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



calm weather meant that summer fishing goes into the autumn without much of a break.


The good weather has meant that it is not only busy at sea but the Airstream is keeping Aron churning through the night.


Tuesday to Thursday with 350 hauled each day allowed me a day off to wash some creels on the pier today.


The weather has been spectacular but there has been little to see in the way of sea life apart from the autumn appearances


along with our long-term residents.




There does seem to be a lot of fish about and there an eerie lack of birds around the boat.


Hearing reports of large numbers of birds around the Sand base and they seem well fed along with a large fat dog otter. Ties in with no birds around the boat. Also mackerel being caught off Toscaig Pier. Fishing, although not special, is holding up and there is enough staying on board to compensate for the large numbers of berried females going back over the side. We seem to be catching a better quality of langoustine this summer. There are fewer boats north this summer, one possible reason. The last 4/5 years there has been a sudden collapse in the catch at this time.

As well as the fishing the week has been interspersed with meetings and big tides.


The tides were predicted but were possibly more noticeable due to the large anti cyclone over the country.


The new landing point is slowly taking shape with stones being thrown to the side to create a smoother track to the top of the shore. The low tide does not throw up any new problems. I used to dive for my scallops not far from here when the scallop farm was going well.



and Shore Street


are looking good from the vantage point of the sea.


First meeting was the Community Council on Tuesday. Sometimes you are just not up for them but on the bike and off up the road to see several cars outside the Hall. Heart sinks wondering what the issue is to bring all theses people out but then remember the Zumba class is on and relax. Of course I do not mind people coming out but it usually means all is not running smoothly for a section of the Community. In fact I would rather they come out and say what they feel at the meetings rather than just complain that we are “not elected” or do not “represent” them to any one who will listen. Roads still an issue but the burst tyres outside the school will have been resolved. Posts not attractive but effective and cheaper than shifting paving. Road south not sorted yet but flooding problems up north taking priority. Back on the phone next week. Little problem with Hands on Events, the guys who run the Bealach Races. They have decided not to communicate with us at all now despite promising information, communication and co-operation for their events which close the Hill. They also seem to be trying to renege on their promise not to put their Mor event on the August bank holiday. Can’t help seeing the irony in this attitude as here there has been a big uptake in cycling this summer. Just the other day, when delivering the langoustine to the Inn, passed or met seven bikes in the two miles. There is little opposition to a well run and communicative event, we even have a top racing cyclist journo living in Applecross, so one would think…… just shows that when talking stops situations always have potential to deteriorate. Luckily we have a channel through Shieldaig CC. Still a short uncontroversial meeting with a LDO report saying that the new Filling Station is arriving on the 23/24th of this month. A relief of the first proportions. And a planned share issue for raising the finances for the Hydro Scheme next February.

The other meetings were ALPS management Group and the Community Company meeting up with the Applecross Trustees. Although a few stresses amongst a few participants pre meeting they went pleasantly enough. Two and a half hours in the Estate Office was certainly not first choice on a beautiful sunny day. hauled my 350 and in early enough not to miss any work. If I had I would have been annoyed. As I have said both meetings very pleasant and easy conversations despite my reputation. Even if I disagree always good to keep relations personable. Not convinced these meetings achieve much and they are the only meetings over the last half-dozen years that are not minuted. So lack of progress is not noted. I am trying to think of any of the issues that have been progressed that need partnership with the Trust like the local need for housing. And I cannot think of one. I posted No and Groundhog Day this time last year. This year the two issues that came up were housing and Community Woodland. Groundhog Day is still in operation for the housing and for the Woodland it has been changed from No to what looks to me like the above. The only other note of interest was the request for local representation on the Applecross Trust. Answer No. This incidentally was a question asked at the ALPS meeting and not at the Community Company one, (for those that cannot work with the ACC). As a result of the personal backlash received from the LAS campaign two years ago I would not waste time in asking for this as I know the answer. As I get older I have become more interested in the past and the journey to how we are where we are. Good to dip into attitudes from the past to realise just how it is. Must be going up in the world though as before today I have never attended a meeting where the investors Cazanove, an independent bank founded in 1823 and recently bought out by Schroders, were introduced into the conversation.

To things more positive, after Friday’s creel clean it was off to a much-needed session in Shieldaig


where the only conversation is who is voting Yes/No. Mostly Yes or maybe the company I keep. Excellent massage, chat and left slightly battered with my little vial of drops. Keeping these visits up is essential as it was so painful having three or four strains, gathered over the five weeks, worked on. Good fishing chatter on the pier before heading off for bait, salt and a trip home around the coast.


As expected the Ref campaign is hitting new heights of “We will be doomed” scare stories, not that is affecting most of us up here.


There are exaggerations and half truths on both sides and some of the interventions are becoming plain ridiculous. But, and I see this locally,some people are protecting their positions of privilege and power over the good of the whole of society. There is such a thing as society, community, well being towards your neighbours (if allowed) and I think the panic over a possible Yes vote next week should make a few people examine their raison d’être. Maybe fighting for people not so well off as they are would be more satisfying rather than keeping their exalted positions in society. So fortunate to have social media to balance out the negative MSM, otherwise it would be the same feeling as coming out of this weeks meetings. Still low tide at Sand is worth a wee stop off.


So fortunate to take the decision this morning just to take the day off fishing. That means salting bait, cutting wood and splicing rope plus some paper work…oh and a busy shift at the Inn tonight, as Gerry’s Duathlon is on today. Sounds busy but it is just doing stuff.


Comments on: "Get Togethers that are called Meetings." (1)

  1. Beautiful pictures as ever; I notice a thread of nostalgia creeping in again to your blog. Where can i buy one of your calendars for the house? Liz x

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