A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

It is Raining again.

Last two days were the opposite way round. Fishing during the day, a lovely quiet,calm one, then the evening off with Jill back home from SA. Today it was a slower day with work kicking off in the late afternoon with a shift at the Inn. All went well yesterday with no surprises and a few prawns and squats for the Inn, nice day and seems forecast is for weather to go down hill for late Saturday evening and having just come home from the Inn the forecast was right. It is raining hard with a strong southerly and gales expected. It is far more interesting when you work the harder, shallower ground. There is far more variety in the creels. We get a few grunard coming up.


Salted the half ton of herring before heading up the road.



After landing the prawns at the Inn I called in to Stephen’s for a little interview connected to Nick’s day filming on the Varuna. Interesting questions and very thought-provoking. He has picked up that I am very content in how I live my life at the moment, something he called background happiness. You always have up and down days but generally it is a very fortunate life. We talked about it being almost achieving Zen moments when out on the water. You find that although you are working hard and “earning a living” that is secondary. The fact of “being ” on the sea is the more important feature. Difficult to articulate but a very enjoyable chat and it is the same that you bring into the Inn. Day finished with a plate of prawn and squat tails in sweet chilli sauce.


There is a lot of speed on the water these days. When I was coming in The Auk passed my by going at about 12 knots but not as fast as the Scandinavian boats that headed down the Sound as part of NATO exercises taking place up and down the coast.



There is quite a big appearance of what is probably blue whiting. Marks of fish show up on the sounder. There are boats fishing to the north of here for the same.


Today the weather held up for me to sort out the cartons from the herring and take Dougal and Co for  a walk around the back of Ardhu. This is turning out to be my favourite view of Ardban.



Called in to Sean’s and chatted about broadband, he and George were over in Portree yesterday sussing out where we are going to get signals across through Arnish and over to here. two lines have been booked and things seem to be moving along.

A bit of gardening in the afternoon, mainly getting ready to plant the tatties while it was still dry. Dung organised from the farm and they should be in by the end of next week. So the Inn to be negotiated and it was off to a good start when I met a lovely family from Inverness and from then on I did not stop till I was offered a venison casserole from the kitchen at the back of nine. Geoff, the picture framer, was over with family/friends from Kishorn.Two tens and a seven,booked in at 6/6.30pm, kicked off the evening and with all the rooms eating separately it was quite hard work to find every one a table and get them served. It was a lot easier for the kitchen tonight but all the customers were in fine form and knew they were going to be well fed….langoustine, crab, fish pies, steaks, and chowder kept coming out. People from Afford, one of the tens, Stirling and Edinburgh. Had to break the news gently to the biker from Falkirk about the Hibs second half come back in the Scottish Cup. Pint of lager was needed on the news.Linda up from Edinburgh with mini Baxter, left half a glass of wine, unusual. Geoff and Maureen in for their first night meal and a mother/daughter up from Glasgow, they always stay at Janet’s and bizarrely the last time I saw them was at the opening concert of the Celtic Connections. Steve Birch, archeologist who worked the Scalpay scallop farm in the 90s turned up and ate early on. The Macleod family from Lewis were good company and spent a lot of time chatting to them about the decline of the fishing and how they used to go out in the dingy to catch fish for their tea. Days long gone. Tales exchanged about there being so much herring they were coming ashore at the head of the lochs. Reminds me of fishing at the back of Plockton and catching mackerel with buckets from the shore….true. So leaving at the same time as another family from Falkirk who were staying at Clive and Maureen’s, rather than let them get wet I took them up the road squeezed into the van, but they got there dry. So a good night finished off with a scoop of dark chocolate and rum and raisin.



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