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

(Tuesday Morning)Going to say it and risk the consequences, planning a day at sea tomorrow, catching langoustine. Friday’s pluttering about and then into Saturday was followed by a day off and waiting for a battery recharge on Sunday. Have to say for some reason was not terribly confident that everything was okay on Monday but was down at the Pier early doors. Result was that the drive plate may be catching a bolt and needs adjustment and I could only put her ahead using the outside controls and astern inside. So phone call and visit from Ewen yesterday has meant that a “whip off the gear box and adjust the drive plate” and all’s well for tomorrow. Leave from Camusterrach in the morning.

The Hydro is going full ahead. A few of us met with Mick yesterday


at various places and he showed us round the site,


left the Pen Stock for another day as two of the Directors did not want to have their babies just yet. The pipe has more or less been buried the length of the 900 metres with the steel pipe still to go in across the field,


needed to take the 17 bar pressure at the Turbine House from the 170 metre drop (head). Dougal busy as usual.


All the Lego blocks are in place and rough concreted and the Turbine house build will be starting today. The lorries were due in yesterday but the first arrived overnight


after going off the road avoiding a car on the Coast road. the other one stayed the night in Sheildaig. The second one arrived this morning and I guided him back up the road to the site as he wandered about Applecross.


Going back up in an hour to see what is going on before working on creels and getting the Varuna ready for a restart in the morning. Meanwhile the launch is being prepared and Val and Alison


were working through the proofed copy from Sarah of the prospectus,


web site is being put together by Emma Noble, going live on Saturday and the Ceilidh Posters hopefully will be up today. Going for a half seven start with Dance kicking off at half eight when we get our speeches and Q and As out of the way. Nervous, stressful and exciting times.

On the way back from the Inshore Conference I stopped off at Ryfield Farm, Black Isle Berries, just off the Tore roundabout, to pick up advice on the next croft project. Over the years, apart from sheep grazing the grass, some pigs, raspberries and other bits and bobs I have not used my croft to its full extent. Received a letter from the Crofters Commission saying that I was neglecting my croft and was in danger of losing it. Took a moment to think about that and to see how all the crofts are being used in Applecross and thought, not worth getting cheesed off about the missive. One does wonder what system picks out individuals and leaves others entirely alone. So advice on the ground and what to plant was gratefully received from Torquil as was the food I bought from the fine farm shop. Eating well over the weekend of raspberries, beetroot, potatoes and a bottle of unpasteurized apple juice. Interesting to see the small-scale pasteurizing process in operation and hearing the problems small-scale operators face. most laws, hoops and hurdles are in place for industrial users and small-scale find it a lot harder to tick boxes. A huge problem in the Highlands because the environment suits this size of units and logistics work against you. Found that when we were farming and selling the freshest, biggest scallops to the Inn and found that the testing and shucking regimes that were put in place meant it was one of the reasons not to continue.

(Wednesday morning) With Ewen back down at the Varuna in the morning after floating off a barge at Kishorn I went up the road to meet with Dan and Mick, had a spot of lunch with them at the Walled Garden and I went up to the Pen Stock




where Dougal inspected the progress.


By this time the lorries were unloaded and the builders were on site and putting shuttering in place at the Turbine House.


Another spell binding creels and then up to the Inn for a three-hour holding shift before down to the Varuna to check out hauler pump and gears, all good and up to the CC Meeting where we had one of the longer ones, finished up around half nine.

This morning with a 4/6 southerly forecast and already a little fresh I decided to leave it for a blue arrows (XCWeather) day and three coming up which will allow me to get things going again. Tonight at the Inn may well be very interesting as there will be a Sami chef in for a meal with a few others talking about foraging and sustainable food and fishing. My fishing has been very sustainable for the stocks over the last month, maybe not so for the finances. The weather has continued in a good vein with pleasant calm conditions, the Silurian of the Whale and Dolphin Trust, resting at anchor just off the Bay,


and the odd rainbow.



Comments on: "Hydro and Fishing back on Agenda" (3)

  1. As ever Ali, I’m impressed with the twists and turns your day takes, and what you manage to fit in to it. Most of the things you talk about as normal for you are beyond the ken of ordinary folk, and nothing like their 9 to 5 humdrum existences (if they are lucky).
    And still – you manage some great pics – always informative, and full of beauty as you see it.
    When you look back over your life – you will no doubt feel it was well-spent.
    Keep up the good work.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      You can keep commenting like that Rob it is much appreciated. Sometimes when you get involved in some thing you lose the bigger picture and what people say and do locally can be taken out of proportion. So outside comments and what people see with the local personality carp means a lot. Cheers. PS don’t think our wee scheme is going to stop the Chinese coming. We are living in a crazy country at the moment but just imagine every community with renewables…..would means friends of Cameron and Osborne could not get their grubby paws on it.Small heads of only 3 metres produce lots of energy. Grids should be localised. Cities can power themselves and rural do not need massive grids taking and losing power across country. Pleasant rant over for the day.

  2. Anne Byars, Glasgow said:

    How did those lorries make it over even the coast road? There are a couple of bends on there that must have given them pause. Did they know what they were in for?

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