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

Been an eventful few days with some beautiful weather,


settings on the Hydro needing sorted and a couple of funerals. There was a bit of fishing involved as well and it was sleeping in at the Inn last night. Nice to see guests enjoying freshly caught creel langoustine again. Well cooked and could not be fresher. Seems the langoustine were featuring on TV. Wonder if they were creel caught and if people would know the difference if they were.

Going back a bit and after a phoneccall and email I restarted the Hydro on Tuesday. Unfortunately, but not unexpected, we are sorting out settings. It was set when in spate so common that it has to be corrected to ensure maximum power output. Ewen and I were back up last night to reset but unsuccessful as the readings on the control panel did not match instructions. Ewen had another go today but needs more expertise and the boys are due in next week anyway. I had needed to go up to the Intake to check the screen was not blocked. There was a fair bit of debris to be swept off


but it was not that which switched the turbine off.


Ended rushing a little, it was the morning of Roger’s send off and as Dougal was with me he had to go home and a change of clothes for me before the service. There were four of us to help take Roger from the hearse and put him in position for the last time here in Applecross. That was done and then it was down the road to change in time to  get back up and pass on a few instructions for Ian about who was sitting where, the cap and the collection vase. Felt slightly rushed and we stood at the back as we were to take Roger back out. Bit thrown when Ian took me out towards the end and said I was to go down to the front and help take Roger out. Regarded this as a serious honour but was very nervous. All went well however and Mark and I were down at the Inn and ready to serve the masses. The Inn was filled and there was a proper wake where I over heard a few tales of Roger and Vera. The other side of the tale of Roger always saying “If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well” was when he was laying some flooring and under the influence, Judith reminded him of his saying. She got a quick response,”Well if you are p####d you do the best you can.” A bit irreverent but that is what a wake is for, a sort of ceilidh where people remember stories about the deceased life. The oral traditions of keeping some one alive in the community after their physical presence has gone.

The day before saw us at Clachan again, this time at the burial of my aunt Sybil. A different kind of send off and one that involves a sermon with a short eulogy about Sybil. Everyone is different and I remember my Dads when his name was mentioned once in the passing, as was my Mums. Presbyterians do it different concentrating on everyone’s afterlives prospects rather than seeing off the person who has recently passed away. I find it is always good to hear about the life. I remember calling at the Schoolhouse, as a primary school kid, little knowing that one day I would be living in it. Sybil was a quiet and well liked lady around Shieldaig where they headed after Robert retired in 1970. Spent Friday fishing doing a lot of thinking about the last couple of days and remembering lives lived. Having sorted my parents funerals in the traditional way as they would have liked, I found I did not mourn them on the day as all you are thinking “is everything organised” and wondering if you have missed anything out while the “sermon” is being preached. It is only after everyone has gone you miss them although with my Mums dementia meant it was a goodbye long before the physical passing.

The day’s fishing had begun with a pause while I watched an otter busy searching the Ardhu shoreline. I was not out early and the sun was already throwing her rays across the Camusterrach


and Camusteel houses,


a cormorant was watching me make my way out.


Despite the emotions and resurrected memories of the last two days the beauty of the day took hold and once again on the sea in nature work and life becomes less stressful. A tangle in the Bay but all went well and a few good quality langoustines aboard, the day passed quickly enough. Emotions up and down all day, knew I had nine creels missing from the end of a fleet by the Range, south buoy gone and a cut rope not retied properly, then thought I had lost the whole fleet when the north end was not where it should be. Hauled the next fleet to the North and shooting back off to the south-east there was the “missing” buoy. Back to losing just nine creels instead of fifty-five. The little ups and downs of fishing on your own on the water. But both buoys back on and hoping to pick up missing creels soon. With the intention of taking creels closer to home I kept the furthermost north one on board and shot it off the Camusteel shore. Not before enjoying the setting sun




providing some colourful scenes




on the Applecross shores.




Feeling rested after a day at sea, setting sun to the west, two cormorants flew past heading for their perches. It felt like I was coming home with the cormorants, all of us from a day fishing on the water.

With the langoustines and squat lobsters


back on the menu, an extra evening shift was on the cards. Found it a little difficult as there was a mix of lots of alcohol and good food with loud conversations all around. Interestingly refusing drink to guys that judged to have too much already, difficult to do to people you know well but it did seem to be accepted and dare I say appreciated. You could say a successful community Inn where the next ventures are planned and discussed and everyone disappears on even before the Bell tolls. Roger’s family through in Inverness followed by a night in Glen Affric, meant a sleep in for me at the Inn.

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