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

20 Hour Shift.

Sunday evening: Keep saying it but, but probably the best way to describe the Applecross Inn is that it is unique, stunningly unique. There can not be many pubs, cause that is what it is, that puts out nine steaks, four haddock, two seafood linguines and a fish pie around half nine at night. Bearing in mind this is not the European cafe culture with guys eating around ten to midnight. Now we have a background of songs, fiddle, guitars and box finishing off a remarkable two days.

Saturday it was a 5.30 start and out to the Middle Bank and only stayed out to haul 350 creels, fishing so poor.Picked up one not hauled for a couple of months and surprised how much Prawns are very scarce and only just saw through the weekend. Some ridiculous amounts of langoustine went to the tables in the last two days. Last night there were five mains prawns and four to another table. They just kept ordering more. Anyway we made it in to land them by  two and then had a sandwich, a snooze and off to the Inn at four for an eight-hour session. Although the fishing is poor and there a general tiredness in the limbs, it was a beautiful day,

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calm and warm

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and as I was out earlyish I had fourteen bonxies around the boat at one point.

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May have to limit my bonxie shots to one a day soon

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but I find them very compelling.

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They are fierce but have something about them. Managed to catch a glimpse of the sun throughout the clouds around ten, every one is different.

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Not thinking I had volunteered to drive some of the next wedding party home and that was done by 2.am. Star turn of the night were the group from Edinburgh booked under the name of Manuela, Italian, Spanish and Norwegian and James from Canada. Not going to attempt the girls names but great company and again today when they came back for a full lunch. Although involved in banking they put a personal face to the much maligned dark art. Conversations ranged far and wide from Scottish volley ball to fishing of the Georges Bank and the Norwegian coast. They had done the walk down to Ardban and Coillie Ghillie in the morning and was able to relate a few local tales to give them a feel for the place. They said they were made to feel at home so Judith doing her job again. Little panic just before twelve yesterday morning when I took a phone call which I suspected the announcement of the arrival of our newest inhabitant, Oscar, all 7lbs 11 of him. My mild panic was the visitors flooded in, the bar filled up, the twelve o’clock staff had not arrived and Oscar’s relatives disappeared for a cry (of happiness). Jack arrived, the crying stopped and we headed on. Contingent from Diabeg took over from Manuela and friends and preceded to entertain for the next three hours or so. Strange coincidence involving one of the ladies and the next incumbents again telling me how small the world is and how Applecross can often be the centre of it. But too risqué to tell, donations to ACC for info. With so much going on I find I am losing touch a little with the local news and did not realise that our last big group were mainly from Coll, including a previous Scottish rugby captain, Rob Wainwright, who were cycling from Oban to Oban over eight days to raise funds for Maggies Meals https://www.facebook.com/NorthOfTheFault. Gives you all the info about who they are and why they are carrying out this epic. Being another community around our size chatted about filling stations, price of fuel, LDO work and the usual issues around housing, lack of or no land available to build. They have recently built a new hall and it is multi functional. Striking that their primary school has 30 pupils with the same population as ours. Stats like these worry me about the future of our community below the bustling busyness of the tourist season. Compliments flew from the group to the hosting and the efforts from the kitchen and their company was appreciated.

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Interesting little story about Rob, told to me by his mate, when they got to the top of the Bealach he headed of back down to the other to give them support them on the their laborious way up. Maybe that is the difference that makes some represent their nation in sport.  Half past twelve and it was a pleasant cycle home in the dusk and soft rain listening to Caustic Love.

Bit of a dreich morning and thoughts go with the intrepid cyclists heading north to Ullapool. Today, it is off to Broadford and back in time for tonight’s important Hydro meeting to discuss the Turbine option coupled to a possible local power grid serving the Street/Craite Barn area.

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