Stormy Sunday

It has been an awful longtime since my last blog, I’ve said it before that I read somewhere that Blogs invariably fail after a couple of years, I guess for many reasons but for this one ‘Time’ is the precious resource out here on Rona.

Big Harbour Aspen

It has been so long since I posted I’ve had to spend half an hour trying to figure out how to  insert a photo.

Autumn at Big Harbour

We are getting the hang of it now so here goes. Jim our good yachting friend of many years from Ireland was on the phone to see what was happening on Rona, lamenting the fact that there has not been a post forever. I said I would get round to it as soon as but……… We do not do times heets here although I keep a diary. But lately I have been keeping a sheet of work done and here is Tuesday the 6th of October: 6.30am up, 7am hens out , feed sheep, 7.30am stalking, 10.45am back to BH no shot, 10.55am tidy garage, 12pm house, paperwork, lunch. 1.30pm working on the RIB, 4.30pm finish RIB work clear up, 5pm catch up on calls, tea, the rest of the evening on the phone. Just a typical day, mostly 7 days a week but I’m not complaining. Could just do with some more hours in the day.

Evening Sunset, Portree Tomorrow.

Back to this month, in a bid to catch up I’ll run through October and then hopefully this week get a resume of the Summer past.

Off To Portree

The Voe boat has been invaluable this year and in past years, I think we have been to Portree most weeks this summer, whether shopping or uplifting fuel/sheep etc. It is really nice to get an early start and head over at first light though. Not to mention the sealife, every trip is different and you never know what you will see on the day.

Seaflower Heading to Ullapool

On this particular day I passed our ferry boat heading out of Portree  off on a charter to Ullapool, prospecting I hear.

Arriving Portree

Being October it is a bit of a dash to get everything over , done and dusted  before the bad weather comes, which it has done this last week and especially to-day.

Portree Harbour

As much as we stock up there is always something else to get. This year with Covid it has been very quiet in Portree up until July 4th of course but since lock down lifted the early morning visit is very necessary as the traffic just gets so busy and all of a sudden when the BnB’s/Hotels empty around 10am the town turns into one big traffic jam.

Lost Signal

Back to Rona and we had a few  problems lately with the internet. First of all on checking our back up I discovered that our satellite connection had died, I tried to get our supplier to rectify it and basically they switched us off, thanks. So now we are looking for an alternative and 4G routers seems to be the way to go. But in the first instance I had to sort out Applenet our Wireless connection through the Applecross Community service. Turned out it was not our end but a radio transmitter on Raasay. But no harm, the view from the mast when I was up top checking it was lovely, a spy for stags and a good sunset.

Looking for EE

Next day I could be found walking about Rona with two phones one EE one Vodafone. Trying to determine the strength of the signal around our new house. I came across this fault in the rock just above the house, I had not seen it before but in the sun it really stood out.

Meals on Wheels

Unfortunately due to Covid we cannot host Supper Clubs in the Lodge but such is demand we are delivering to the cottages, our first try went well and with small numbers it is pretty straight forward and a joy to do with Rona produce.

Laid out and Ready to go.

We delivered the box into the house and laid it out, the table was set so it was deliveroo and go.

Lifting the Moorings

The onset of winter brings the sailing visitors to a close, the odd one rocks up in Winter but very odd ones. The moorings have done well this year given that the season only started first week in July, most yachts visiting picked them up and a big thank you for the 100 + yacht visitors that contributed to our Island by doing so. We leave one mooring in overwinter and strip the rest, dropping the chains to the sea floor.

The Firewood Platform

Late summer I finished a wee project I’ve been planning for years, with the larch left over from the house I made a small landing jetty that we can get into to load firewood from the forest at Big Harbour. The only problem is the seaweed is so deep it is difficult to get the boat in and out without getting choked. So the next job is to cut the seaweed away, a lovely job for a cold winters day.

The Last Mooring Lifted

With the last mooring up it was time to clean the strops and drop the shackles into oil.

Portree Lamb Sales

The following day I was off to Portree with 8 lambs from this year to the sale, early start again and the weather was kind to me.

Callie and Dan

At 9.30am as arranged Callie turned up and with his help and Dan’s we got the sheep quickly loaded into the stock trailer despite the very low tide. Stores on board and back to Rona after a breakfast from Relish and getting all the Portree news.


That night my family arrived and Seaflower was back from the North so a busy day for late season visitors. In the middle of it another home delivery meal.

Getting Easier

Another meal deliverooed and now it is getting really easy to put together and we hope that we will have many next year. Even with the family in residence in the Lodge we had time to cook it and then after delivery joined them in the Lodge for a lovely tea, no washing up either.

The First Frost

Going back and fore to the cottages we bumped into one of our guests who told us that the bell tower in the Schoolhouse had fallen the previous night. It had been very frosty and I guess the water in the mortar had a bit of expansion and it fell down.


It has been in my mind to knock down the dangerous bits on the schoolhouse at Dry Harbour but just as we were contemplating doing it the lockdown was lifted. So we decided that it would be a winter job. It will be sad to see the high chimney and gables falling in but fall in it will even without my help. So better to do it now rather when someone may be close to it.


Talking about damage, here are the remains of one of the props’ from the RIB,  the rocks keep moving about here a yachtsman once told me, how true!!!

Stormy Days Ahead

Finally Friday was a busy day yet again: 7am up, 7.45 out, hens out sheep fed. 8.30 RIB shifted to safer place away from the shore, 9.30am  tractor moved out of shed, 10am skids for the Voe boat in place to take it out of the water. 10.45am tea, 11.15am out to sea to pick up creels, 11.45am ashore with Voe onto Skids. 12pm get ready for cottage changeover one day early due to the storm.  Quick Lunch. 1pm Dry Harbour with Lorraine pick up guests and luggage back to Big Harbour, 2.30pm Seaflower arrives, guests away new guests to the cottages, 3.30pm Lorraine back to Big Harbour, 4pm drag Voe right out of the water, secure above high water mark and put dinghy in the shed. 5pm strip new alternator in delivered to-day, check sizes and for water. 5.30pm deliver firewood to cottages and check if all ok. 5.45pm check generator and water supply at Dry Harbour, 6.30pm finish. Another day on Rona

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, Yachties. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stormy Sunday

  1. Good to see you posting again, sounds as though you are still as busy as ever despite Covid.

  2. Alan Squires says:

    Missed your posts Bill, thanks for the update. Wish we could back there but a few years before we have international travel from OZ. Stay safe out there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.