Strange Times

I see I started this post 19 hours ago!!!! it is so long since I did these posts regularly it seems the interface has changed, not good for me, but we will give it a bash.

Trouble

The idea to-day was feed the sheep and get the Blog up to date. Get it so that I can get back to regular updates on Rona life. I fed the sheep, then checked the generator. Up to the house for the jeep, puncture!!! Up to the garage with it, the jack was holding up the tractor, the spare was flat and my back hurts. So I got that done, wnt to wash the tyre and found the drain a bit ripe in the larder. The drain was blocked. So here I am 4pm or is it really 3pm?

Rust

Rust, tale of my life. Think I am getting rusty myself. The Goldoni tractor is at least 15 years old and it has done sterling work. But being by the sea it suffers and it is now getting to the stage that it is ‘very’ rusty. So it is an ongoing job to keep it going. In this case the brake pipe connectors I had as spare were the wrong thread, so I resurrected the rusty ones and got it going. Tomorrow I’ll check out the rest, they look pretty ripe too.

Back to where I was:

Early Morning Sun

Here we are on the 1st of March.

These are strange times for sure. Getting ready for a season that may or may not happen. Everything is in place, the cottages are ready, the place is spic and span, boats ready, everything serviced, painted, up to date, then nothing.

We await directions and instructions from our glorious leader Nicola, I guess we will just have to wait until the election is underway then all will be clear.

Since I started we now know that we are open for business 1st of May.

Back to what is happening. No Eagles or whale pictures on this blog to-day , although the Sea Eagle plus another has been bothering the herons over in the forest all of this week. No pics’ yet. Just our deer.

The job this week was ‘The Annual Deer Count’.

Lying Low, out of the Wind
Not For Long

Weather was grim and the count was not going so well but I tried, got to just over 100 deer and called it a day (not counted on the same day!!!)

Raven Visiting the ‘Bones’.

On the way home I stopped by the Trail Camera to pick up the card, many Eagle photos again but also this Raven, we have a few here and I’m afraid they are always floating about at lambing times. They have the most powerful beaks and can cut open a lamb as if they were using scissors, not good. Back to Base and weekends have been most enjoyable just now being able to get out for a walk.

Part of an Old Boat

Over in the forest, still looking for deer but the rain came on so I went down through the forest and met up with Lorraine. We did a bit of beach combing and came up with this old piece of timber, wonder how long it has been in the sea?

Lots of Firewood

A bit of prospecting for firewood, getting it out is the problem.

Dry Harbour Thinning

No problem getting it out of the roadside though. I finished off the firewood myself and Mike were cutting in February and hopefully this next month (April) we can get a mega store in.

Calm Days

Calm days, the boat ready, best put it in the water. (It has been swinging on the mooring more or less since).

Mink Trapping

Back to the day job and sadly the Mink still are present, despite trapping well into double figures this winter, I had two in one trap earlier this month. You hardly see them but they are about. Unfortunately quite a few tracks were visible in the recent snow.

Servicing

We have a wonderful Excel sheet now with all the maintenance and one of the last jobs this winter was to service the lifejackets, they all blew up and canisters checked, hopefully we do not have to use them.

Astra Zeneca Day

A fortnight ago I got the call for the vaccine, the Dentist was on the cards as a tooth had been bothering me and it was just before I put the boat in the water so a day trip to Portree. It was a fuel day and it gave me a chance to load up the Seaflower.

Another Service Day

Weather has been iffy this month, good to start but certainly going out like a lion. But when the weather is poor the garage is the best place, the ATV was overdue a service and it was a very rainy day.

Mulch Mats

Mike who was over helping us put out the home made Mulch Mats and I finished them off, a wee bit fertiliser and the trees should not disappear under the bracken and grass, but at least we can find them.

I’m going to call it a day here, food calls but will carry on tomorrow (I hope).

Posted in The Views and of course the weather | 1 Comment

Golden Eagle

I’ve been struggling to get a post together these last few weeks, Toothache!!!! I guess there are few things that bother me on Rona but Toothache is the one I really hate. I’ve been lucky to have got away with few (regular) Dental trips but lately the luck is running out. First it was an eye tooth now a molar, all in the last 6 months.

So that is my excuse and not even being in the mood to carry the camera  lately so not much in the way of recording going on, but hopefully now the latest episode of tooth decay is over for a while.

Tomorrow is Deer Count day and I’ll have the camera for sure unless I waken to pouring rain, the forecast is hopeful. The pictures below are from the Trail Camera. Some would just shoot a deer and leave it for a photo opportunity but for sure I would never condone that practice. (More later).

So what we have here is one of our resident Eagles, the Golden Eagles get displaced by Sea Eagles of that there is no doubt, even killed by them I hear. So we are pleased to capture it on camera still knocking about.

The trail camera dates are all wrong as it went on the blink last year but it still managed to take photos. However, I Googled troubleshooting, carried out the instructions for once in my life and got it working again. So the dates are now correct (I hope).

Golden Eagle

We cull 25 deer per year to keep the herd in check, we may vary cull figures. We butcher everything on Rona and sell the venison locally. The yachts and visitors buy the rest and it is very popular. The bones you see are from the last three we butchered in the middle of February.

MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

Rather than dump them in one place, bury them or cart them to the dump we leave the remains out for the Eagles and other scavengers, the mink turn up so it is a good indicator of what is going on. We place the remains well away from water supplies and generally out of sight. The occasional dog ranging finds them but then it should not be off a lead!!

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The Eagles will survive very well on what it can kill or scavenge but it all helps at this stage. I am sure 25 grallochs per year help to sustain them to. There is talk by so called Conservation bodies of  ‘Diversionary ‘ feeding. Having read a recent report there is a thought to shoot deer and leave them on the hills to attract predators away from the red listed species. ( Capercaillies, Curlews, and all other waders to name a few).  I have not got the time to tear this crazy idea to pieces suffice to say it is a sad reflection on so called Conservationists where they are prepared to leave perfectly good food for human consumption lying where it was shot. With poverty in the UK at an  all time high level it is unbelievable that this should  be considered at all.

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So it is pleasing every so often to capture a keeper. Trail cameras are very popular nowadays and Gamekeepers they are a huge help in informing them of the movements of the wild animals out there. Also for research and just simply for the pleasure and excitement of ‘capturing’ something.

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Over the last 18/19 years we have recorded many species, some quite rare and we keep an eye out at all times. Although folk tend to get excited about the Apex predators, for me it would just as easily excite me if I see the Snow Buntings which visit us when hard weather is on the higher ground, they are really lovely and pretty tame.

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The Long Tail Tits always make you smile as do the Great Northern Divers that rock up quite regularly even feeding just off the pontoon in the past.

MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

The Skuas, Crows, Ravens, Hoodies and the rest of the Raptors all need to eat so our wee birdies suffer quite a bit, I read lately that 80% of birds that fledge this year will perish either by natural means or predators. That is quite a statistic.

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I’m certainly not an expert on birds but love to see them and have a bit of knowledge just from observing them all of my life. I was asked the other day about Stalking and what is it all about. So I explain the general principal but also mentioned that when you are out there on your own and the Eagle flies past, or the Peregrine takes a bird  just in front of you, the Merlin goes whizzing by or the wren comes right beside you when you are waiting, watching the deer. It stays for a while with no fear or the Black Back gull starts squawking and clearing the hill of deer. That is not all of it but it certainly is a big part of it.

Posted in The Views and of course the weather, Wildlife | 1 Comment

Killer Whale – Rona 2020

Sorting out photographs to-day, I came across these pictures of the day I was lucky enough to get the call from one of our guests to say he suspected that there was a Killer Whale out in the Sound of Raasay.

I was on my way back from working on the Fladda Ladder when the call came through. Rob Calderwood and his two companions who were staying in the Escape cottage had been walking way off the track up North West and spotted something quite unusual and large coming out of the water.

I was in dire need of a shower so thinking it was possibly a bit of fish farm plastic pipe I took my time and then after much deliberation, I was knackered, I decided maybe I should go and have a look.On heading North I was getting calls from Rob to say it was definitely a Killer Whale, but I could not find it.

Then way further than I was expecting a huge fin was sticking out of the water moving fast.

Mindful of the code for approaching Marine Mammals I shut down the engines and headed over to where I saw him diving only for him to come up not far from the boat.

As I fiddled with the camera then the phone camera the whale was oblivious and just kept doing its thing. Every time it dived it came up hundreds of metres away.

So to anticipate that I moved 500 metres away on its next dive. It came up again quite close then proceeded to lie on his side for some time flapping its fin and tail, I was thinking then it might be getting a bit browned off with my boat although I was never too close.

So it took another dive and disappeared for some time, in fact I thought it completely disappeared. It headed off and ran towards the Skye so I thought I would make a move and headed in the same direction.

Sitting on a relatively calm sea with nothing else about I was up the bow higher scanning all around when the whale came up right beside the boat.

He gave me a taste of his breath and proceeded to eye me up.

An incredible moment made me realise that he was completely in control here and the boat, me nor the engines were not bothering him.

He went under yet again and I was happy to sit there for another half hour as he went around the boat a couple of hundred metres off, diving, swimming about and generally minding his own business.

This is the fourth sighting of killer whales around Rona for me in 19 years.

The first was on the Skye shore when a commotion near the shore at the Storr outfall turned out to be a Killer whale (Or whales) chasing seals.

The second out stalking with my old pal George, we were spying hinds on the edge of the South West corner when a Killer Whale popped up in our vision, quite a surprise to see the whale with the binoculars whilst looking at some hinds, a first for sure.

The third on one November when I saw a whale blowing at the mouth of the harbour on a pretty breezy day. John Paul was with me and we shot out on the boat to see what it was, there were two Killer Whales one male one female. They were swimming fast and we thought we would try to catch them. We got up to 16 knots and couldn’t even touch them. They went round the corner of Eilean Tighe and down the Sound of Raasay just like that.

One thing we did notice, the seals of which there are many around Rona, disappeared when this whale was about, where to we do not know!!!

Many thanks to Rob for his calls and guiding into where the whale was.

They spent 8 hours that day watching the Killer Whale andI think three Minke whales swimming around. Next day on the Friday they sat up North for quite some time again but just the Minke Whales on that day, for them a memorable experience.

A great day and a great memory.

 

 

Posted in Daily Doings, Wildlife | 1 Comment

A Selection of Photos This Week from Rona.

Here we have one of the coldest weeks for years, everything frozen, stock feeding heavy on the sheep food. Deer hungry, (that is another story) but stunning days with wall to wall sunshine for 7 days, to-day cold and cloudy but even then the clouds were unusual to say the least. Heather was getting burned on Raasay, Gairloch and not a lot of boats about or planes passing over, just very noisy wind.

Posted in Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather | 5 Comments

Snowy Days

Just a quick post to-day before breakfast. I’m trying my best to take time off at the weekend at least. Yesterday morning after a good fall of snow there was much excitement. Not from me but from Lorraine, my thoughts immediately go to the sheep and deer, it is tough with the rain and wind here but when the temperature drops and the snow comes there is added danger. But the sheep certainly turned up as usual (early) so the snow was not deep enough to cause any problems. But all the same it is lovely to see the snow on Rona, we do not see much of it here at sea level. I always like to head out over the Island at this time, there are often many tracks in the snow, showing just what is on the ground.

Hungry Sheep

Once I fed the sheep it was time to head off on a walk to the Base. I was not disappointed to come on Otter tracks up at the top gate, a favourite crossing place. But then very disappointed to see Mink tracks heading along the road.

Heading North

I wanted to see some if there were many deer about too and to touch base with the guys at the Base. Masks, gloves and hand sanitizer even on Rona was the form.

North of Storr

Enjoy the photos.

Magical in The Forest

Rona Light

Loch Braighe

Looking South

The Old Man of Storr

Posted in The Views and of course the weather | 5 Comments

Weirdly Peaceful

It is a strange time, we are normally planning ahead, trying to meet our deadline for guests arriving, dealing with enquiries and getting a little stressed as the days pass all too quickly. This year is completely different. In fact it feels like we are in limbo, it is different from last Lockdown, in fact I would say it is quieter. Even on the sea and in the sky above us,  the birds and animals seem to be locked down, apart from the Hen Sparrowhawk that flew into the window first thing this morning. She lay there for 20 minutes stunned, no camera unfortunately, only when I went to feed the sheep did I came across her and she immediately flew off.

Hinds On a Stormy Day

The deer are looking good despite the poor weather this last week and continual heavy rain. It is cold and snowing to-day in between sunshine but I am sure it will not lie.

The Burns are Full

We missed most of Storm Christoph, but overnight it never stopped raining, it was a surprise to see the sheep there all present and correct first thing.

Sixty Glorious Seasons

Thinking on weather I am reading this book just now, published by retired Factor Richard Sidgwick, it is £25 but worth every penny. The stories are really fascinating and it is a window into a lifetime in the Badenoch area. Not to mention a brief visit made by the author by invitation of a Stalking tenant to India which again is an eye opener. But Finlay MacKintosh’s description of the weather and living conditions at that time in Scotland are a valuable reference.  Anti deer people would benefit from reading it for sure. As it is not available on Amazon or elsewhere just now if anyone is interested I can pass on information for ordering a copy. I do not want to post the email address here.

We read an awful lot just now and because of the ever expanding bookshelf I have been issued with a ‘Kindle’ for Christmas (it is not the same). But I have re-read three John Le Carre books so far since Christmas. I can say I think I read faster on the Kindle?

The Odd Sunny Day

The thing about this time of year out here is that you have long periods of Grey, then we get a half day or even a few days of glorious sunshine and the grey days disappear. This half  day was exceptionally clear and cool last week, the poor days become a distant memory.

Back to the Storm

But all too soon we are back to normal, Storm Christoph certainly missed us but the Northerly wind was quite fierce. I think the new fishfarm directly across from Dry Harbour had a hard time with a huge swell testing the anchors, not to mention the one at Portree which has lost a lot of fish due to Seal predation and the nets getting burst by them.

Expensive Repair

Repairs carry on here too, the JCB is going to be a horrible repair as it is right under the cab and trying to determine the length of the pipes to replace the solid (rusted) steel ones is proving difficult, as well as the cost!!!!!!! with 8 to replace. First of all I have to power wash it and have not had a suitable day to do so.

Battery Connections

Repairs are a daily occurrence, with the amount of machinery and kit here no wonder, I lent across the batteries in the Lodge generator shed to check the water level and this lead came away in my hand. Panic. I had no idea what that would mean but the power stayed on so I could at least see. A quick call confirmed I had two strings of batteries not just one  but I had to hurry up and replace it. I had to hand a longer lead so that did the job. Another lesson in electrics (my least favourite job).

Late Working

Our winter project continues but now with no pressure. The February guests, we had a full house for two weeks, cancelled so no worries. However the work still has to be done and most nights when at Dry Harbour  we work till dark or 5pm.

Late Afternoon Dry Harbour

We are turning the two smaller cottages into one, something I have been wanting to do for years.

Trying Out The Lounge

Lorraine is busy shifting seats, settees and pictures from place to place, not my forte I’m afraid.

The Kitchen Taking Shape

I’m more hammer and chisel!!!

Wednesday, MV Seaflower.

Wednesday our ferry arrived, loaded with mail and stores, belated Christmas cards and a couple of presents which were lovely to get.

My Kind of Christmas Present

Ewen our ferryman dropped of some langoustines for Christmas, very welcome when we cannot get out ourselves to fish. I cooked the lot yesterday and froze them down. Apart from a bowl of them for tea last night, yum.

A Good Boiling

I had made an outdoor kitchen (it has been called a mud kitchen?), I had hardly used it so it was pressed into service and worked very well. Especially the quality control to see if each batch was cooked, that meant eating at least one per batch. Which was probably not a good idea given I had my first Gout attack last weekend. The list of foods to avoid are everything I eat, not so good.

This Morning.

Finally to-day it is a paperwork, computer day. It is snowing outside now and lying. Tomorrow I’m heading North so hopefully the weather will be kind, I am looking forward to the walk and trying out my toes.

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Snowy Start To The Year

Just after New year the first signs of snow coming arrived, colder, East wind turning North. So we woke up on the 8th of January to just a few centimetres of snow but enough to be exciting, we do not get many snowy days on Rona, being as we are not much above sea level.

Hungry Sheep

Tough on the sheep but it would not last long so the plan then was to feed them, check them over and head out to see Rona under snow and for me to try to spot some deer, just checking on the numbers.

Clouds Over The Holiday Cottages

Over to the cottages on the start of my early morning outing, not a lot of marks/tracks on the road which told me the snow had not been there that long. There was a mark of an otter at the top gate. I guess I could have followed it but it was good to see the tracks and I suppose it was having its morning wash in fresh water. I left it alone.

Posties Path to the North

I headed up North into the wind, left the bike and headed up to the highest point. The view was fantastic but the disappointing thing was that the deer were nowhere to be seen, my count still in single figures with only a couple of stags disturbed whilst driving.

Looking Out to Torridon From the North of Rona

More marks up top in the heather though of disturbed deer that must have heard me or were just on the move.

Looking West to Skye

Over on the West side I did see one solitary hind standing very still in a birch clump, trying to hide but easy to see which told me where all the deer were, deep in the forest.

Excellent Book

Talking about forests, here is a book I read over New Year. A fascinating account of life on a highland Estate by retired Head Stalker, Duncan MacLennan on the Glen Afaric Deer Forest. What a wonderful history of observation and folklore recorded in this book. It is a good read and valuable reference to the way it was in his time. The most interesting chapter was the last where he gives his interpretation on the decline of many of our species which is applicable all over Scotland and why (I totally agree). The book is in short supply but I got two for gifts from Cannich Stores and hear that Morrison’s of Beauly have some.

Sunny Sunset

Back to the day, it was a cold trip out on the bike, my deer count was very low. I saw more from the car on one trip on my way to Dry Harbour this week

Work In Progress

It was nice to see the snow but good to see it go and despite the condensation in the shed dripping on everything I had to get back there to continue with the resurrection of the old Lister TS2. The alternator on this generator burnt out (rusted) three years ago. We replaced it with the idea to rebuild it as a spare. Now that the new TS2 we installed at Big Harbour has developed a serious oil leak it was time to replace the alternator and get it ready for the day we repair the oil leak. A good job for winter days.

Just What I Do Not Need

Not such a good job is the continuing deterioration of the steel hydraulic pipes on the JCB. I saw a drip and on investigation found it was the most inaccessible set of pipes that had rusted to the point of leakage.

Horrible

Not a good discovery, having replaced one set before with rubber pipes, it looks to me like a complete set of rubber replacements are necessary. Joy, I guess there will be a few cold hours lying underneath the JCB  shortly!!!!

 

Posted in Books, Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather, Wildlife | 1 Comment

Another Glorious Day in Splendid Isolation

Well, here we go again. Another lockdown, another month of no visitors, plans on hold, cottage visitors and Mark our ‘Winter’ stalker stood down. When will it end. For us, no problem but for others we feel for them. I would go mad stuck in a city during these times and we are very aware how lucky we are not to be plagued by masks, gel, two metres and social distancing (until someone arrives).

MV Seaflower First Trip of 2021

To-day we had the last of the Christmas mail delivery, masks on gloves on as we prepared for Ewen and Janice to arrive. But it was a really cold dawn that greeted me when I woke up this morning.

A Cold Sky

It was a promise of a good day though despite the cold. We lost one of our Gimmers yesterday in the severe cold night, which is always a downer, the biggest one in the 11 of course. But onwards as they say. I fed the sheep this morning and the daughter of the famous ‘Julie’ did not disappoint. All Gimmers accounted for.

Okay What’s in Here?

Julie’s Daughter for sure

Julie was our semi tame hind, now deceased and it is obvious that she had taught her daughter very well on where to find the sheep nuts.

Mexican Standoff

There was a bit of a stand off for a while but the sheep lost interest and Julie 2 went back to cleaning up.

Torridon Crisp This Morning

Going over to Dry Harbour with fuel to-day I never get tired of the views that unfold.

Looking out To Harris

Round the next corner and we could see the Clisham, on Harris clear as a bell.

From Behind the Escape Cottage

Finally to Escape to deliver 400 litres of Kerosene and the view of the Trotternish Ridge was crisp too, stunning.

Another Load of Rona Venison for Skye

Just on lunchtime MV Seaflower arrived, lots to unload, a new cooker for Skyescape (now knocked into one cottage ‘The Mission House’), Sheep feed, Mail, lots of it and shopping.The afternoon warmed up in the very hot sun, lots of Vitamin D for sure and then it was time for Seaflower to leave and the sun to go down.

Another Gorgeous Night.

It looks like it will be a different story tomorrow but it was really great to get a spell of good weather at last, makes up for the months of grey.

Posted in Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather, Wildlife, Yachties | 2 Comments

The New Year and Happier Days Ahead.

Hogmany, Too Cold for the Kilt

Happy New Year to all from Rona, on Hogmany it was Baltic so the kilt was left in the cupboard.

On Leaving The House

Been good clear nights here, very cold though with the full moon, the high pressure and the East wind.

Looking West

Looking West it looked grim on Skye during one of our walks but looking East, not so bad.

The Torridon Range.

Been a tough lead up to Christmas. The weather was poor to say the least, very wet and grey. The sheep were not liking it. Lots on and by the time Christmas came we were knackered. Bordering on exhausted. So we looked forward to this time very much.

Looking South From the Mast

So for the last fortnight we have been taking it a lot easier, trying to get in a walk every day.

Low Sun at Doire na Guile

Rona is not a big place but you can go the same walk time and time again and it is always refreshing, with new tings to see everytime. Sadly the deterioration of the ruins but we cannot re-build them all.

Shadows

This week up until to-day we have not had a lot of rain, a touch of snow one day and rain through the night but for a change a good bit of sun, bring on the vitamin D.

Sadly our guests Lisa and Linzi could not come due to Covid for New Years week, what a bummer in such a good week but the weather for the ferry was dodgy on the Sunday, they may have had problems getting here that day anyway but Covid finished it.

Missing The Weather

We took a walk up to the mast yesterday to check it over for ‘Applenet’, all good, nothing much to it to be honest but, there will be rusting stays to replace one of these days. No hurricanes lately although we did find a blade from the time that one wrecked the wee Rutland? windmill. embedded into the ground.

South again

One side of Rona was snowing (yesterday) the other glorious sunshine.

Blue Day

But to-day it was wall to wall sunshine, such a lift and we will take that anytime, cold though, very cold.

Hinds guarding the JCB

This morning the hinds that come down overnight to eat the sheep’s grass were in no hurry to return to the hills around Big Harbour.

South of Rona, An Tempuill

It has been good walking this last week or so but to-day was quite special. Down South we sat for a while and just took it in.

Steaming North West

I was surprised to see a yacht out in the Inner Sound, looking at the AIS the yacht had traveled from Duntulm? A bit early for the season but a lovely day for a sail.

Fish Farm Cargo Maybe

The fishing and cargo boats are starting to move, wonder what the year will bring for them.

A lovely end to the day.

All in all a good Festive Season for us, quiet just the way we like it. Tomorrow back to work and as usual plenty to do.

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Christmas Rush

Yesterdays post was about the first three weeks in December but in the last week it was as busy as all three put together apart from the boat trips I had to Portree. The weather had been poor, no surprise there at this time but with an odd weather window it was imperative to get over stores, mail and sheep feed before Christmas.

Rona venison Delivery

I mentioned our trip to Portree for shopping, we were also selling too. We tried to get our Rona Venison onto Skye Free Adds/FB page but they would not allow it stating it went against the rules. We searched but could not find any rule to say you could not. But hey ho, we’ll get on with it and thank goodness for Dan’s Chip shop who has sold hundreds of Rona Venison Burgers in his chip shop this year.

Selection of Vacuum Packed Cuts

Here’s a wee selection of what we do, I’ll have more photos up on the Rona Food page soon. All four freezers are full too.

Back to the day job and it was more issues with the power. This time Dry Harbour.

Dead Battery Cells

On checking the Sg readings of every cell on the batteries,  I found two dying cells on the Rolls batteries at Big Harbour, this was part of the problem there. Regular checking of all the cells of the Rolls batteries (three cells per unit) would have shown this but we were only checking the middle cell, Doh! So once I had found that I decided to check the Dry Harbour batteries. Fortunately I had old batteries from BH stored there when the Rolls ones had arrived three years ago and despite sitting there off charge some of them were still good. So after quite a few checks I found three duds and replaced them. Equalised them and now we are running well. With proper checks now all should do well. Fingers crossed.

Stand In Stardust

Ewen was busy at the Fish Farm so I decided I’d go myself to Portree on the Wednesday before Christmas, but the forecast was not looking good on the day.  I was in the middle of butchering two hinds, so, I called Dan in the morning arranged Mike to gather stuff and would he come over.

Urgent Stores

He kindly obliged and unbeknown to me a delivery of wine had arrived at Skye Express, so 44 cases x 6 later we had a Wine lake!! There was much mail and food but the most important thing was the two replacement Rolls batteries.

Rolls Batteries

I was as pleased to see them as I was the wine and they are now fitted, working well.

I Hate Drones

It was kind of Dan to step in but I was not too sure about Campbell’s Drone which arrived too. But after a quick demonstration and a few aerial photos taken  I was impressed with this quiet drone, not like the ‘wasps’ I have seen and heard here. But they are not good for the wildlife having seen birds abandon nests due to Drone disturbance by a certain ‘Yachtie’!!!

Burger Production

Before they had come I had minced up 24 kg of venison, I mixed it and chilled it down so that next day (Christmas Eve) myself and Lorraine would be making 257 burgers, half for Dan’s Chippy, the other for sale. The Lodge kitchen works as a ‘factory’ just now but next years plan is to build onto the larder.

Venison Pet Food

We are particular with our burgers and we have quite a lot of trimmings from the butchering. Rhona Campbell our Vet has kindly promoted our trimmings (minced) for dogs who have  problems with manufactured (especially dry) foods. We have a few customers and keep them going with our Venison Trimmings minced.  Zero waste. In fact I have been asked if it is good enough to eat, yes but no, just leave it with the dogs!!!!

240 Burgers

The burgers are individually frozen then packaged the next day, quite an operation but after 1000 burgers made at least  this year, not a problem. They are here now ready to go off to Dan’s Chippy as soon as the weather allows.

Miserable Christmas Day

So we are up to date, as far as can be, Christmas Day, Wind Down. But on Rona you cannot 100% do that. The sheep need fed and when we woke up on Christmas morning it was foul, it was the first time that the sheep (hoggs) had taken shelter in the shelter. I fed them and was just on my way back to the house when I saw an escapee Ewe. Being Christmas Day I wasted no time catching it then this time back to the house.

Opening Christmas Presents

The mail bags had been pretty full so with great excitement the presents were opened, many lovely things and too much as always. Dinner prepared then a pre-dinner walk was in order. As we walked down to the Lodge I spotted another three sheep out of the fenced area. It never ends. So instead of chasing them as they took off into the forest. We had our walk and thought we would try on the way back. As it happened we found a gate that had blown open up top so that was their escape route. I tied the gate and we walked down the path to find the three Ewes by the bottom gate again. This time they were kind and ran into a corner. I sorted out some gates and quickly got them in. Panic over, now we could enjoy our Turkey. Merry Christmas.

The Escapees on The Run

Posted in Daily Doings, The Views and of course the weather, Yachties | 2 Comments