After a hard day at sea it was off to the Raft Race, three rafts this year. Hard day in that was out not too sharp but the first fleet was hauled in a really awkward motion. When it comes from two directions due to the wind swinging further round to the west it makes for a cork screwing action and slows you up crossing the deck. Uses up a lot more energy and a couple of spasms of cramp during the night is testament on the day. Due to me mentioning the Sand Track earlier I took the pooches up the shoulder before the start of the entertainment began at the Inn. A quick run down the road with the dogs to come back up and pick up Breagh’s harp as she was playing music later in the Inn. The future paddlers were out in force
mainly getting their carbs in
for when it comes round to their turn.
Usual suspects turn up to row the rafts, some disturbingly comfortable in their new outfits,
the unbeaten run continues
with girls in second,
although they did have a ringer on board.
The ringer’s partner waiting for her man to come shore.
There was a serious doubt about the weather for most of the week but good fortune was in place.
Music by now playing away
with the key board player having a sneaky sip between riffs,
and the burgers flying out, the ice cream man being the burger man for the day.
Sorry to have missed the music later but a pesto squat lobster pasta meal and off to bed before ten. The work rate at the moment is very high but taking a bit of a toll due manifesting in severe tiredness and cramps, but still feels healthy. Fishing Competition going on today and although I am in full support a day on board doing nothing does not appeal. When I am on the Varuna I never stop, whether I am steaming to the next fleet or hauling it.
After nipping up to the Inn last night to watch an impressive terrine
being put together with the freshest of ingredients,
a sleep, a toilet paint and a last wood gather of the year
it only leaves me to wish every one who has read the blog a very very prosperous and peaceful New Year. I can only say that I so appreciate your interest and comments and hope it becomes slightly less stressful this year here and for every one as we do live a good life. Dougal, of course, would like to add his.
May you always be blessed
With walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain,
A warm cup of tea by the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire
Awesome evening going up the Tor Mor with Dougal and Co. Looking to the south-west with the sun still up.
Dougal was on the move digging for rodents and general rushing about so it was left to his gran Jenny and his mum Eildh to pose.
You cannot help but be moved by this place.
The western highlands are quite simply and truely awesome.
Sitting here winding down after a stint at the Inn and a couple of packed days. Did not start too well yesterday morning with what seems to be migraine headache. Bit of a pain in the butt so to speak as I’ve only started getting them last year. Anyway dragged myself up and out with Dougal and Co, fed the hens and did a bit of tidying up for the visitors Andrea and Ruth. Spent a couple of hours chatting about fishing, the relationship between fishermen and the civil service and lots more. Sometimes when you feel that cabin fever is coming on you don’t have to get out but guys visit and give you another burst of enthusiasm. Went up to the Inn where I continued my recovery with a curried parsnip soup, probably the best soup in the world, while Ruth and Andrea tucked into a Seafood platter for two,which included, scallops,prawns, oysters, haddock, herring, and crab. It was ok. The chat is often better in the Inn and really enjoyed Ruth’s company. I have made up a new term which described the conversation as Eastern blue sky thinking. Chat involved yoga, shakti dance, the environmental/economic balance and much more. Alison made it back from Dunkeld and joined in. Turned out Andrea knew Brian who was in building the next stage of the Iron Age House, Sam joined in as well and it was a night of connections.It was a very warm evening in the Inn as Ewen and Mary were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary with their family.
Today went up with Dougal, his Mam and Gran to the roundhouse where the roof timbers were going up.Although the weather was pretty dreich everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.After getting the dogs home it was off to do my prawn dive. Probably broke every rule in the book but after a longer than expected look I eventually came across them all neatly tied together with just a few on the outside of the boxes ending up as gourmet food for the crabs and dog whelks. a bit of manoeuvering with dingy and they were tied back onto the Varuna minus predators. There is always a silver lining in Applecross and as I was looking for the prawns I came across a few scallops which will be tea on monday.Watched a cracking game of rugby with an extremely tense ending but good that Scotland were not playing. And then it was off to the pub and although it was not busy very enjoyable. There is a M.O.D. trail on just now involving surface and submarine activity on the Range and the hotel is booked up with the guys running the trials. Getting to know some of them and the banter was good. A few locals came out later and the Jaeger bombers were in evidence. My oldest, Kenny arrived back from his two and a half months in South Africa with his girlfriend Jill. Good to see them back looking fit and healthy. I never really know what the boys get up to or where they are but they always seem to turn up now and again and it’s always good to see them. I like Kahlil Gibran’s description of your relationship with your kids in The Prophet. You are the bow and they are the arrows and you fire them off into the world. That way they live their own lives and not yours. Enough of the philosophy and off to bed ready for another shift tomorrow.