Now for April

The catch up continues. Sunday morning here, grey, wet and windy. A lovely West Coast day. I wonder how the campers and caravanners are fairing after yesterdays gale force winds. Perhaps there was an Exodus.

Looking back it is scary how much has happened during these last three months. A bit of confusion just now as I thought I have already posted this but I am thinking of my Face Book Page . I guess it is too easy to post stuff there so it take me away from the blog, but odd pictures does not really tell the story.

Yacht Emily Rose, Non Payer.

So here we are in April. The time when we have put the moorings in and await the Yachting/boating fraternity. Here I will have a moan yet again. Here is Yacht Emily Rose, Ayla on its sail cover. As always at this time of year we get the early yachtsmen/women. A lot are delivering boats, or going somewhere with the boat to base it there for the Summer. This guy used the mooring and left, they never made any attempt to pay or contact us. Do these folk really think the Mooring Fairy drops these moorings out of the sky for free. I consider it theft, it is no different to not paying for a service or item from a shop. So we await Yacht Emily Rose’s £15, not a lot but every penny helps in our very tight economy here.

Rant over. On a more uplifting note, the Sea Eagles were busy and I can report a successful fledge at the Eilean Tighe nest.

Not so successful these two young stags found at the bottom of a cliff at Garbh Eilean, looks like they pushed each other off the hill fighting?

They were lying together heads locked, I pulled the first antler I saw and found that it had been entwined. Been there a while.


Always expect the unexpected here. On opening the generator shed door at Dry Harbour another mini disaster, the return pipes on the DH generator were perished. Now it is on my list to be replaced annually. We cannot afford to be wasting this precious stuff anymore.

The Navarra

So it continues, the Navarra pick up which was pretty good decided to pack in. We eventually discovered it was the ECU which controls amongst other things the fuel pump, keep it simple for Rona I say, on Rona that is another disaster, with no Garage computers available, we tried our best but admitted defeat, the Navarra’s are no more.

Ready For Scrap

Here they are ready for May’s landing craft, a big loss.


Now here is a major problem on Rona, what gets washed up. On a walk to find the oldest hind on Rona with the camera I came onto a beach up North, I had seen it from the sea but on walking there I was horrified to see just how much debris there was lying around.

More Crap, well sunk into the bog.

So on a calm day after that walk, builders bags were bought and subsequently filled, I think 7 in all. A shocking reflection on folks respect for the sea or lack of it.

DH Beach

A quick walk around the beach at Dry Harbour too whilst delivering fuel collected more. The depressing thing is this was only one small beach.

Delivered to Portree

We took it to Portree of course no one at the dump was interested so we took it up ourselves borrowing one of Dan’s vans. There we got grief for not booking it in!!!!!!

Tide Turning

I include here a picture just off that beach, the clear water and lovely stones below, why would you want to spoil that?

Old Peat Bank

On that walk just above the beach I came across this peat bog, it is difficult to see in the photo as it is overgrown and quite filled in. It was very poignant as it hits home how far away from the settlements the folk had to go to cut peat (which they eventually ran out of in sustainable quantities). More on that later suffice to say that the peat bog was filling in well and I wonder how long before it would be viable again. Although I read recently an environmentalist having a go at ‘Peat Cutters’. Do they not understand survival?

Whilst out on the boat in April although cold it is a good time to see nature. It is quiet and the animals more settled.

For us the best time is the Spring and Autumn, coupled with peace and quiet we really appreciate this time on Rona.

But it is not all quiet and boat trips, at last we got the chance to put together new boards for the Museum at Dry Harbour. With a few Rona artifacts We hope the visitors enjoy them.


Dan’s new boat arrived and was quickly despatched to Rona on a Whale Trail trip. We do not usually get visitors on the day trips in Winter but Dan’s Whale Trail has proved popular. A few hardy souls ventured out on each trip and although whales were thin on the sea they were never disappointed.

April is a time to grab a few jaunts off Rona, shopping, holidays and catching up with family, so it was with great anticipation to know we were invited to Glen App Castle for a looong weekend.

The weather was fantastic, location, food and company even better.

One of the 17 Rooms (ours)

The wonderful food just kept coming, we are saving our pennies for another visit sometime soon.

One of the many highlights was the beach walk, stunning day, cold but I managed a swim. One of the few this spring.

First Trip on Wavedancer

Back to reality very quickly, but great memories. We travelled back and had our first trip on Wavedancer, a booked trip to Rona was handy for us to hop on board with the ‘Whale Trail’.

We got back to Rona on the Tuesday. Work continues and by Friday we were caught up (a bit). I had been looking for a new boat and saw this one on the internet on the Friday night. You will see from the picture it gave a Hexham location (for the contact). I looked at it later that night and was really frustrated on scrolling past the Hexham number that the boat was actually in Stranraer, 15 minutes from where I had been the previous weekend . And 6 and a half hours by road from Portree, more on that on the May 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.
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1 Response to Now for April

  1. Fabulous photos again.
    Is there any way that you can trace these people who use your moorings and then disappear without paying for them Bill? Naming and shaming them doesn’t seem to stop them.

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