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

Bikes.

Late on a Thursday evening after the bar closes three people and two dogs come in for a drink so instead of home and bed at 12.30 it will now be 1.30am. The service industry , don’t you love it. Today I was out at the Varuna for some prawns for the hotel and headed over to Ardban and then Coillie Ghillie trying to find a couple who wanted prawns yesterday. Failed but it was a lovely walk with the dogs, enjoyed by them even more as they wandered off to check on some of the resident roe deer, came back quickly after a call.Bit annoyed I was out of camera batteries as it is very photogenic over there even on an overcast day.

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Was not able to deliver prawns but met the couple tonight and guess what the lady had, prawns, so all ended up ok. Met up with Kyla from Plockton who dropped in a starter pack for some prawn creel experimenting. This is to do with different creel mesh size, ranging from 38mm to 42mm where I will have to lodge data of what comes up in the creels. Knew this was coming and the trial period has almost run out of time, finishing at the end of June. Never made any moves towards seeing what was happening so cannot complain too much. Trailer sorted and hope to get them in by the start of the week. Managed a post sunset picture, I think they are often better than when the sun is still over the islands. Colours tonight were amazing.

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Managed home by 1am so not too bad and out before 9. Lovely quiet day, loading up the dingy with the Grace Anne putting a crab/lobster fleet on board.

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Seems early for the lobster fishing to get under way but it probably is a reflection on the prawns. The Spring fishery is over, first fleet I hauled this morning in the deep water off the Bay had three prawn tails in the fifty creels. It is no longer in the deep water. Slightly better for the rest of the day but we are now in the summer grind. Maybe grind is too strong a word on a day like today.

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400 creels later, tired and now ashore after a day with the gulls, auks and cormorants.

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It is more a frame of mind in that you feel you are not doing much, but after a day hauling 400 pots there is little energy left to do much more, the same can be said after spending 6/8 hours serving the public. When you think about it there is plenty to be done and is getting done. Yesterday I went round to Aird and picked up the 60 creels

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and a couple of slabs of bait, all of which was unloaded and salted at the pier, before a wee break and up to the Inn for a busy Bank Holiday Saturday evening. And it was busy although it went very smoothly with no one waiting for a table for too long. A surprising number of locals out and they all seemed to enjoy the night. Bikers galore over the last two days with Paul’s group up today for the next two days. Bikers have always been attracted to Applecross with this photo being taken in the 20/30s. Was told that a Trial event that used the Bealach was going to have some one famous taking part on it and some locals went to see it. Turned out it was the flyer Amy Johnson, this being 1939. Last weaken it was the RATS and this weekend it was the BMW club, both from NI.

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No matter what mood you are in, going to the Inn usually sorts it out when you meet the customers. Luckily there is a range of topics people are interested in and one of the easy lead ins is when they finally believe that you have caught the prawns. One lady could not believe how well they were cooked and eventually mentioned she got some from her neighbour but they turned out to be nothing like the ones at the Inn. After a couple of questions it was easy to discover the cause…..they were trawled prawns and as ever I always tell people if they want a good meal of langoustine always check that they are creel caught. On two counts, firstly they will taste better and secondly they will have been caught leaving the environment in a relatively untouched state for the remaining sea life to thrive. Left to post on Monday as had a bit of trouble uploading last night.

Comments on: "Bikes." (1)

  1. Fabulous old photo – you mentioned the bike trials in one of our exchanges some time back. You may be interested to know that my book is nearing publication and I have quoted you twice (anonymously at your request). I will send you a copy when printed by way of recompense.

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