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

Nae Plans.

Packed three days although does not feel like it. Tired and keeping going as I know when I stop that will be it. Tuesday evenings birthday did go down well


but the story starts up again on Thursday when there was a bit of wood work and starting the wall stack, although going by how it never stayed in place a rethink in construction to take place.


Always things of interest and when doing the stack stopped for a natter about working offshore in Mauritius and out and about ending up in Peterhead, not so glamorous I suppose. Then in the afternoon I made it up the road to meet up with a lady first met on the SEA course a couple of years ago. Down in Applecross meeting up with her tutor  for her PhD on music and Bergman. Spent a fine afternoon in Germany and the USA discussing and sorting all the problems across the world. So much so that I was kicked out so they could get to finish their work. Then things went a little pear-shaped. The plan had been to come up on the bike with Dougal and Eilidh alongside, Alison to follow in van and Pups to go in van. Late so Dougal and Co went into Jill’s car, which was fine until they decided to lock themselves in with the keys in the ignition. 3/4 of an hour later with the help of a screwdriver, two rubber bands and a coat hanger we were in but it was  cold. Dougal was well relaxed if somewhat curious on the back shelf.


A gentle shift and then Friday. Started with a call off to Rona as weather poor. Did not fancy a trip to the island with a force 9 south easterly blowing and no one else out. Another day without broadband for the North Coast but a calculated risk was not taken. The stack was worked between much-needed book sorting. At last that is under way and that is interspersed with a little Wallander now. Do need the distraction when books are involved. The accountant was up from The Fort and following the signage ended up going the long way round even as he did not need to. We have complained about the signage not just the once but it is still giving out the wrong messages. Have to say thet people are making their way here okay as the Inn is still busy. The late evening light on the Sound was unusual and ever changing while working on the stack.



And then it was 5 o’clock and in the van heading north with a couple of companions to The Naeplans Concert at The Ceilidh Place. Arrived in plenty of time and for me to catch up with the Achiltibuie contingent over a sparkling water or two before going over to the Clubhouse. The music,








and atmosphere was top drawer and it was make you smile music. Hard to sit down although there were slow airs and plaintive songs in there as well. Adam and Hamish are a couple of stunning musicians and “the well planned” spontaneous music was brilliant. I honestly thought they had played a couple of half hour sets but it was half eleven when I looked at the clock again. Back to the Ceilidh Place for a last water, buy a couple of books, not many pubs you can buy books at 11.30pm, before heading back down the road. Jean was out the front when we were leaving and she disappeared to reappear again with a bag of cakes for us to have on the way home. Highland hospitality at its best. Had a great chat earlier with Jean and also with Ian and Lesley, always good to get out and find like-minded people especially when you catch up with the snippy section of your own community. Last hour of the journey home was quite hard as the eyelids were drooping a bit but Treacherous and the Sutherland/Napier cd kept me going along with the chat. Interesting conversation about how people’s attitude changes when one works for different organisations within the community. If the organisation does not meet with their approval then the person gets the disapproval as well. There could be a study done on the psychology of how personalities are transferred on to groups and committees and vice versa. So home about 1.30am after passing numerous stags and hinds, the occasional owl and my first Applecross badger sighting, all in good company who were pleasantly surprised at how sweet the van smelt, not remotely of prawns.

On the go again at six, in at the pier to unload rope and creels and to load up the replacement turbine and with Sean and Isabelle on board it was off to Rona. Moon high in the sky over Ardhu.


There was a little apprehension involved in the trip as we were trying not to get in the way of Rona day-to-day operations. A new “ferry” was being tried out and they wanted the pontoon clear and the change over was timed around the same time as our arrival. As a result I stayed down


as the ATV went off up to the mast with all people and equipment on board. The help we have received from Rona has been second to none. Knowing there is an island to run Bill and Calum have been really helpful with our efforts to get and keep every one on-line.


No sign of health and safety but as usual in these cases experience and knowledge supersedes a rule book.


The Varuna received a well earned scrub down both on the way over and at the pontoon so no time is ever wasted. Kept an eye on the hill and in no time at all saw the defunct turbine coming down and the new one spinning in the light breeze.


Noticed some else watching too.


Turned out there was a delay in the new boat arriving and our job was completed in plenty of time, burnt out turbine and people returning


and us leaving and steaming in a southerly direction before we spotted the 55 footer making for Rona harbour. Seals here as at home, lazy and watchful.


Beautiful day


and even the sinister visitor to the Sound was sheathed in dazzling sunshine.


Stopped on the way home to pick up another fleet to put ashore. Turbine ashore as well


and it up the road with the rest of the prawns, family of otters and a field mouse were of interest, otters swam off but field mouse keeled over as Dougal sowed too much interest. And the evening shift passed without incident, still busy enough to use the dining room where the comment ” you do not mind the journey when you know what you get at the end of it”. Proud to work in such a place. News of the Boss starting her holiday not very well as she put petrol in her diesel motor in Newcastle. Not a good combination. A release of stress getting away from here plus maybe thinking of the holiday and not living in the present. It is a stressful place to live at times and what we say about each other can has a negative effect bringing on a bit of disillusionment  at times and one wonders why we get so involved. I always hear the compliments to the Company second-hand and really do not do it for that but they are nice when you hear people appreciating the broadband, Filling Station and work Alison does. And the north coast, with a breeze blowing on the turbine will be back on-line very shortly if not already. Most people do care and one just has to bat away the rubbish thrown around, as one elderly sage told me last week if you are not been criticised it means you are not doing anything. Sounds good at times. Nice time to finish off with Aron’s fresh ginger and golden syrup ice cream. Ever onwards.





Comments on: "Nae Plans." (6)

  1. As ever Ali amazing photo’s, i wish I had such vista’s to photograph. In all my time in Kishorn I probably only ever took 3-4 rolls of film. you don’t appreciate what you have until it is gone.

    Ah well I will have my camera with me when I drive to work tommorow and hopefully may catch the sunrise over Salford Quays, Media city and Old Trafford, great manmade vista but not quite the Cullins.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      I was the same before I started this. I made several attempts to take shots but the blog focuses the mind and I am looking at everything in a different way. You certainly have a different view now but thanks for your appreciation of the views. It is easier to”snap” up here. There is so much going on when you have a look.

  2. Don’t envy your drive from ULL to APX in the middle of the night! What route do you take as a matter of interest? North coast > Shieldaig > Kinlochewe > Gairloch or Bealach > Achnasheen > Garve? If it was daylight, it would fine to go one way and come back the other.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Achnasheen Garve every time especially if you are aiming for Ullapool. If you want to see on the way the coast road is very pleasant. Tired and deer on the way back was a problem but the music and company were good.

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