Working backwards in an effort to catch up and fill in the blanks I’ll head back to September. On a grey October day going through the photos and seeing the wonderful weather lifts the spirits at a time when you know that it is going to be another long winter. But before I start here’s a link to the history page, a video on You Tube that Lorraine found there yesterday: Dundee University Visit 1933/34
A must watch, here goes! September was a lovely month, always is mostly. There is the anticipation of the coming Red Deer rut which is always a fantastic time despite all the angst this year with our glorious Government and Forestry Land Scotland’s attitude towards our iconic Red Deer (Scottish Gamekeepers Association).
Given the current Covid 19 restrictions we had to scale back the male Red Deer cull in our management programme. We can do this for one season with no impact on the Island. The problem being we had no market for Stags in October. Looking ahead in July we tried to source new markets for the venison we butcher here but most Hotels were not running at 100% and most had their own supply. Fortunately for us Dan Corrigal stepped in and offered Rona venison burgers at his chip shop on the harbour at Portree. We have supplied quite a few over the last months and thanks to ‘Chabba?’ who runs the chip shop, it has been a Summer success. Add our regular customers to the mix and visiting yachts/cottages buying our venison, it has been a good year for sales.
We have quite a stock of various cuts and will be offering a box scheme shortly. Last night I cooked a piece of fillet, we do not often have fillet but the recipe I came across in the ‘Shooting Times’ was interesting. I have to say that this simple meal was one of the tastiest I’ve ever cooked and the recipe and the others we regularly cook for Supper Clubs will be in the box and on the recipes page soon.
Back to the day job and last winter, right at the end we had the most horrendous rain, I think for two days. After that anything that would leak did so. With the wind driving it I found water where there had never been water before. Inside the bothy the hall wall behind this one was pretty wet and it seems the rain got driven in along the wall, past the seal and caused a bit of damage. So like a lot of jobs on the list it was good to tick this one off.
Whilst doing this job I spotted the shore littered with jellyfish left by the high tide. At the start of the month the North wind started, driving jellyfish down the Sound of Raasay in their thousands. This year was no exception, not so good for swimming especially when the water around Rona was at its warmest for years. This was evident in the return of many Basking Sharks, whales and even a Killer Whale (more later).
Of course at this time the North Wind means cooler days but generally sunny too and our guests here with just a small amount of luggage enjoyed their stay very much.
We have quite a few ‘For Sale’ items , I have three 60 hp two stroke outboards and quite a bit of Quinntherm Insulation to sell, more of that later too. But we did put the ATV on Facebook and we had so many phone calls we more or less sold it within an hour. Despite it being so rusty. But spares alone I guess made it worthwhile.
Our new generator of just over 2 years installed has developed a leak, it is disappointing but these things happen. It will require a major repair so we decided to repair this old generator that it replaced. It needs a new alternator and we sourced one at Meccalte which arrived this weekend. It will be good to have a spare and fingers crossed for an easy install.
September was holiday time, the weather was great we picked up our Danish visitors in Edinburgh which was a scary thought after being in splendid isolation on Rona for so long. But no worries everywhere bar one place (local) was very up to date with their handling of the Virus. Since the weather was so good we took the chance to visit the Skye shore, I had been over a few times this year and after 18 years on Rona I was astonished to visit this area only once sailing over on my Wayfarer many years ago and cannot understand why I have not done it before.It is the most interesting place and our Danes greatly enjoyed seeing a new part for them of Skye. A part of Skye you do not see from the shore and the thousands that go to the Old Man of Storr miss out.
Talking about fishing, Mark a regular visitor, stepped off the ferry, walked over to the cottages, unloaded everything, walked to the shore and quickly caught 4 Pollack. 2 hours on the Island. 4 is enough to carry home he said!! Other visitors suggest there are no fish around Rona but…….
As predicted after a spell of glorious weather the fog always arrives, we had quite a few days of it and one in particular when it was so thick it never lifted all day despite reports of no fog a few miles South. But small price to pay for the other sunny days.
Back to the ever growing list of work to do. We now have a maintenance schedule, well we always had one but this one is all together and helps enormously to keep on top of the jobs that need doing regularly. This one was hanging over me for quite a while and as we had noticed a bit of erosion in the concrete base, we felt it wise to strengthen the base plate up. Hopefully it will do the job and we can sleep easy during the gales that test the turbines.
On one of the few poor days in September the Navarra decided to pack in. It was fuel for sure. I had to sprint back to get the bike, no jacket. Lorraine had to walk to Dry Harbour, it was changeover day. Needless to say it was a very trying and wet day. But we got through it. It has been a long time since we did a changeover with the ATV motorbike but of course we did it that way before we had 4×4 vehicles at the South end. But in the old days we would have been prepared, not this day. It was a choked filter and with the age/rust on the Navarra it should not be a surprise.
Finally looking back on September it was by far the best month, the clouds had lifted the sun was out, the visitors were here in numbers and the harvest was at its best. The langoustines were big and juicy all together a good month.