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

Woke this morning to some sad, sad news. Took a while for it to sink in but then there was the realisation that Charles Kennedy had passed away. Dozing off and on and as it was a breezy morning and no pressure on getting up. Breakfast sorted and then Alison was on the phone to BBC5Live as part of a tribute half hour to Charlie. After a little visit to the streets of the Fort Alison came on to describe Charlie’s visit to Applecross when we opened the  Filling Station seven long years ago. He came with his family, Sara and wee Donald. He filled up the locally volunteered fire engine and then he and Donald went for a little run in it. We had a meal in the dinning room after the formalities and you very quickly forgot he was your MP. He made you so much at ease and said that we had made Donald very happy by having a piper at the opening and getting a “shot” in the fire engine as they were his two favourite things at the time. Hearing Alison relate this on the radio and then listening to Hugh Dan and Ian Macdonald relating to personal experiences brought it home, how much he was liked and also how sad I felt for not voting for him. That in itself says so much about the man, the man who made people feel that they knew him personally even although they would have only met him half a dozen times in their lives. Last night I was at the Filling Station working on it as a local had little or no diesel to get to where he wanted to go and after about half an hour of mainly IT stuff was chuffed to get it going again. Have not done the “remote” reboot although at the Station itself but before that had to reset the screen as the cursor was not behaving itself. It is only through working out and actually doing these actions that you learn. I think that is what Charlie stood for, as well as the big picture, to help us help ourselves. Recommend anyone who is interested to have a read of Alister Campbell’s moving tribute of a man he obviously was close to and loved.

(So to what I had written earlier at the Inn on Sunday morning)  Quiet spell at the Inn, something we have not had much lately. Indeed the last week has flown by with the drilling at the beginning, busy Inn and three days on the water catching langoustine. The days at sea have been hard work with a little motion, just enough to tire you out but not nearly enough to come in. Mind you I wonder why we put these little burdens on ourselves. If I do not want to go out why should you look for reasons not to. If you have enough money, don’t go fishing does it matter if some one calls you lazy.

Wednesday/Thursday at the Inn were silly busy but it has quietened of considerably last night and today. The weather is still changeable and that is being charitable. On Friday it was hailing on my sun hat. Sums up the weather we have had recently. Friday morning, it was calm9Q7Q9743 and peaceful




but the westerly breeze on the Sound makes for a long day. Being single handed for me has been the best but it does mean that from the start of the day to when you come ashore it is constant motion. I have not long to steam to get to the gear and little time between fleets. One of the jobs is to have the bait ready for the next haul.


Saturday was busy but very manageable as was Sunday at the Inn. We are now in a slight lull before the schools break up. The Fri/Sat catches were not too bad and on Saturday morning saw The Grace Anne at the pier, time of year despite the weather.


An every day sighting is the large gathering of seals on the rocks as you go out of the moorings. No seal trips needed here. A study issued this week claimed that the huge growth in their numbers are inhibiting the cod recovery on the west coast. Never very sure of these stats as you often find that nature is in balance until we intervene, certainly a case in the modern world.


A positive of the weather we are getting many different changes in the light as the fronts roll in and over us. Sunday evening being no exception.


Forgot my ice cream so back on the bike and was rewarded with another viewing. Dougal and Eilidh delighted to join in.


Friday was a little frantic in the planning but worked out better than expected. Out in the morning for 300 pot haul and enough prawns to see the weekend through and then off to Shieldaig for an overdue massage and chat. Long catch up as have not been over for about six weeks with Sarah being in Portugal. Although relatively relaxed, not too much time to lose as I was picking up bait and making it back to the Inn for an extra shift. Leaving Shiedaig on the north coast,looking back summed up the weather we have been having, a north westerly squall coming up the Loch,


Shieldaig in the light and the Torridons covered in ominous darkness.


And coming round the coast road at Cuaig where the Sound opens out a different scene. This is one of the reasons why so many people love visiting this part of the world. Around the next corner another piece of magic.


Turned out that they were well covered at the Inn and had the evening off.

And now back to Tuesday where I may well pop out for a look in the creels as the wind has dropped off. Target going out at twelve and maybe lift half a dozen fleets. Yesterday again seemed like a day in February with strong gusty winds and later on heavy rain. Down to the pier to do a little work on the creels, they are not going out very fast but as the weather has meant days when they are lying between hauls it has not meant much lost fishing time having them on the pier. Noticed some of that fast growing coral on the creels, this from a fleet I had lost earlier in the year and tried five or six times to get it hooked up with another fleet. Would have been in the water for about six months. Lovely purple Coral? growing beside the white coral I was taking the snap off. Would not have seen it otherwise. Looking at the twine it is covered in so much growth which I take to be a healthy sign.


With bait salted job done.

On the day Charlie Kennedy died it seems a very bitty post but that may well reflect emotions felt but also an appreciation of what we have and a knowledge of what he loved about the constituency he represented so well. The beauty of the surroundings and the people who live here.


Comments on: "A Sad Day in the Highlands." (2)

  1. basketbob said:

    Very sad about Charles – I think he was very much a man of the people.
    Lovely pics, as ever, Ali – You are never blind to your surroundings.
    One wonders how long it would take for the creels to be totally covered by the coral growth?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Rob,not long. Have not noticed this coral until recently and now noticed the speed of its growth. The good thing about losing creels it has been proven they do not ghost fish like gill nets but become part of the environment as much as plastics and steel does. We are very fortunate here to have such good representatives, at local level, Scottish and Westminster. We know them all as Audrey, Biz, Richard, Jean Dave,Rob and Rhoda. Charlie was one of them and now Ian. They are all “one of us” and that is the greatest compliment you can give them. They have never forgotten who they are and Charlie seemed not to as well.

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