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

On the water on Saturdays are a pleasure if it was just listening to Radio Scotland and Radio 4, but one does pass the odd tired bod.


The variety is huge from hearing the weekend News going into Shereen and guests where you pick up fascinating pieces like the interview with Mary Miller. A minister’s wife who refused a comfortable manse in a safe suburb to living in a Castlemilk council house where John Miller preached. She was one of the founding members of the Jeely Piece Club, a group of mothers who were fed up with the cycle of drugs and poverty of the estate. You also get a round-up of what has over the week, the Referendum over Europe is never far away.  Then over on R4 you are taken to Angola and the problems of falling oil revenues, sewage in the streets of Luanda, but the rich are remaining rich and the poor are even poorer. Then the humour of Aff the Ball where Sally Magnusson comes on and talks Pee. Yep, seems she has written a book about urine. Has an important place in history, it turns out, French baguettes in medieval times had urine in them as there appears to be yeast in the pee.  The fishing was excellent, first creel had 3 medium and 1 large langoustine in it and from then on very enjoyable quantities coming aboard,


and only had to haul five fleets, 275 creels, to keep the Inn going over the weekend. They are selling huge amounts of langoustines at the moment, both whole in lemon and garlic butter and half pints as a sharing starter. The mayo buckets have the whole ones while the ones ready for tailing are in the basket.

I am not one for taking lots of food photos but thought the seafood pasta of the other evening


deserved one as did the view out west with the mist rolling over the north end of Raasay,


should have been the warning that there may have to be a later start the next morning.


Like every morning, bar one, this week the starts have been early and the first “job” of the day is to return the sheep south. Wednesday was a particularly early start, just after four and was about to head out to sea, after a breakfast, when the mist rolled in.


It was pretty dark around the moorings and did not lift till around ten. Ardubh did look mysterious in the fog.


Cannot say I am too bothered about the sheep coming up the road, other than the lack of sleep. Some things never change and even as the deer fence was being built I knew the sheep were never going to go out onto the hill for the summer. A pity but sometimes you have to live with rural idiosyncrasies. One of the reasons I am keen to see them off south where they belong is there are patches of wild flowers that appear in Camusterrach that help the bees. And the sheep here are out on the hill, must be a little depressing to see the grass being taken while the village sheep here are giving it a rest. Tells you what the sheep think of the state of their native feeding. Dougal enjoys his early morning jaunts.


Have to say the sheep are getting used to it and take off south as soon as Dougal and I open the gate. They need persuading to keep going so we have to go to the top of the Craig Darroch to make sure they are in their daytime pastures.


On the way past the dinghy on the out hauler saw she was resting on the shore and I take that as a sign of how tired one becomes when you make little mistakes like not tying the endless line off.


After breakfast this morning the tiredness in the legs meant another short kip on the couch before going out at half eight. Great thing about being single-handed and self-employed, you please yourself and have no one to blame for things that go wrong like the dinghy resting on the shore.

Fishing has been fine this week, with a little dip in the middle but has come back strongly in the last couple of hauls. Just as well as the Inn has turned into a Langoustine Bar with scallops and crab going well. The weather changing may slow down the output although no signs today. A passing super yacht


made me think of Sandy in his little dingy and to be perfectly honest I know the one I prefer, closer to nature in the wee dinghy. Not sure if that is the new one but it was the Hampshire as they were booked in and cancelled at the Inn. Fair old size as you can see the Mairead M in the background.


Took the Loch Ness Inn some langoustine on Friday and included a trip into Inverness, a dart round the outlets, Highland Wholefoods, Gaelforce Marine, Macgregors and Simply Pets. Managed a haircut before calling in to BlackIsle Berries on the way home. Four punnets of the best, tastiest Highland strawberries you could find, gone already.

Going up to the Inn for the second half of the work day and realising that will have crammed ten days work in the last eight with little respite in prospect. And that is not counting a five-hour trip picking up parts and delivering langoustine on Friday. The Inn shifts on Wednesday and Thursday have settled down a little and you are able to make a bit more contact with some customers. Lots of German and French about and we have the French-speaking Charlotte home for the month to help out in any of the linguistic difficulties.

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