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

Not Really Grumpy

Later start and hoped for a bit of a quieter afternoon and that was what happened. So after taking the broadband equipment earmarked for Rona down to the pier, a self powered unit,


passing the Grace Anne on the way,


it was out on the middle bank all day and it was not till the last two fleets that I came out of gear, meaning I almost always haul the creels facing into the wind and if there is a breeze and/or strongish tide against you, you have the boat ticking over ahead to keep her up to the gear. Always have to be alert for foul up or shoot overs as ropes are drawn into the propeller. Fairly uneventful day apart from missing one buoy and after going astern the rudder came around too far. Luckily the safety bars keep it from the propeller but it meant switching off the auto helm and heading down the aft hatch with the stilson to swing it back around with the help of the wheel. Not a very pleasant job in the swell but no damage apart from straightening the auto helm rod that is attached to the rudder. Although I get these things sorted eventually I do not have the engineering brain and began by trying to turn the rudder the wrong way but also I know I have not that type of knowledge so do not force things too much before taking time out to have a proper think about it. Last fleet I hauled had not been hauled for a while for various reasons and came up with half a dozen creels wrapped around my first couple of creels. Nothing else to do but cut them off and cut the other rope to get myself free. There will be a land delivery of the creels and hope I retied okay for the least hassle for the other boat. No blame just two fleets that had not been hauled for a while had come together.


Lovely afternoon and although sun arriving late it was an enjoyable day.


Only ashore you realise there is another ALPS meeting to go to, so it means, a take away fish and chips before heading back out the door. The project is coming to an end now and it is now the Gateway project to do and all these decisions are taken out with the Group so not really too much to say. I have stated that the pier option was the most carbon friendly but that has been turned down for several reasons which I can accept but not agree with. Taking timber out of Applecross by road is the least favourable option but that is the route we have gone down. Road upgrades and damage payments make the pier a better option financially but that is now history. Light looking even better ashore.


Today the weather came in albeit a little later but by 11 am was not bothered about not going out and got on with a pretty busy day of wood work, a pier tidy and landing some prawns to Spain via Ardheslaig. And by the time that was all over it was evening and time to make the sweet and sour prawns caught yesterday, which were bearable. Had to call into the toilets as we have a water problem, temporarily solved with a bucket but more needs to be done tomorrow morning. There always seems to be something at the moment. Bookwork, a long and intricate discussion on the future of rural west coast broadband on the email streams, Filling Station upgrade, and we thought it already was, and now the toilets. Hopefully it will turn out to be something simple like an airlock but it still needs to be sorted by some one who knows what he/she is doing. Slight relief in that we were not going to be quorate tonight at the CC meeting so cancelled. Bealach Beag has reared its head again, as said before it is tolerated here with not an awful lot of benefits but the organisers have decided in their wisdom to put the May event on on the May Bank Holiday. Businesses actually lose money on the day and losing a Bank Holiday payday seems a bit unfair for some people. When the organisers came in first it was to “extend the shoulder of the season” something that people in Applecross by September are wondering as necessary. But the opinion was that neighbouring communities may need or want this extension so we have shrugged our proverbial shoulders. The impact on the organisers will come from Shieldaig CC as we have been dismissed….we shall see. Good to have a grump and as we are on one then the situation with the Roads Dept regarding the undermining of the road at the bottom of the Craig Darroch is not the best, especially as they are putting a cattle grid on the Culduie road which as far as I know there will not be any fences round it. I am in a better mood than the post suggests but it is good to see what can be improved. Another way of looking at it is there is so much going on here for just a couple of hundred souls who live on the peninsula. When something goes wrong on the Varuna you fix it and no one knows, but when you have community problems like the Filling Station, local cards or running out of diesel, (that was me), you are a hostage to every one. It does mean there  a healthy and sometimes vibrant community, needs more people though. But as the trip round the coast shows there are sights and colours that keep you going,


a sign seasons are turning when you see the Seaflower 11


back on the water,




in the garden no exception. Wild bees choice but not the honey bee.


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