it has not stopped since (although there are very hot spells when the sun does shine).

Back To The Day Job

With the build in progress it has been difficult to keep up with the breakdowns servicing and repair. But needs must. The JCB suffered bent forks when unloading the Spanish John in a hurry one of these nights. With Hugh’s 14 tonne digger and a bit of heat we managed to bend the pin that holds the forks together back in to place.


And Finally

Our guests this week are Paul and Claire, they said they were prepared for wet weather and when I was over delivering some venison steaks I could see how, quite a selection and seems to be a common thread in our holiday cottages……………. Hopefully it will not be a month until the next blog.




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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