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

Fishing Tales.

Friday was a day of contrasts for me and the community. Woke up needing paracetamol and another three hours to recover so that decided the morning, whether to go fishing or to the funeral of Duncan Macleod, Coillie Ghillie, who was being laid to rest at Clachan around mid day. Was back on the go for that and was at Clachan  in plenty of time. Although I did not know Duncan personally there is a tradition of seeing people off for the family’s sake as well. You are paying respect to more than the person but an age and those around. Although you never forget the reason for the occasion often it is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a time gone by. As mentioned before Duncan came from Coillie Ghillie


being one of two brothers who survived an outbreak of TB. When you hear some one say that he was at the head stone five times that brings it home. I sometimes complain about a headache, losing your father, mother and sisters puts things in perspective. Duncan and Ian “Ali Bheag” were then looked after by an aunt, possibly a mother of Murdo “Noochie” at what became the store for the wee shop at Camusterrach. He then went on to live a full life mainly connected to the sea like most of his generation. Canada, as evident at the grave side and later meeting family members at the Inn, featured large in his life. An excuse to post another photo of the Mary Anne tied up in Canna, the ring netter that his brother Ian skippered and part owned and which my Dad was engineer on board.


Something I have heard before and spoke to Kenny on Saturday evening was name changing. The Macleods, so the story goes changed their name to Tolomie, the suggestion being that at one time they were in Gairloch and being a Macleod in Mackenzie country was not the easiest. Kenny was down from Shieldaig and his family changed their name from Macleay to Livingstone, again no definite reason given but the possibly around the time of the explorer David Livingstone and holding him in high regard….. Name changing would certainly be an awful lot easier then than now, no bank, DDs, passports etc to sort. I spent a fair bit of time with a couple of local worthies and heard tales of days gone by of the ringnet, have to say that there were copious amounts of whiskey and rum in many of the stories that stretched from the Eagle bar in Inverness to coming back to the Mary Anne and the Kathryn which were tied up at Aultbea at three in the morning. Loved the attempt at coming back on board quietly trying not to wake the other crew members, with a full load on board an impossible task. The trip at the top of the stairs of the Eagle bar and coming down the full length would have been bad enough but there was a visit to the butchers just prior meant mince, pork chops, black puddings and steaks tumbling every where around the fallen hero. And a hello to the family, some of whom I have never met and others I was in school with before heading down the road for the rest of my recovery. Back up around half four for a hectic shift, the season is well under way even if the weather has not turned yet. It has remained very unsettled. The opposite to the funeral took place in the evening at the Community Hall where local”superstars” took to the stage and although happy to cover to let younger staff go to the event by all accounts it went well with lots of money raised and every one enjoying themselves. Thriller up on youtube for all to see.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtBMXjFlMYI

Yesterday, after more dog walking rebooting, not bothering to keep the diary for break downs now as it will be all change soon, a trip out for the last of the langoustines,


back to the Inn in the evening for another early start. Will be glad to get the missing data for the local cards back from Gilbarco as well, just has not been a good news story despite the visitors telling us so. Windy day and a busy, noisy, good-humoured bar with an Inn full of Scousers among others. It turned into a very windy day



but bright and good to watch,


knowing that you were not at sea.


Good night on the food front apart from me pushing the kitchen tolerance to its limit when I missed a pork fillet out of a big order, but humour prevailed on the table and eventually in the kitchen.

The lead up to Easter weekend continues with another busy lunch and looked like continuing as I left about six. Another little boost from a regular visitor, a silver surfer, who was exclaiming how good the internet connection was compared to last year, so Applenet beats BT in Applecross. I could have stayed but need to get some fishing done in the next couple of days, the quieter looking part of the week.Nice light leaving the Inn.


For some reason it feels as though we are half way through the year instead of the start, I suspect the weather has something to do with this.

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