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

(Tuesday afternoon) Two days out on the water in a very warm atmosphere. Langoustine go straight into the tank to keep them alive.Yesterday was a reasonable day’s catch but the visitors had a langoustine day at the Inn and this morning I thought I may take a day off, just pottering around the garden and catching up with little jobs. Garden is wild and to some extent fairly natural. Did not produce much in the way of food last year but bit of salad, tatties, beetroot and carrots are showing signs of growth.

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So around 10am called the Inn asking how the stocks were and they had sold just about all of yesterdays landing. So it was back on the water albeit slightly later at ten. The day had started at the back of five when I had to get Dougal and clear the village of ewes and lambs as they had woken me up, bawling to each other like a dawn chorus.

Not before Son No3 came in, jogging home from Ard Ban where he was camping with his little Mexican partner, MC. They went out last night by kayak with stores, tent and overnight sleeping gear.

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Unfortunately for them they ate today’s lunch last night so he had to come home for more. Just about to cook up a seafood pasta and they have retired to bed while a very tired Son No1, with Jill, has just come in for the same tea. Pressure is on as I am cooking for a chef. Think I will be alright as hand dived king scallops, squats and langoustine tails, mussels from under the dingy and hot smoked salmon for round the north coast, can’t go round can it? Beginning to think most people involved in the tourist trade in Applecross are already tired and it is only June. Hearing today that the Boss went on an intravenous drip today but is expected home tonight. I know that she does not drink near enough non alcohol liquids and comes to a head every now and again when the hours mount up. The combination of the best weather, the food and welcome, the advertising…heard an anecdote about a dozen Indians who had flown in from Delhi, hired some bikes and were driving the NC500…. and possibly some trepidation about travelling around certain parts of Europe, the last is sad but true. The season both ashore and at sea is well underway and we are heading rapidly to mid summer. The water is filling up with plankton, jelly fish

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both scalders and the single cells. It was a no contest in this creel and they looked a couple of very happy octopi.

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There are a lot more about this year. Maybe it is the slightly longer lie of the creels. As the fishing has been good I have hauled less creels and have taken 3/4 days rather than the 2 to get around all the creels so giving more time for the octopi to find the creels with langoustine in them. Found this wee louse type in an open creel.

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Fascinating world that we know so little about.

(Written Sunday evening) Crammed couple of days. Only read the email saying the bait had arrived so it was an evening trip around the coast to Aird

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or the packing Shed anyway. Picked up a half ton and loaded it along with some salt onto the van and made it back for a pizza at the Walled Garden where Megan was celebrating a birthday. Although it is probably the last I want to do on a Friday evening after hauling over 350 creels the changing light

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and the views out west do really help you and you forget how tired you are and in all honesty my office is the world’s best.

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An oft-repeated cliché but just a statement of fact in this case.

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Pizza was grand but tired so did not stay long as I knew I had to be out early Saturday morning. A 4.00am wake up but it was just before 5 before things started to move. Flat calm

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and these early morning starts are so peaceful.

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On the way out to the Varuna three eiders fly around the Pol Creadh and then off to the north a cormorant makes its way out to the west, skimming over the water. Again once the haul starts the langoustine come on board in pretty good order. Only needed to haul four fleets to land enough for the weekend. Ashore in time to have breakfast, take 5 mins nap before heading out to work at the Inn. The Boss being away it meant a slightly longer shift. The day was a lot quieter than experienced all week and passed off well. What we call quiet, I think most other establishments would describe as full on. The only little diversion of the afternoon was the burst colostomy bag at the toilets. A phone call later and a return visit from our cleaner meant that wee disaster was sorted. And then the evening. I have no idea where everyone was hiding and who coordinated them but they descended on us around 6pm. The queue at the Bar was at least 10/12 people long and stayed that way for about 4 hours. Food and drink  flowed all night and the kitchen finally stopped cooking at twenty to ten. Even by Inn standards it was an extra ordinary shift….felt like it was a Festival weekend. Eventually made it to bed to the strains of Sailing By although did not stay awake to hear the Hebrides forecast.

This morning that bait had to be salted so, down to the Pier

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and the half ton was soon in the Tub with the salt

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before breakfast and back to the Inn for more. Pretty busy again, and a bit of tiredness in the legs. Looked after some Americans who had a bit of trouble with their puncture. Difficult for them to get their hire company to sort them out. feeding them some alcohol and reassurance along with some fine seafood and they began to relax. Were sorted out by the time I was ready to leave and they were genuinely grateful for the assistance offered. Some times just being friendly is enough. Distinctly hot and  things were winding up when I left around 7pm. Unfortunately not long before I left I took an order from a very chatty pleasant wee lady on the Ozzy flag. for some unknown reason I ordered her two fish pies while she wanted two cod. It was all resolved with the minimum of fuss but felt for the kitchen as it is hard enough for them without these mistakes. Put it down to tiredness from a long weekend. (PS the seafood pasta was well received. No1 asked for more.)

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