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

Wet and windy today but enjoying the broken weather as we are having quiet interludes between the gales. Monday very pleasant

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and was out in reasonable time, for me anyway, and had a fairly uneventful and easy-going day. Over the weekend I had decided that I was going to try to cut down the amount of tangles I had to sort out last winter and take some of the gear ashore for the next three months. We may well have a better winter than last year but with diminishing daylight and the weather not helping getting round all the gear is a bit of a chore and if left too long then the ends gradually get more and more snaked up. Hauling gear with each end having a half-dozen creels coming up in a bunch takes a bit of the pleasure out of the day and that side of things is important. After hauling 250 pots I went to the last 100 as they were due to come ashore for a clean and had not been hauled for a while. Kept them on board and made for the pier.

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Anything extra in the day and you have to watch the light slipping away and so by the time I was ashore with the catch it was past dusk.

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Thinking back over the weekend when you are on the water I realise that when you go to meetings unless you take notes with the intention of writing them up then even blogging about them soon after means you inevitably miss so much and felt that was the case in Farr. I reckon I am reasonably up on what is happening but hearing people talk who are “on the front line” gives an immediacy to ongoing initiatives and developments. Many items of huge importance were discussed such as the TTIP negotiations where corporations are aiming to usurp democratically elected governments and local initiatives such as the Farr Conversations. Tuesday was one of the slow/recovery days with a strong northerly blowing down the Sound and a walk to the shop for some bits and bobs was the highlight but not too bad I suppose.

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Ended up at the Shieldaig CC to hear about the Community Emergency Plan presented by SSE. Not sure it merited a trip over the Hill but enjoyed the moonlight journey and followed the grittier on one of its first trips out of the winter.

Back on the water again on Wednesday and started by taking some of the rope off at the pier before making out to the Middle Bank to haul some more pots. Again nice and calm

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although there was the remnants of the northerly swell in the morning.

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The langoustine are staying on the menu board so we are doing the job okay despite the poor catches. There is a distinct lack of bird life about just now so when some appear they are noticed, kittiwakes suddenly appeared when I finished my tailing of squats on Monday

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and had a brief visit from a cormorant in the afternoon.

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Couple of big pout and he headed off happy and full. Again kept the last fleet on board so that is 150 ashore now and I can see the next 3/4 trips out there will be creels on board on the way in.  Afternoon light was eerily dissipated

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in light cloud cover,

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but it stayed calm

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and only the occasional traffic to interrupt the routine.

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Now approaching the midnight hour and the last two evenings were spent at the Inn, very gentle in the main, although tonight was kept on our toes with builders, window installers, holiday house and hotel residents all in for something to eat. Everyone got to sit where they wanted to and everyone was stunned by the quality of the food. we are used to it but the stream of comments about the lamb, cod, squats scallops continued all night. Was for heading home reasonably early but, part of the job maybe I ended up in deep conversation and yes some of it politics. Interesting night of topics, ranging from education cuts in the HC £64 million budget deficit, through a bit of the spiritual, land reform, altruistic heroism, and party politics, dipping into the legal, moral and constitutional in the passing. Even managed ten minutes with a lady beekeeper, took a punt on overhearing a conversation and struck gold. There was more and I could still be there, an interesting thought is that in a previous life I would be having a few pints while being drawn into these discussions, now there is no stimulant other than the conversations themselves, a huge improvement. Interesting to discover I was speaking to the sister of a sitting member of the House of Lords. Earlier on in the day I was in the van with Dougal and Eilidh, called in to the shop to post five calendars to Germany, get a witness signature and posted before heading up the drive to see if the new jacket bought by son No1 fitted. It did and that meant a walk in the rain followed, not expecting the camera to come out, but it did as even in this weather the colours are particularly bright. More of which anon as uploading pictures is a little slow just now and early start for fishing politics tomorrow in Fort William.

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