September in a Flash

September is the busy month, leading up to the Red Deer Rut when everything stops for that, the yacht visitors are just peaking and on the way down. Looking forward (apprehensively) to Winter time so there is much to do. The cottasges are often full at this time, so that keeps us busy, all in all flat out.

The Van

I was back and fore to Portree a lot this month, various things, shopping, stores, machinery, the list goes on and on. The only downside is that it is usually a calm sunny day great but these days are lost on working on Rona.

Spaghetti Junction

In amongst it all the Applenet internet was playing up. In this environment it is a constant battle to keep on top of the corrosion. Also the equipment gets supersceded so quickly. I did sort this lot out though

Although it has been a dreadful summer and especially October there were times when the weather was kind, usually Portree days but nice to have them.

On my many trips I used to bump into all sorts of boat people, David Croy here with Raasay House Visitors enjoying one of their many trips. Pointing the way to Rona, thanks Dave!!

To add to the excitement we had Miriam Margoyles and Alan Cummings whose programme Lost in Scotland was here filming on Rona as a part of their Skye visit, the weather held out until just the last minute where we were sitting around a fire cooking scones as the fire rapidly went out in the rain, great fun though.

Alan wanted to help with the sustainability of the Island so we reckoned he’d have a job chopping up the 100+ year old pine, we will wait and see what happened.

Onto the September project, Here we are heading over to Portree with the extension to Hugh MacKay’s 360 digger. This was for lifting one x 600mm x 12 m steel beam for the new house, weighing in at 600+ kilo. Hugh did all the groundwork and helped push the project forward on the new house. So this steel extension was only used once and cost £670.00 + Vat, ouch, but better than a crane and two landing crafts. Which would be nearer £6700 + Vat!!!!! Sitting around on Rona it looked like a potential drawbar for the trailer I got from Dan C for taking the new boat out of the water.

We were going to get a local contractor to fix it to the trailer and do the engineering on it but the quote proved too costly for us and to be fair it would have been too heavy for the boat. So the ‘red thing’ went back to Rona, the trailer first.

Passing Dan’s RIB slowly (me) on the way back at Eilean Tighe this time, plenty time to look out for wildlife. Not much happening.

A quick lift off on the tide and up to the garage for major adjustments.

More about our deer and venison on our Red Deer Page but the reason for this photo is to show where the Scottish Government, Forest Land Scotland, SNH and a host of so called conservationists are heading. This calf turned up with its Mother in September. The Scot Gov through their Deer Review want to start the season for culling females in September. That would mean shooting this hind and calf. This is happening and a full report on my thoughts and comments will shortly be on the Red Deer Page. How anyone could justify shooting this hind and her dappled not long born calf beggars belief, but it happens.

Talking about deer, our venison is selling well and fast. We have a good core of customers, we cannot expand past our supply which is limited. But we use modern equipment to process it. Here we have an Italian vacuum pack machine, it needs new seals, £5 but postage, from Italy is £35 according to the makers. So we got in touch direct and their man ‘Giorgio’ sent two seals Foc to a friend who lives on Lake Garda, who in turn will get them to us for a lot less charge. Well done ‘Jolly Steel/TECLA

Yet another trip to Portree, this time coinciding with yet another Liner, Chaos in Portree but it is getting to be the new normal.

This trip was to pick up the recent purchase from Wayne at Braemore Estate, our new ‘jeep’. This simple buggy has no electronics which is the death knell of any jeep that has ever come here. Wish I had bought land rovers years ago. Hoipefully this buggy will do the job for us (it has done already, very pleased with it)

Bit of a job loading but Dan with his Manatou made swift work of it, surprisingly no one reported us for dangerous driving this time when we took the forklift down to the pier.

Heading home with evenly distributed weight and going well, next job was to take it off.

No problem to our hardy JCB.

Then the inspection.

Now down to the boat trailer.

It took shape pretty quickly, needs a few bits and piec es but it dioes the job.

In between all of this our venison orders started to take shape, sausages (new recipe) are proving popular. So with a deer hanging in the larder I had to abandon the engineering, leave the welding to Richard and get on with the sausages, Zoe on the sausage machine.

Another trip to Portree, I think this time for fuel, my one and only Basking Shark this year was right in front of me at the fish farm cages. I called up Dan and his tour boat had a wee bit of excitement catching the Basking Shark as it swam about the salmon cages.

It was a cracking day and I remember now what we were doing, fuel and venison deliveries. Another 100 venison burgers to Dan’s Chip Shop next to the Lower Deck Restauran.

Here we have two polysyrene boxes ready for their trip South, Fillet steak to London and a mixed box to Edinburgh, 24 hour guaranteed, works great.

And here we are, 1st October just when the gales and wind started getting MV Rona 11 out of the water for the first time, works well and this week, three weeks on I will get the boat serv iced. Much has happened in that time.

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 September in a Flash

  1. Hallaig says:

    Hi guys ! Just a wee note to say I love reading the blog – I look forward to them!

    Val xx

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