June to July And The House is Getting There.

Still Eating

June now, Arne still here and still cooking, the gastronomy excellent.

Grand Finale

Simple but delicious.


This is my Fathers home made ladder which I’m sure he would not be too happy that I left it out but it must be 40 years old now so it did not too bad. It is resting on the roofed ruin we call the museum (work in progress)


June continued and the jetstream was kind giving us most of the month with glorious sunshine.


Loved the clouds when the higher winds are creating lovely patterns.

Early Morning Prowl

The month continues with yet more trips to Portree.

Skye Express Loading

This time shifting half a tonne of flooring.

Looks Like My Kind of School

A wee stop into the school in Portree, this is definitely the type of state school that should be supported.

Getting Difficult To Find a Way In.

It doesn’t end with the van, then the boat, then off the boat, then onto the JCB then into the house. Phew.

Yogi Supervising

Back to Portree can’t remember why but The Green Isle our regular fishing boat around Rona is up on the beach the engine kaput. So it is the time to clean up, paint it and get ready for the season ahead with the new engine.

Wedding Party

A wee surprise to hear and then see Ewen and Janice out with a wedding party in Big Harbour Rona, a lovely day with Meg Gillies conducting the ceremony.

Wedding Day

Young Stag

Our deer started to loose their winter coats in late May and the stags were growing their new antlers, now they are all very red and looking sleek.

Daisy Days

The view from Sea/Skyescape in June, the daisies taking over with the deer mowing the grass for us.


The geese doing the same at Big Harbour but stealing the sheep’s grass in the field which is not so good.

De Brief

And at the end of the day there is always the de-brief where we have a dram and discuss the days building progress, the best part of the day my two companions would say.

Barrel Of Laughs

Say an old whisky barrel in ‘Harbro Portree’, now I’m thinking Rona was famous for its home brew, maybe it is a good time to try some distilling (again: work in progress)

Barbecue Time

Now here’s a thing, we have signs out, asking folk not to light fires. These jokers passed me on the pontoon with various bags, took up their station in front of the house and when the smoke started to rise we panicked. Fire is our worst nightmare and here were a boat load of yachties having their barbecue with no thought to what next! Having fought forest fires I dread to think what might happen if a fire did catch in the arid conditions which was the case on this day. Oh! And they did not even ask can we……..but therein lies the ‘Right To Roam’.

George and His Feather

George our cat, is a typical cat, unfortunately for the birdlife around here, so it was a bit better to see him playing with a feather rather than taking in his next prize.


We are pretty much up to and over capacity with our power generation. So much so that the generator had not run for two months. That was good saving fuel BUT the problem was that 16 years of damp conditions got the better of the windings on the alternator. When I did switch it on, disaster, the generator alternator had burnt out. So we now have a space where the generator should be. One on order, same again, can’t beat the Lister TS2.

Strim Time

After the de-brief Ian the joiner is away so it is time to catch up on Rona work. Strimming waits for no one and it was a bit late before I started, after a few mechanical issues I managed to get it done at Dry Harbour.

Early Morning Hind

Thought I’d take advantage of Ian being away and took an early morning trip South, nice to see plenty deer enjoying the morning sun.

Early Morning Big Harbour

And the yachties enjoying breakfast.


Plenty hinds about but not too many calves which surprised me.

Flattening Bracken

Back to Dry Harbour and I rigged up a bracken basher, but after much bashing it kind of fell apart.

Another Successful Trip

The sun certainly helped make the Seafood lunch trips from Portree a lovely experience but only yesterday we had some on Seaflower who were from Mexico, they were loving the misty day we had!!! So it is not all about the sunshine for sure.


Back to Portree to dump yet another wash machine, no ten or more I guess in 16 years, although they work hard you would think they would last a bit longer. I always blamed Rona Power but looking round the recycling yard at Portree I don’t think so……I guess it does not make for a good business if you make them to last.


We had a visit from my son and his family in glorious  July sunshine yet again and they gave us a present, a hot tub. It was something we had toyed with for years but power was always our problem. But this one a blow up, draws only 800watts and in sunshine with only the solar we dump so much power, it was heated water all the way, what a great present.


It is the time of year and our yachting friends from Ireland arrived, always good to see them and a sociable time.

That’s The Life

Sometimes too sociable!!!

Yachtie Woes

Not all the yachties are good guys, after much to-ing and fro-ing by yachts trying to anchor one night, I woke to see a German flagged yacht wrapped around our mooring, on closer inspection he had his chain wrapped around the mooring chain. You do wonder how these guys get away with it. The result was that I had to go out and check the chain, but no issues, I had suspected that the cable ties may have been knocked off but not so. But not forgiven.

Fuel Delivery

With so many landing crafts last year we had an endless supply of fuel but with no landing crafts since I’ve had to fetch the fuel from Portree, no problem just another trip to add to the fifteen in the last four weeks to Portree. But good to have a system that works.

You Tube Moment

Another job under the belt,. shearing the sheep. Hugh our digger driver usually does it but not this year after a half hour on You Tube I set to. Not quite ‘Should Have gone to Specsavers’. In fact I was quite pleased to have got through it without the very stiff back, electric shears are definitely the way forward.

Anne and Her Daughter

Another day another Seaflower trip, this time with a mixed boat but good to see Anne Gracie on Rona whose Mother was born here, a quick hello to the holiday cottage then after a bit of discussion it tuned out that I knew where the house her Mother had lived in was.

Visiting the family home

A wee walk up the back and there we were, just four walls left and overgrown but a nostalgic visit for sure.

Yoga Man

Yet another day trip to Portree, Calum on the fuel and a yogic yachtie doing his stuff first thing at 6.30am in the morning.

Whatever Turns You On

Not for me, after a day on the strimmer/digger/labouring/Rona work yoga would not do it for me.

Creel Recovery

On the way home Calum remarked there was a fleet of creels clear of the water with the low spring tides North side of Fladda, we discussed the possibility of a recovery and the plan was hatched. Many of them were damaged and the ones that were not were still fishing. Which is not good for the wildlife I guess. So Calum retrieved them, spent an age sorting them out and untangling them, then we went down to pick them up. We only managed half but will be back.

Catching The Wind

Yet another trip to Portree and the old yachts look the best.

Talking About Creels

Portree was awash with creels, out of the water, drying out. I wonder how many are actually in the water from Cape Wrath to Campbeltown?

No Entry

Well that’s us up to date, been a funny year with no interaction with the yachting fraternity, but next year we will be back up and running. Hopefully the sun will return, the welcome rain can go away now we’ve had quite enough this week!!!!!

A year ago this week

This was us this time last year on Rona building a house.


And here we are to-day!!

Painting 2


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Catching up on May Days

Thrushes Egg

May is nesting time and as we fly about the Island the birds just get on with it all. The usual suspects are here, the geese, the Oyster catchers and the Sandpipers plus many more. The hawks, Black Backs and crows/Ravens give them a hard time but many escape and come back next year. This Thrush left the nest in such a rush she nearly took the egg with her, it was sitting precariously on the edge.

Little Rain

The weather continued with many dry sunny days in May but we did have odd showers, welcome with the risk of fire ever there.


Stardust was still filling in between ferry operators, MV Aspire sold but Seaflower waiting in the wings.

Another Bumpy Ride

The sea has been very kind this year with many calm days, a welcome change.

The Bothy View

But work goes on with the bothy in full occupancy due to the house build.

Sorting Fat Lambs

In between shifts at the new house the lambs had to be dressed and sorted, always a lively task.

Seaflower Sea Trials

On my many trips to Portree it is good to see the comings and goings. Here is Seaflower after arriving in Portree a few days earlier getting out for some trials.

Portree Trip

No trial here though going to Portree for the bathroom fittings this time.

Early Morning Trouble

And although I get there early there is always something happening in a harbour. This time Marie Bhan caught a mooring rope. Not a good start.

Leaving Portree

Same day a few hours later and it was Skye Yachts’ turn, with a prop missing on one of its charter yachts it was alongside the slip waiting for the tide to put on a new one.

Yet Another Portree Trip

A pleasure not to be bouncing back to Rona.

Kestrel At Rona

Back to Rona to find Kestrel alongside MV Seaflower who was out with a charter.

Air Test

The job up at the house carries on with the air test due we had Ben Wear out to test it. A good result with a 1.18 (whatever that means) but it was good!

Ben Wear

Still trying to get my head round a ventilation system and open windows?

Rona Cottage Guests

The cottage’s are busy this year but this last few weeks have been quiet (June/July). Possibly with the world cup, who knows.

Dish of The Day

In among it all it is good to see some seafood, cooked coming our way with a Yogi speciality hand delivered, delicious.

Oh Oh, a Leaker

Although we had a good air test the first real rain proved our worst fears and one of our very expensive Nor Dan windows leaks. Not good and once we proved it to their technicians there is nothing for it but to replace. A job we don’t need.

Portree Invasion

More fun in Portree as another cruiser arrives, in fact two. Chaos as usual ensues down the pier and the best thing is to get in and out quick as upwards of five tour busses try to turn around down the pier.

Not For Me

Adding up the figures these boats must generate a huge amount of income, 280 went ashore from this one but the remainder stayed on board. I did hear that prices for this tour were in the thousands, amazing but not for me.

Two Ferries Ago

MV Aspire was tied up on this visit but the new owner was aboard and heading very shortly to the TT on the Isle of Man, it gets about.

Clear Days

Clear days and reflections are easy to find in the water, don’t know if this seagull was chasing itself or looking for something to eat?

Feeding Frenzy

Our hens are laying well but out in the forest presenting a challenge every day trying to track them down in the undergrowth.

Yet Another Load

Another load for the new house, doors, fireproof plasterboard and who knows whatelse?

Edinburgh Here We Come

Another sunny day and we head off to pick up Dorte and Arne in Edinburgh, a pleasant trip with our guests on MV Seaflower, the cruise ship is the old Cal Mac ferry converted for luxurious tours, now they are expensive.

Rona Return

A quick trip to Edinburgh, a stay at the highly recommended Ballathie House on the way home and then back to Rona for a sun blessed week.

Good Food Time

When our Danish guests come the food gets better and better, especially with a feast of seafood.

Cooking The Catch

Crabs, lobsters and langoustine, it does not get much better.

Sunny Days From the New House

The weather continued to everyone’s amazement and the yachts started to appear in numbers.

A Beauty

A good finish to the month, good food, good weather.

Dinners Up

And good progress with the house.

Return To Rona With Kayakers

It is taking a while to catch up but we are getting there. June next maybe not so long this time.

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April Catch up.

Here’s us looking back over the last months and cannot believe we have had the longest day the other day and it is all downhill from here. April pictures will give you an idea of the pace over  here this last while.

All About The Sheep

We were a little later this year with the lambs, Mr Tup was delivered in mid to late November last year and what a lucky break to miss the ‘Beast from the East.

Possibly M V Aspire’s Last trip

After many years of loyal service to Rona, Kevin and Pam retired having put MV Aspire up for sale and a buyer was found. I’m sure they are missing the sea but not the Saturday morning dash to Rona with huge amounts of luggage!!

Kenny’s Last trip.

Kenny was in too on MV Seaflower as it too was going on the market and despite buying lots of Lotto tickets we couldn’t get the cash together to make an offer.

Kenny on Seaflowers Last Trip

Again, I’m sure Kenny and Gemma are missing their Rona trips but they will be back.

Pontoon Repair

With all these boats on the move it reminded me it was time for a look at the mooring and pontoon.

Wear and Tear

After 15 years of weather and boats tying up it was plain to see that the chains should be replaced. New ones are on order but we are waiting until we make new mooring blocks, then we will do it all together.

Pontoon and Mooring Repair

Three new moorings applied for and coming soon.

First Yacht

I finished the annual check and within a few days our first yacht of the year came in, we are now at over 100 visiting yachts by the 26th of June.


Taking advantage of the calm weather and good tides I managed a few loads of firewood out of the forest. Looking forward to getting more cut later this year.

All about the firewood.

Stardust Standing In

In between ferries Dan was standing in as he does but with Sea Eagle season on the horizon it was looking like a difficult time to fit us in.

The Joys of Shepherding

Waiting for the lambs to come and not a lot of forage about is always a stressful time and it is always worth a look around each morning. If you get complacent then you get hit, here we have one of our gimmers stuck in the bog which had a fence round it but the deer flattened it. It was not much of a fence I have to say.

4 Yachts Leaving

Calum was out helping with the house and we thought we had an early season burst with 4 yachts in just after Easter but it went quiet as it normally does.

Surprise Lamb

The Gimmer that was stuck in the bog was rescued, dried, put in a space blanket and given the usual boosters. We put her in the shed overnight and were not hopeful of her surviving but in the morning she was still alive but very weak.

Cheeky Wee Thing

Day two she was on her feet and later that day she had her first lamb, a tiny we ewe lamb. Both doing well.

Portree Trips

Last year and this Spring we have been over to Portree a lot, the weather has been kind and we have had all sorts on board. Looking forward to the end of the house build and treating the boat to new engines.

Another Load From Portree

We have handled the building material so many times, I know it all personally.

Calm Spring

But it will all be worth it in the end, we are getting there and looking forward to moving in before the start of winter.

Back to the Spring and the lambs came thick and fast.


Always good to see the lambs coming on and being ‘Blackies’ they are pretty tough.

Storm Clouds

Although we have had a pretty good Spring we did have odd stormy days but compared to past years this years weather has been very good.

After the storm and flat calm days, good to see the sun this year.

Great Spring Weather

We’ve been lucky with the sailings too and as the month progressed the cottages were busy and Dan was kept going.

Office Day

With all the work that is going on it was good to take a seat in the garden and make calls, sort out the logistics of getting building material and finishings here. Oh, reading the paper and having the tea!!

MV Spindrift Passing Through

I treated myself to a new long lens and took a run down the South end one Sunday, here was our old ferry boat, MV Spindrift, passing through the ‘Blind Sound’.

Portree Days

Unloading Rona Style.

Back to reality,  Monday morning over to Portree to pick up the Heating and ventilation system.

Unloading Rona Style

When the tide is turning at low water it is either a wait for 4/6 hours to unload or get wet feet.

A Challenging Load

But we have a system, climbing over the front bucket. After many loads like this it usually works out. Plenty more to come.

And that was April!!

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We’re Back!!!!

Been a long time, I cannot believe it is almost 6 months since our last post. Where did it go!!!!!! Building a house I guess. Anyway here’s the news:

Almost There

Now what I’ve got to do is work out where all the photos are for the last six months. It has been busy for sure and we are almost there. lots have been happening and more, hopefully tomorrow.

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A New Year

Sooooo long since I had a bit of time to post something, but pre-Christmas was manic here, then the dreaded cold that is doing the roundscame, then a bit of time off and now back to the grind. There has been tons to report on as usual, nothing changes it is always a full programme here!!

Let’s start with the new Christmas present to myself, the Trail camera. First day out and a Golden Eagle came to lunch.





Then there was Julie getting her ‘bugs’ removed by the birdies.

Julie and her pal

The seal pups are getting very brave this year, so many and right up beside the sheds on the shore.


Leave me alone.

Ian the joiner left for the holidays and the weather got better, a few dry sunny days typical when we closed down for the season.

Closing Down.

More on the New House Page .

The weather up until last week has been pretty good, the snow came but did not bother us too much. We had two days of white but nothing to write home about. Mostly dry which was very pleasant after the monsoon last year.

Last Months Views From Rona

Some amazing sunrises too and an odd sunset. We were out stalking early in the morning and so were the Navy.

Sub in The Inner Sound

Sub in The Inner Sound 2

Even managed a trip to Portree to get the stores and insulation, Dan was taking building material out for us and I took advantage of the calm cold day to take the extras, it was a cracking day.

Portree Sunrise

Loaded and Off

The Operation going Well

Ready for the final push.

Christmas week came upon us all to soon, not a Christmas card sent but hey ho, we’ll get round to it sometime.

Our Christmas, New Year Guests enjoying the peace.

Our guests even managed a winter paddle accompanied by the hundred and fifty seals in the bay.

Festive Paddle

Some days have been better than any we had since the 31st of July last year.

This was our Boxing Day walk

The New House the long view

A very cold day but clear for miles.

New Years Day Walk

By New Year everything was snowy which was very seasonal, lovely view even with the snow showers.

Firewood Retrieve

I had cut some timber over in the forest before Christmas and our stocks were very low so plenty jobs to do even during this time.

Catching the Tide

Job Half Finished

The sunrises over the last month have been pretty spectacular but catching them is always a rush, this one from the back door.

Winter Sunrise

Our guests reported this Porpoise or is it a Dolphin? washed up at Dry Harbour. It was pretty high so I did not hang about, the tide took it away the next day.

Washed Up at Dry Harbour

And next day our guests were off with boxes of venison after two weeks of perfect peace, food and drink, the beard now white!!

Heading Home

The Rest of The Insulation Arrives

I had a weeks stalking planned but the build and maintenance still goes on. Calum came out to help with the windmill service (long overdue), it was forecast flat calm for two days. We got our deer away on the boat and the remaining insulation, plus stores came over.

Broken Bolts

Calum and Irene were two minutes on the job when they  found two sheared bolts and loose anchor bolts. We were very lucky to have been able to catch that and repair it , given to-days storm(Georgina).

Creative Dismantling/rebuild

We did a bit of creative engineering and re-erected the turbine which is now working well.

We are on the Case and up she goes.

Both turbines have done an enormous amount of generation over the years and we cannot be too complacent with the maintenance schedule but it is luck, things can change very quickly with such a powerful machine.

In between ‘The Hind Stalking’ we had a few hours over in the forest cutting more firewood and many hands make light work, we now have quite a pile to take home. It was good to catch up on odd jobs together and Dave our stalker went off on his own walkabout on a deer count.

Calum and Irene left with Dave  a week ago last Saturday, since then the weather has been challenging, snow, rain and of course wind.

Hungry Ewes.

At this time of year the sheep are at the door by first light they are pretty fat but still hungry. Feeding hens and sheep gets me out in the morning even although the weather can be a bit daunting. But it is the time of year for inside work with short days and also good weather for butchering and with the recent hind cull the freezer is filling up.

Stocking Up.

That is the update so far in 2018. To-day’s (Wednesday 24th) storm Georgina was a beauty and the next blog will report on that.






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Stormy Days

This is the first day indoors since our holiday which seems so long ago. Been busy helping Ian the joiner (He’s outside to-day!!). We have had a bit of a rush trying to get to the stage where the roof was fixed down and we finished that just in time for storm Caroline tomorrow, although it could be a storm here yesterday and to-day by mainland standards.

Working Late Into The Night.

We came back from Padstow on the 9th of November, via Shieldaig.

High Seas

We were in Edinburgh Thursday expecting to go back Saturday but as often happens at this time the weather changed. I opened the laptop at 8.30am and there it was, Northerlies for a week. So we upped sticks and headed off prompt to Shieldaig.

Looking Back To Red Point

There was no time to get to Portree before dark so Shieldaig was our easiest option, as it happened we just made it in time to get the daylight out to Rona. It was good to get home but a bit fraught. Thanks to Kenny for dropping everything and taking us back at such short notice.

Portree Visit

We were not long home when we had to go to Portree but it was good to get the mail and get the car to the pier.

Two Weeks Mail

With two weeks mail and papers it was good to pick that up and to see Doctors/bank etc. So much to pack into such a short visit with the clock ticking before dark.

A Flying Visit

It was quite a sea running from the North so it was no surprise to see SD Raasay coming in from this side of the gap, for a quick visit. I had a quick shouting match with Kenny the Skipper but we could not hear each other what with the boat engines and North wind, but good to see them all the same.


Easy seen it was rough seas, the bay was full of seals on our return, we counted 165 and 25 of these were pups, all lying together and only 20metres from the bunkhouse. This time of year when the bay is quiet the seals pile on into the harbour for shelter.

Work Goes On.

Ian the Joiner was held up from returning to Rona what with weather and other commitments, so I got on with moving the building material. Any calm (dry)  day it is very important not to hang about.

Our Own Personal Builders Merchants.

It may have been a good day but the ground below our feet and machines is so soft, often getting stuck. In the summer we were forced to dump tonnes of stone at each gate to help which was just as well given the rain since.

Shifting The Cladding

It is the time of year for feeding the sheep and of course Julie turns up chasing the sheep away so we have to feed her apart to give the sheep a chance, but now the hens are giving Julie a hard time stealing ‘her’ feed.

Julie Back Yet Again

She came here in 2003 and was one and a half years old then, she is looking thin but seems to thrive, she has had another calf this summer and it is in good condition.

Corn on Rona

I was feeding Julie and opened the ‘herb garden’ lid to let the water run off and it seems that corn was growing quite well with the herbs (and weeds), it must have been hen feed scattered that by chance grew. What chance of it being harvestable in any quantity is debatable, especially this year. But interesting to see.

Snow Arrives

With the North wind it was just a matter of time before the snow would be on the hills, seems to be a bit of a Northerly trend this winter so I would not be surprised if we have serious snow, been a while since any lay for any time on Rona.

At this time we do get away weather permitting and it seems to be a time when weddings, holidays and all sorts of appointments take place. We were not back two weeks and we had been invited to Gemma and James’ wedding in Sleat, Our friends Kenny and Linda from Shieldaig’s daughter. The weather was difficult and Lorraine was sick on the day of departure so stayed on Rona. I had to attend alone (no hardship) and enjoyed a lovely couple of days. The day was grey to start and the view here from the church at Duisdale was pretty dark.

Wedding Day

The ceremony went very well and we were off to Talla Duisdale for a wonderful reception. What a great hall that they have built there, I hope it gets used plenty and the catering was excellent.

The Reception


Kinloch Morning

Although a beautiful calm morning at Kinloch Lodge Hotel, I wasn’t feeling too good but headed back to Rona before the Northerly. A very comfortable stay as usual.

The Velux Windows Arrive

When I was at the wedding the Velux windows arrived, they were a challenge getting them onto the boat, far less up onto the roof, but we have not been beaten yet.

With a Little JCB help.

With the platform on the JCB we got both windows up and even the heavy one went in a treat after having been stuck with the wee one, we learn quickly here.

Fitted at last. Now for the corrugated tin.

The only problem was that they do not sell the flashings with the window and of course we could not fit the aluminium roofing until we had those. The weather was crap and our ferry operators were away, Dan was broken down, so nothing for it but to take off for Portree on the only calm window of the week once they arrived at Skye Express.

Mixed Load

Picked up our new gas cooker, other bits and pieces as well and shot back before the Northerly got going again, good to get that out of the way and next day we were in business, fitting the windows.

The Final Leg

The gas cooker is for the Escape house but unfortunately it would not fit the jeep. I hit a bump and the back window shattered, our poor jeep has suffered some amount of abuse.

Broke the Window

I think in protest the door decided to fall of the jeep on my return to the garage.

The Door Parked Up.

Meanwhile the roof was going well and we were on course to finish it before the storm season really got underway.

Fitted and Dry at Last

Finally with storms fast approaching it was batten down the hatches, unfortunately the suppliers sent the wrong ridge/flashing straps so we could not fit them. We battened everything down in anticipation of the first real winter storm. Fingers crossed!!!!!!

Working under lights.

We worked late into the night and after a blowy day next day everything is as secure as you could make it.

Awaiting the Storm.

Forget Storm Caroline, I’ve just been out (4pm Wednesday and it is pitch dark) , lost my hat, the wind is howling, from the South. Let’s hope it veers West very soon.

On a more sombre note.

It is always a thought when we hear on the VHF or see the Portree lifeboat heading out, and so it was a week last Monday when we were on our way back to Rona from Portree that we heard that a boat was in trouble. Then we heard the news that it was ‘Veruna’ and that Alasdair MacLeod her owner was missing. It is a horrible thing to hear and even more distressing when you know the person and their family.

Since then there is little or no hope and the search was called off. Our thoughts are very much with Alison and the boys at this time.

Alasdair was on Rona many times, more so lately with the maintenance of the Applnet mast. He was also kind enough to take ‘Castaway Claire’ to Rona in 2015 for her charity stay. We always looked forward to his visits where we had an always too brief a chance to chew the fat about living remotely, the challenges of making a living, trying very hard to get Communities to work together and of course land ownership. Sadly we will not have that long discussion we always talked about.

Alasdair on Veruna Delivering Claire



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Holidays at Last.

Early Morning Call

We are a long way away from new house builds and highland weather, we are down in Padstow, Cornwall enjoying sunshine and warm days. A lucky week weatherwise and we could call it our summer because we did not have one from the 31st of July on Rona, that is for sure. Not even the seagulls trying to get in through the roof lights at 6.30am are enough to wake us up, only after an hour or so they get a bit annoying.

Again, it has been a while since I blogged, lots on for sure and trying to grab a minute (or hour) to blog was proving impossible, so there is a lot to catch up on and for that reason I’ll try to cram into these blog posts over the coming few days. Rain tomorrow I hear so maybe another tomorrow.

I did a quick one in between but there was no time……….just a brief update.

So, what has been happening.

Wet Days

I see by the date that this is the 7th of September, just about sums up the problems we had. There was so much rain that the field has turned into a bog, maybe I was expecting too much to be able to lift the pecker out of the field.

Finding Stones

Whilst putting in the drain Hugh had come across this beauty, just right in line with the pipes and in the middle of a bog, now it is on show after being buried forever.


At the back of the Utility Room the water had been pouring in so an extra drain was put together and it so far has been really good taking the ‘river’ away.

12 bags left.

When we had 10 tonnes of cement delivered in June? we were wondering if we had ordered too much or miscalculated but as it happened we were right down to the wire with our measure, hard to believe but there it is.I’ve lost count of the landing crafts by this time.

Landing craft No’ 5

Maybe no 5, but a very important one.

More scaffold, more fuel, more timber and most importantly the windows. Now this was a very stressful moment, getting the windows from Scandinavia, via Glasgow, to Mallaig, then onto Rona. Up to the site unloaded and then into the building.

Maybe Not as Nor Dan Would have done it.

Drainage on the Wettest Day

Back to the day job and we had to put in the new drains, of course it poured all day, what fun in the black treacly peat!!!

Mud Glorious Mud

Despite the rain the yachts still arrived and this one in the middle of a changeover at sea with MV Aspire. Kevin had a rope round his prop’ and we went out to assist but it did not stop Aspire running and with no diving gear it was back to Portree to check it out.

Brave Souls

Next day, despite the blue sky it rained again later. But what was worrying was the amount of water pouring out of the stack of wood when I lifted it.

Well Watered Timber

Our new arrivals were from London, enjoying a very wet week of weather but since reported that they had a good sail round the back of Skye to the small Isles. Well done them, in a particularly poor sailing season.

Happy Sailors (they had our last can of beer!!)

We had taken delivery of an extension boom for the digger to lift the main ridge beams, our calculations of weights and lengths were just about to be tested. So a bit apprehensively we gingerly tried the beam.

Lifting the Beam Bare

That went ok and we now had to pack the beam out out adding quite a considerable weight to the lift but we were confident. The boom was a one off design by MacKay’s of Invergordon and it is possible it will only be used once, quite an added expense but better than the cost of a crane/landing craft set up.

Thinking About Roofing the building

Quite a major time as we moved from the sub structure to the topside.

We had a wee bit of a hiccup with the middle upright, much scratching of heads and we gave up. Later that night I had a look at the plans and there it was. The middle upright was upside down. Doh!!! Easy mistake as there were no codes on it unlike all the rest of the steel, but now it was ready for the final tightening down.

Going Well

All of a sudden the building started to take shape and although we had or have had rain every day since the 31st of July there were some bright moments.

Talking About Bright Moments

The view from the ridge beam was on this occasion dry and bright, with the Green Isle in the Bay and a lone yacht.

Back to the drainage

A wee spell of dry weather and it was back to the mud and drainage.

Back Filling

Good to get it back filled and the pipes protected.

Even Landscaped

Although a wet summer we had not had the wind that we usually get, in fact it has been pretty calm until October.

Well Insulated

Meaning quite a few trips to Portree in the MV Rona.

Unorthodox Unloading

But on the way back I just missed the tide so we had to be a bit inventive unloading the boat.


Meanwhile Ian was getting on with the framing and it was coming along fine.

Rona Sunrises

Getting into late September is a special time, the sunrises are getting later and you often wake to bright red skies, this particular week we had red mornings every day despite the rain.

Always Worth Getting Up For.

The Main Route to Schiphol I’m Told

Another Glorious Morning

Part of it at this time is the Rut is just around the corner and I like to get up to see how many big stags we have.

Torn Ear

Our Master stag ‘Torn Ear’ was never far away at the start of the rut but he was posted missing on the last two weeks, hopefully he will turn up.

One of his Mates

Torn Ear Look Alike

More about the stalking week on our Red Deer Page (Coming Soon)  .

Coming Home

With calm weather, it was good to get caught up with material from Portree, unfortunately since then we have a backlog but fingers crossed for a few days in November so that we can shift some stuff.

MV Seaflower on a Rare Visit

We have hardly seen the Seaflower this year due to weather mainly and even then I was away in Portree most days they came but good to catch them even briefly.

Heart Stopping Moments 1

As the structure was slowly threatening to close we needed to get the windows inside so that we could handle them (and get them sheltered!!). They were pretty heavy and one false move!!!!

Heart Stopping Moments 2

Like this one when the bottom fell out of the IBC, a new one on me. It had rusted away. Fortunately we lost none of the content.

All present and in store, but not in place, Yet!

That is a very brief take on this last couple of months up’s and downs. Been good to get to the stage we are at and on our return it is the roof and wall cladding. Back to holiday time now.

Forgot To mention….

Just looking at the pictures and saw this one. This motor boat came in we think for a couple of days but got well and truly storm bound, they could have left on one day if it was Portree or Gairloch they were going but I think it was round the back of Skye they planned. So, seven days later on a late calm sunset night we saw them depart. Our last ‘Summer’ visitors!!

As for Padstow………Summer’s still here.


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