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

Helicopters and Hydro.

It was a normal sort of day until the phone call around mid day. Turned out it was a request from the Inn to check out the condition of a guest who had hurt his leg. His wife had left him as he could not walk and made it back to the Inn for help. It became apparent that it was to be a helicopter evacuee mission. With Dougal in tow, Eilidh has a bit of a stiff shoulder exacerbated by charging around the beach on Tuesday,


finally found them on the Ardban path after choosing the Coillieghillie one. Turned out they were okay, although he could not put any weight  on his leg he was sheltered and not getting cold and we knew help was on the way. I saw no need to hang about and, as he was not a whiskey drinker, I still had my Glenlivet in my pocket. Coming back round by Poll Domhainn Beag the helicopter came in over the peninsula


so decided to turn back to take a few snaps. These guys have great skills in lowering the stretcher



and the medic


before heading over to land on the field by the houses.


Dougal was fascinated by all the comings and goings and took a bit of time off from his work in clearing the undergrowth of small beasties.


Soon it was all sorted


and up and away.


Was on a bit of a deadline as I wanted to go up to the Hydro site as there was a first run of water down the pipe was in the program. Not on my program was another tramp up the hill to the Intake where Mick was working away getting the first flush ready. Dougal of course had no complaints.


Mick just had a couple of things left to do, one being unblocking the pipe of sandbags,


then opening up the valve and the closing of the fish gate. I ended up giving Mick a hand.


What fish were going to make it up through the cave system to the Intake I’m not sure, some special Applecross hybrid. Genuinely excited seeing the valve slowly opening and as the chamber filled up I found a use for the Glenlivet.


Apologies to all Glenlivet drinkers but not one of my favourites so it was either cooking or christening of the Applecross Hydro “Apple Juice” which should be generating in the near future. The water clearing of the pipe line went well, and after a tidying up of tools and rubbish, it was off down the hill. Impressive to see the water pouring through into the turbine house and out through the tail race.


A new sink hole has appeared at the point of re-entry into the stream and re-emerge just below the bridge into the campsite.

All this was followed by a gentle shift at the Inn where I met @criefboy from Comrie who are engaged in their own Community Share issue. http://comriedevelopmenttrust.org.uk/cultybraggan-camp-21-bunkhouse-community-shares All share issues are different and they are trying to balance their issue as it states a 60/40 in favour of local membership and so are looking to a few more locals to joining their venture. Qinetic boys and later the Hydro boys were in to swell the numbers. Two guests were missing as he had ended up on the operating table to sort out a bad leg break and ligament damage. Locals are nervous now as Heather started this little run last week with a bad break that puts her out of action for three months. The rest of us are nervously waiting for the third of the “things happen in threes.”

And finally to finish off a day to extreme variety Apple Juice interim directors met with HighlandEco to discuss the immediate plans and finances and suffice to say both parties ended the meeting satisfied with how a complicated and hurdle strewn scheme is being delivered. Although we are obviously constrained by the legalities the most important theme throughout the whole process is the decent humanity we treat other. We are aware of the managed risks involved and it was interesting to hear the response to our statement that this whole project would not go ahead without the huge input from HighlandEco. They returned with the response it would also not have gone ahead without the Applecross Community.

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