Not often I say this but I was glad I was not out fishing today. Just home from the Inn after an extra shift as Jill and Chris were off tonight. Over 150 people were served mainly three course meals. So many people were saying “How do you do it?” and I do not really know. There are so many people working so hard to make it happen and the kitchen were spectacular and it is great passing on some of the comments to them so they become part of the spirit of the place. The only thing is, a tub of prawns left so it is back out tomorrow to keep them on the menu over the week-end. After coming home I walked down the road and along the shore with Jenny and Eilidh and it is so dark and peaceful and the mad house of an hour ago seems in another place. Love these contrasts in Applecross. Spent the day washing and mending creels and had a chat with Donald who had come down with a spade to scrape some of the heavier weed of the bottom part of the pier. Chatting about the pictures of the fish and he was suggesting that they may have been traille, gaelic for tusk. Another possibility is red hake as they have an eel like tendency to them, similar to ling. Seems grow to a fair size and well liked by some of the previous inhabitants of Applecross. While putting the Varuna back on her moorings Mike passed by in the quiet with a black back totally unconcerned with all the activity.
After seeing the guys off this morning, stopped off for a cup of tea at The Inn, before going to the creels. On the way up the road Crawford mentioned that Cameron had been out Alaska fishing for Halibut and Black Cod. I had never heard of Black Cod but Robert, in the kitchen, put me right and seemingly a very tightly regulated fishery and almost impossible to get into as quota is handed down from generation to generation. So many interesting guys doing interesting stuff, come to Applecross. Made me say to the guys how competitive fishermen are and how they have to be regulated, as this seems to be their downfall if left unchecked. If a fishermen catches 10 stone his neighbour needs to catch 11 stone to be better, but the weird thing is they can live off catching 5 stone. So regulation it is and stop moaning about it.
A day and a half after starting this post and finally able to see the key board, being too exhausted to do anything other than eat my Golden Syrup and Raspberry ice cream last night and head of to my comatose slumber. There are two types of exhaustion, a hopeless, down beat and low one which is the opposite of what you feel after a Saturday of hauling 300 creels and working a manic shift at The Inn. That one is mixed with a sense of achievement, pleasure and well being especially after seeing so many people eating such good food and having a very pleasant time. The kitchen only just survived and there were one or two kids whose “tummies were rumbling” as the chefs slowly sunk to their knees in front of the stoves. But not before they put out the last order of 12 to table D at 9.45pm. You run out of adjectives to describe The Inn so I just settle for unique and that covers it all. Yesterday at sea was fairly uneventful, with a really strong current running north just now is putting pressure on the Range. Every one’s creels are about 150 metres west of where they should be and there going to an almighty foul up soon, the range being west and nowhere to go. Caught one of these anemone type beasties, a red version of the green one last month.
Little other activity on the Sound and only the occasional passing traffic.
Back to the contrasts of the place. After landing the langoustines and squats I took Jenny and Eilidh down to the shop on a peaceful quiet walk seeing the mini hay fields at the side of the road. Whether I am noticing them more or it is a good year for the flowers (Costello’s Roses come to mind). Jenny and Eilidh are enjoying the peace and quiet of not having Dougal around while he has discovered the excitement of rabbits. he expends too much energy in his frantic yipping to get close to them but is in 7th Heaven.
And on the way back Sandy’s hay is drying well. In all the busyness, hustle and bustle there a timeless and evocative feel to scenes like these. I hope they never cease.
Could look at this all day listening to tunes from Blair Douglas or The Waterboys. Back to the house, put on the Athletics and slept through Mo’s 10,000. A good half hour’s kip and now ready for the above.