Ahead of the game with 2017 calendars for sale at the Applecross Inn. A choice of two this year, the second slim line one showing the wide and varied natural life around the peninsula.
Already selling nice and steady. All profits are going to the Applecross Community Company. Appreciate all the sales, and shares and tweets about the Company. Against many odds it is a good news story. We are coming up to our AGM and we need new directors to continue the story. We are operating against a background of fairly big demographic changes and something will have to happen soon regarding the politics of access to land or all the good work of the Company will be for nought. Here is a couple of sample months in the new calendar
showing the seasonal variations we experience.
Thursday and the weekend approaching is for most people the break in the week. Recuperation to get ready for the next onslaught, but it is seasonal here and you take your breaks any day you can. Although working tonight it will be a catch up day until evening at least. The weather has broken with another band of rain coming in and the easterly going to the south already blowing. It had rained hard on Tuesday night so checking the Hydro website was first job yesterday morning. White water coming down the hills but the site only showed a start and stop. Went up to do a manual and get the pressure up once the Campsite opened after nine. A couple of phone calls and a good 24 hours running at maximum, so all’s well. Meant I was a bit later going out but the creels had quite a few small langoustine in them. Knowing there were no half pints of tails at the Inn managed to fill that wee gap in the market.
We do not tails anything smaller than the langoustine that are sold at the Inn, just the smaller of that size. There are a couple of sizes landed below what most creels boats land and then there are what is called beetles, smash etc caught by the trawl……..tells you which method of fishing is the sustainable one.
The beginning of the week began early, five on Monday morning, out to the Varuna to pick up the langoustine for the Inn and a detour to the Loch Ness Inn. You add on plenty of time as the train leaves whether you are there or not. Everything went swimmingly and made it with an hour to spare. Even managed to purchase Donald S Murray’s tales of St Kilda, The Guga Stone, before setting off for Edinburgh. Went early due to price and a more relaxed view to missing days at sea. Beautiful Edinburgh,
and tourists all around. Lazy afternoon catching on the early start. Wifi may be a little faster than Applecross but a lot more expensive. Then meeting up for a couple of Crabbies with the rest of the group at The World’s End, a bar made famous for all the wrong reasons.
Fishing talk all the way, the problems, the frustrations but safe in the knowledge that we are on the right side of the story. Backed up by all the evidence already out in the public domain.
The next day was discussing the future and how we were to go about it. As it is well organised and will be out in the public domain in due course more of this in the future. Great to meet up with a couple of organisations one new to me and one I have followed for years. Left a half hour early as train does not wait and after picking up the van in Inverness the call of home becomes stronger. Some lovely mists on the Lochcarron hillside
and the light last night on the water was as special as ever.
Over heard a visitor talking about how hard it was to buy shellfish on the pier-head now. Entered a discussion about the sustainable fishery that we are involved in and hoping the future she will be able to buy in Applecross, like the lady that took fresh langoustine back to Torridon when we landed yesterday. Busy evening at the Inn but went like clockwork. Although the customer does not know it, you forget a couple is coming down late, but another two leave a table just in time and it appears seemless. We get away with so much that the customer does not know. Changes to be considered now that the new Cabinet has been announced. Richard Lochhead has stepped down we now deal with Fergus Ewing. We always felt that Richard heard our story and wanted to support it but his wife’s health and possibly the farming IT disaster influenced his decision to step down. So the rest of the afternoon spent on the couch with a lazy Dougal and Eilidh.
Not meant to be a political post, just one that tells of what is now a normal weekend in Applecross. Saturday evening was suddenly a little more hard work when the Boss forgot there were only two out front but as usual it was fine. Unless you write immediately one tends to forget the details and it becomes a blur. Stayed till finish and everyone left peacefully including the Alaskans.
Yesterday we were aware of the Soar Alba convoy coming through in the afternoon but as it was busy it completely slipped the mind. Before then the 8 Aberdeen students and the family saying goodbye to one of their own heading back to Australia, 14 of them, the McRorys from Ireland, the list goes on. Result being it was just short of a 12 hour shift….maybe a half hour off. It is genuinely rewarding chatting about sustainable fishing, hitching across the US and even mentioning Trump to the couple from Idaho. U S travellers are usually more open-minded so you can take a chance. Had to make up another half pint of tails for the Californian who forgot to take the photo before eating them. Working at the Inn means not just doing your own job but if you see the Prep Room struggling to keep up with dishes and there is a lull out front you just give them a hand and it is greatly appreciated so all feels good.
The convoy or part of it arrived
as the Inn was in full swing, good-natured, no hassle apart from the fryers going down in the Airstream,
not deliberate said the Boss, and a little chaotic for about an hour.
But if it was not this convoy it would be 20 Harleys, or 12 cyclists, or yet another 25 in another car club. Funny thing seeing the flags flying for your country….no logical reason to smile, but smile I did. Had Aron slightly nervous when I shouted across asking him which way he really voted in the Referendum. And now off to Edinburgh, a 70 page report to read on the train and a couple of days of sustainable fishing chat.