Springtime Coming on Rona

Another year well underway another Spring. Here we are as usual trying to catch up on the Rona Blog. As usual it is not as regular as I would like, so much being left behind.

Our third yacht of the year rocked up last weekend, the weather has been pretty good apart from the most torrential rain last Thursday. So no surprise when a yacht did appear BUT it is still cold enough that it would not be comfortable on a boat without a heater.

Here we have the rest of the month so far. Off to Portree on a venison run, the £3000 of stock is fast disappearing but we will have some in July and thereafter. In the meantime we have lots of roasts if anyone is interested.

4 weeks before the season and multiple disasters. First of all the generator (Stamford) alternator burnt out. It had to be dismantled and packaged, sent to Fraser and MacDonald’s in Glasgow. A very old firm by the look of them. But fast in their turn around (with help from Skye Express) and to-day the whole thing is back together and starting automatically, charging the pretty low batteries. The long awaited replacement glass was bought for the cottages but once we took out the panes we were left with one complete side, the other breaking. So waste not want not I put the old single’ pane back in. We had a gas leak and it was pretty hard to find, the washer in the cap on the opposite side of the intake had leaked, do not know how but it was puffing out propane gas. New gas alarms have been bought and installed.

Finally the Larder renovation is nearly there (well halfway there) and we are on the home straight. Not before time as we need to be processing venison soon. Water filters, stocking up the cottages and very deep cleans meant busy days.

Following on from the Generator repair, it was not all plain sailing. The generator would not work which meant a few more worrying days trying to find out why, but problem solving is our game here and with the help of CS Generators we got it back up and running. The term is ‘Exciting the Alternator’. Claudio Schiavetta the proprietor is a Lister man and even this foxed him for a while but between us we got there. I rigged up a switch to put power in to the alternator from an outside source then to ‘excite’ the windings and with the switch the alternator began to charge, game over!!!! The quick transition did the trick.

We have had several couples up to view the ‘job’ all going well but we want to be sure we have the ideal couple to help us and we must say our visitors so far have all been very good and that leaves us with a dilema. However we have a few to go and this all takes time so we think we will have to get some temporary help as it will be a while before we can make a decision. In the meantime we will keep the head down for the forseeable. We took a visiting couple down to Fladda to check out the cottages before the owners and their family came up for Easter. The deer seen on route and the family around our house are pretty hungry just now.

In this gallery above we had a visitor a couple of weeks back, Rona McSeveny. She had chartered MV Seaflower such was her wish to get to Rona (her Island). Rona’s connection, she was named after the SS Rona on which her Great Great Grandfather served on, it is the one registered in Leith 1884. It is intereresting to see three Rona boats there. I wonder how they got that name and the connection. In my time here I have seen and read about many boats with the name Rona.

An interesting register and to quote: ” it was torpedoed on 18th June 1916 off the coast of Sardinia by the U-35 u-boat, commanded by this guy”.

All good Rona connection history.

Friday last after a very busy week I had a meeting in the Skye Candle Companies restaurant/rooms with a consultant to the Scottish Government on Scottish Venison. It was the perfect day and I had time to mess about in Portree for a change. The weather was perfect and calm. I had time to load the boat and do some shopping.

Skye Candles have made a good job in the Aros Centre but the loud music was hard to get out of the conversation and needless to say there was no venison on the menu. In fact no local produce which was quite ironic that what we were there to talk about was the supply, marketing, price, availability and a host of other connected issues.

With the amount of venison shot on Skye, the restaurants/food outlets at every level should have it on the menu, not even worrying about seasonality as they all have freezers. Also langoustines, crab, lobster, Skye lamb and beef. Where is it?? More later hopefully on the back of this meeting.

Back to Rona later than ever, a full day in Portree, very unusual. But good to catch up. I put my order in for four fish suppers and they were ready at 5pm, I did not pick them up from Dan’s Fish and Chip shop until 5.40pm, by that time they had been in the bag (individually wrapped) for over half an hour, a quick pint in the Pier Hotel and back to Rona for 7pm, the suppers were not hot by this time by any means but 10 minutes in the oven and they came out delicious,. who does not like re-heats?

The deer were there when I got home. Eyeing up my fish supper I beleive.

Finally a changeover on Saturday our first this season and with help from John and Stacia, up to try out Rona for a week. All went well, flat calm and ably skippered home by Willie Beedie standing in for MV Seaflower’s crew.

Interesting souvenier that our guests picked up!!!!! Our new guests (returnees) with just a few bits and pieces of baggage.

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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2 Responses to Springtime Coming on Rona

  1. More great photos, thank you Bill. Pleased you feel encouraged about finding new helpers for Rona. Lots of interesting things happening there.

  2. Claire Calder says:

    That’s more luggage than I had for a month’s castaway !!!!!
    Glad to hear that the interviews are going well and that you’re managing to get some help. Hope you’re both well
    All the best for the new season. Xx

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