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

Living Well

Starting this in the Inn, busy and noisy, but coming to the end of  the night, it being quarter past eleven. Strange evening as at 8.15 the chefs were waiting for an order and at ten past nine they were cooking for twenty, starters and mains, humour could have been better but such is life. Been an interesting few days with two on the water Thurs/Fri,

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getting through most of the gear before the forecast wind started increasing on Friday. Thursday evening saw the Hebridean Princess steam south through the lowering sun.

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On the way to the boat caught sight of the roof lined with pigeons waiting for feeding time. Do not think they would survive at Arnish.

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Fueled up the Auk

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before leaving on a beautiful morning.

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Happy to go in as the Treacherous Orchestra were beckoning,laying in the Strathpeffer Pavillion later in the evening. Even coming in a couple of fleets early, was pushed for time as getting the bus, landing the Inn’s langoustine, cooking the squat lobster curry, and eating it of course, it was time to head east. Although it was a standard day at sea, routinely going through the gear, there comes along these moments when you are in the zone. That is the only way to describe it. Going across to the Main Bank after setting up the boat for hauling, I looked up and in the morning sun saw a porpoise lazily moving south through the water. As it came up the sun glinted on her wet back, before she disappeared for a few second only to come up glinting again. She looked so peaceful making her way down the south. Then looking around I caught sight of a skua silently gliding close to the water, wings spread and still. Felt as though everything was quiet and you were part of nature’s privilege. The sound of the engine faded for a few moments and all was well. Over the years I have been fortunate to have maybe half a dozen of them and they usually are to do with the weather/scenery, or the more unusual sights of large dolphin pods or whales. Frame of mind helps and every thing drops away. Great to experience as it happens and not to remember it as an event that felt good.

Enough of the warble, The Treacherous Orchestra were amazing as usual, opening with Superfly, indeed finishing with Superfly, playing the brilliant Easter island among others  and amongst others a couple of sets from their soon to be released album. They were preceded by a fine local band The Elephant Sessions, best way to describe them, traditional with lots of bass. Sounded great and their cd was playing on the bus all the way home. Struggle to keep the eyes open for the way back and heard the shipping forecast as we topped the Hill in the dark. All who went enjoyed the night.

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No respite as today I went off to Sleat for a Community Broadband meeting to discuss the way ahead for west coast back haul. Not really much to say other than it was a fascinating four hours learning about the potential and problems for the future . How communities are going to deal with state aid, back haul, increasing speed and capacity. Basically doing the work that the commercial companies do not think it is worth their while doing, how to train within the communities to make them more resilient dealing with problems that are going to arise in the future and to keep an eye on future developments. Politics are never far away and not too much detail at the moment. Often come across this when the motives and aims are totally submerged in the machinations of the western way of thinking. The simple fact of Ubuntu seems so distant but is the underlying thrust behind all the people attending these meetings but it is starkly apparent that it is the last motivation on the mind of commerce. Speaking to a couple over from Lochcarron in the evening and they know and are impressed about what is going on with Applenet and they were contacted through the Achmore initiative. Despite all the difficulties the communities are getting on with it and through meetings like these are getting together to plan a more cohesive approach. Hard work to keep a handle on it all but did feel it was very educational and again, despite the problems, very positive. Email sent to the Scottish Government did eventually receive and most of the reply was a wee lesson on what state aid was. I thought they knew I knew but that was the reply and not a good one. I am not having a success with the email outcome. Rick Stein did not even bother to reply to the berried prawn one and now you get bland replies from your own government, you do despair at times. A stop off at the Co-op in Broadford

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taking Dougal out and he was in the mood for a photo shoot.

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He had been attending the meeting, staying in the car for the boring bits.

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Evening was busy and disjointed but all ended well and was home and tucked up after a soothing ice cream selection from the Fifth Element ice cream maker. Sunday morning now, beautiful weather and another busy day ahead. The season is well under way and the hours and events are flying by. The Alba na Mara appeared in the Bay. She is Marine Scotland’s fishery research vessel. Assuming she is doing a burrow count to check on langoustine stocks.

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Now almost nine in the evening and a lovely one it is. There are so many light changes over the day.

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Stayed on a bit longer at the Inn today as staff shortages were muted, but it was not too busy so saw it until eight. Pleasant evening with all the customers and a couple of good chats with one couple who told Judith that she thought Gerald Butler was modelling his image on me, and no, she did not have a guide dog. I had to disappear into the prep room laughing. Bob “Peg” was over and spent a bit of time outside with him. Chatting about this and that when he told me that he saw Halcyon at Carbost, a new band including John and Adam from Treacherous, a bit too clubby for him to like it straight away but thought there was potential. Anyway he bailed out at half one and saw Adam next morning loading the car. Disappointed that they were not staying for a few tunes that night but playing in Aviemore, so he mentions this to Angus, the pub owner. That evening they are in Aviemore seeing Halcyon again and the next day Angus is snow boarding and Bob is on top of Cairngorm enjoying a beautiful day like today. A lot of people who are running about making lots of money, buying things, will not have a story like that to tell. We do not makes a lot of money up this way but I think we live well in many other ways. Had to stop to watch the post sunset light over Skye.

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