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

Plenty to Do.

Back on a more balanced track again. unfortunately the old head on Friday night developed into a full-blown migraine for Saturday. Missed my second shift of the year on Saturday evening, recovery was underway by then but it was not really worth pushing it. Funny old thing the head and the back, come to think of it. Ailments that are given not a lot of credibility as they do not look bad. Mind you on Saturday it looked pretty awful and when you end up with a pulled back muscle I was definitely out of commission. Paid for not doing the minutes for tomorrow’s meeting when I should. Doing them recovering from a migraine is not advised.

After a session like that life always feels so good, partly the relief of feeling semi human again. Busy shift at the Inn all day with the light startling in the morning


and again in the early evening. met an interesting lady, Katy, who is involved with a Marine Conservation Group based in London https://www.facebook.com/ArtForOceans and is travelling up the west coast. Chatted about what is happening here and it always seems such a shame how so few fishermen can say what is actually happening at sea over the past decades. She was interested in No Fish Zones and speaking to fishermen in different places and not getting any support for any closed areas. As we were running out of langoustine at the Inn, she came out to the Varuna to pick up some of the larger ones hanging over the side. Stopped of on the way in for a few shots of the seals lazing on the rocks. All very normal scenes for me but for some one based on London it was nice to see some one so appreciative of where one lives.

The evening after a bite to eat it was off up to the Walled Garden to attend a Board Meeting for the Community Company. Light was spectacular leaving the Inn


and on the way up stopped to take a couple of photos of three herons on the shore line. But they are very hard to photograph, being twitchy and tend to fly off. Two and a half hours later…. Huge amount of items discussed and mostly positive regarding Broadband, Toilets, Hydro, Energy Efficiency,Wood fuel Supply and even the Filling Station. Annie and Sean are still working on that and are making slow progress, certainly more than Gilbarco have done up till now. The Broadband has been held up by the mast leases and a fair bit of confusion from CBS. The templates produced are not being accepted by the MOD and SCRIPD and will mean even more delays and we are going to have to change locations. Tied up in knots, again when it can be done far more easily, if allowed to get on with it. MOD demanding legal fees, surveying costs and a rent seems a little ridiculous. Maybe they are running short of a bit of dosh for the Trident upgrade. A lot of the Community Company’s efforts are geared toward carbon footprint reduction and it reminded me of the Canadian couple I was speaking to earlier this week. He was an environmentalist working for the oil and gas industry and his main line was that Canada did not matter as they were only 5% of the world’s CC footprint. There was not much one could say to that…he was right to some extent but if that was the case we all might as well walk away. It got me thinking as to why I cannot land berried langoustine despite knowing 95% of the fishermen land them around me.

Back on the water today and nice to be greeted by a fine rainbow on the south end of Raasay.


Nice and calm for the first part of the day


but the north wind got up and the last 100 of the 500 creels were hard work but there was a slight improvement in the catch, despite the large numbers of females carrying eggs.


Most in one creel was seven today with one other prawn. Good to see for the future I suppose and back they go.Crabs are now on the prawn ground


and this is a sign that autumn is well under way and is good for the diet, as tonight we had squats and crab with pineapple in lightly curried mayo. Accompanied by beetroot, tomatoes and tatties from the garden. Just thinking about this it may be mussels from the dingy tomorrow evening. Very quickly the creels have picked up the summer growth and there are a half dozen fleets needing washed fairly quickly. The tube worm you can see by the crab means the creels do not fish so well as those just washed.

This evening it was more Community Company business as we had to have a chat about our new employee as our first one had flown the nest. Always difficult decisions as every one knows every one and that is why we have found it good policy to take a panel from outside Applecross who do not know the personnel and are completely objective.

A little “working holiday” turned up a couple of weeks ago and doing a bit of reading up about community forests as an asset to the community, not only as an amenity but as a wood fuel source. Seems I am heading off to Lombardy at the end of the month. An exchange project organised through UHI,www.landsare.co.uk It has been a busy summer and it will be good to get out and checking out where we are going it looks pretty special. The Italian only goes as far as “bellissimo”. As the lady from Leckmelm says “Speaking does Work” as this little trip came about after a chat in the Inn.

Comments on: "Plenty to Do." (2)

  1. How does the tubeworm affect the fishing of the creel – is it because they become more visible to the crabs/prawns or something like that? Do you wash them with a pressure washer? How did fishermen wash creels in the days before pw’s?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Tube worm is not good. Dirty creels do not fish very well and we have to take them ashore once a year to pressure wash them. Once the tube worm have settled they grow very quickly and the prawn, whether through sense of smell or touch, do not seem to like going into dirty creels. Before pressure washing they used to dip the creels in a tar like the herring nets, also many of the boats would go to the ground nets and take the creels ashore for the winter. Again when the creels became full time they would leave a fleet of creels on the deck for the weekend and that would kill the sealife on the creel. Did not work as many creels in those days.

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