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

Music and Work.

With the wind settling down to calm again it was two uneventful days at sea on Thursday and Friday. Interesting spraint on the boat on Thursday morning. If found in the garden I would immediately think of pine martin, but on the boat…. Obviously interested in the bait that was in the covered tub. Did not think pine martins were that interested in water and mink and otters that interested in berries.


Over the two days the quantity and quality of the fishing has been nothing to write home about until I hauled the last three fleets on Friday afternoon. Good selection of medium and fair-sized small prawns in amongst mountains of squats, so many I was tied up on the mooring and still tailing for another twenty minutes. Friday saw an unusual almost painted prawn.




The evening at the Inn promised to be very busy but went smoothly with the Boss leaving us to it. The Ceilidh Trail had their annual visit,


a product of the Feis Movement,www.feisrois.org, and after a meal they struck up with the pipes and played the night away. very much appreciated by the visiting Europeans. traditional music across the Highlands in good hands with the Feis across the country putting out young talented musicians making it a vibrant scene seen with the many bands being formed.


Currently listening to Breabach who played on “In Tune” on Radio 3 earlier this week. bbd.co.uk/programmes/b04bry9r. Outside the Airstream was sitting in front of a misty background.


On the way to work on Thursday it was pleasingly ominous on the Sound.


And looking south the Crowlins catch the late afternoon sun.


There was a pleasant moment on Friday morning when I looked up to see a gannet come alongside looking for fish. Dived for some old bait so did not wait around but before she went,looking around, there were the several black backs and herring gulls, a fulmar had come over and the four bonxies were in attendance. They dispersed as there were a few other boats on the Sound. The black backs are particularly fierce at the moment and are fighting with the bonxies for the bait, not many birds stand up to them. Stayed out longer and hauled a couple of extra fleets on Friday so did not have to go out today. The day improved weather wise till it was almost hot by the afternoon.




Was watched very closely on the way out on Friday.


Well last night at the Inn with the rain falling steadily it seemed the world and her mate came to eat and drink. There was not a table free from the time I started at six till ten but it was controlled chaos. The kitchen had an easier but still hard evening and it went on a bit later than normal with thirty-five still waiting for a table at half eight. On nights like these it is eleven before you know it and today (Sunday) is going to be no different. It was a well appreciated night, Germans, Dutch, Icelanders, French. I saw something towards the end of service which summed up the evening, a young family, German I think, finally got a seat and shared with another European couple. The Germans had a baby, possibly ten months old or so, and as their food came out the other couple took the baby and fed her while the mum and dad had their dinner. Not only did they look after her but continued feeding her…..never met before in their lives

And finally had a link sent by Jimbo in the comments about a guy trying to volunteer up at Assynt and all the problems it entails. I know there are specific problems there, possibly being the first and crofter exclusive and being severely depopulated all counting against the community spirited volunteers. It is still a salutary tale of how communities can go if left to decline and just become destinations for city dwellers. I think our visitors still pickup on the community spirit here and recognise that there are many aspects to living here that make up a still vibrant community even if warning signs are not far from sight. It is not just the Inn that makes Applecross or the paths and scenery. As I have said many times before it is no accident that its Gaelic name translates as Sanctuary. Martin is hard on the lack of powers of the Community Councils and he is right. We are pretty powerless and sometimes end up as a notice board for other organisations when wanting funds or showing off a PR face to tell everyone how wonderful things are. Getting a dangerous, deteriorating piece of road fixed is another matter. As in all these matters patience and keeping stress levels to manageable proportions help you through the seeming morass. It is a fine link and well worth a read to tell folk how difficult  it is to live and volunteer here. I have decided to vote Yes simply because I have not come across any argument not to but also taking responsibility in running a community or country is a bit of a difficult argument to go against. I have never been party political and there are many things that are very wrong, local government or lack of it being one,but I cannot be pessimistic about being given the chance to do something for ourselves. www.scottishreview.net/MartinMorrison164.shtml.

A classic example is my late ordering of the fuel for the pumps and we are out of fuel for this weekend. I had thought I got away with it when I was promised a delivery on Friday but it appears Monday is the soonest. No one is more cheesed off than me for running out but it is interesting to note how important the Filling Station is to the Community by how many people have asked about it and how many people are being caught out with it running out. In a way that is a good sign as people have got used to it being open and available unlike before the Applecross Community Company. Can only apologise for the inconvenience and am not complaining about volunteering. The day I feel I have to will be the day I stop.

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