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

Posts tagged ‘electric bike’

Honey and the Electric Car.

Weather has been as bad as predicted, coming in on Monday afternoon from the south-west and quickly blowing from the north-west. This is the worst direction for the boats in Applecross especially with a high tide as we do not get any shelter from the reefs and the motion rolls in. I arranged a trip to Kyle to take over three frames of honey for extraction. Was a little later than planned as had to wait for the tide to go out to the Varuna, check the bridal and then take the dingy into the shore as it is far too exposed for the forecast. Funny how you miss the obvious and was half way up the Hill before realising that the easiest way to transport them was in a super not the ice cream punnets that I had. Only the one minor tip before wedging them in and driving slower. Arrived about twenty minutes late but the next two hours flew by and learned a huge amount.Depending on how things go this winter plan to have my own extractor for next year. Both hives seem to be in reasonable shape and still flying. Started feeding them this weekend. So the frames were uncapped, put in the extractor


and spun


resulting in about six pounds of honey.


So all loaded up with wax and honey and back over the Hill.

Tuesday was a sheltered day, watching the weather, the boat bouncing around on the mooring and seeing if the dingy was okay on the shore.


Poor weather but not the worst and everything seems to have survived. Dougal, of course, is always on hand to check things are all in their rightful place.


So back at the house the only thing to do with the honey today was to drain the honey out of the wax, a good half pound or so, in a bowl above the fire.


And the wax once drained to be frozen and recycled by the bees next spring. Think I may have a wee holiday on Colonsay around May/June if the Inn will let me. Meeting a real bee keeper only tells me how much I do not know about bees. Rest of day spent looking out the window and watching depressing Scandinavian films. May be moving into the speculation time of year and picking up some criticism of the Company and the Council and how they are too close together. Not sure how to respond to that other than say why not. The sooner all the Community organisations, whether based in the community or absentee, work together the better for the whole community. Some people cannot seem to separate personality from organisation. I, for some strange reason, do not care who is in what but if there is a Community benefit that is enough.

Technology day today, after the butcher came to the front gate, and it was on the Ebike to see the visit of the Ecar which had made it over the Hill with ease and with power to spare.


Very interesting morning chatting about the potential of changing our transport in the countryside, one of our biggest carbon footprints.


Although I do not like the supermarket style of presentation before huge waste, the fact that a van comes in instead of five cars going out does make sense. That does not mean I will ever order from the TESCO van but can acknowledge the benefit. I just think the cost outweighs the benefits in the long-term in the possible loss of shop and PO. Calum, now working on Eorpa, alerted the new contact for BBC Alba, Steve, who duly turned up to do a bit of filming.


Certainly on the cards for the future transport needs of the schoolhouse. Having turned up on the Ebike it was suggested that a wee interview took place after the proper ones. Finished in time for Applecross Ices to get her own back in her wee “media” comment. Group of young chaps from Kyle turned up


to see what was going on and Steve set off on a little drive in the car. This vehicle has a small petrol driven generator which extends its range by another 60 miles. Huge advantage in these vehicles is there are no moving parts,


still a bit pricey coming in at £25,000 with the Govt grant of £ 5,000. Seeing nothing under the bonnet reminded me of the old VW Beetle joke, lady broken down lifts the bonnets and finds no engine when another pulls up and a guy jumps out to help. Tells her it is okay he has a spare one in the boot. Ahh the old ones….. Weird watching it head off without a sound. Means I can wear my headphones on the bike when they arrive here in numbers, invest in a couple of mirrors.Other major excitement of the day was to book up several concerts for the Celtic Connections Festival in January. Two weekends booked up with music from The Americas, here, Africa and Asia. Will be a good break from the depths of an Applecross winter.

Inverness,Bike and more Blogging.

Not often I say that a day trip to Inverness went like a dream, especially when so little planning went into it. Sunday night I managed to rummage out my insurance and Tax Disc form so I could nip to the PO and get legal after the brake cable was fitted and MOT passed. This was duly done even although there was a little consternation when I turned up after not phoning on Friday afternoon to confirm, still at sea during office hours. Thought there may be a problem when there were two cars on the hydraulics and one parked in front waiting but all done within the hour promised. First stop in Inverness was to the first bike shop to get son No3’s bike sorted after it became unwell during Gerry’s Duathlon and then onto the second shop where I rapidly purchased my new/demo electric Volt bike and ordered a flat back trailer. After promising to call in on the way out it was off to drop Jamie at his appointment, down to Highland Wholefoods, then back to pick Jamie up. Then haircut, pick both bikes up ,No3’s not that sick, Co-op and off out the old A9 by 3.45pm. Almost always go this way now. It is so much more interesting.


The best coordinated unplanned day in Inverness ever. Got Jamie back by half five and was home at 5.55pm but got my days wrong and it was tonight I was supposed to be home for 6pm. Had a call out to the Inn after food to have a chat with a couple who are putting a book together about sustainable way of life/local food/recipes.Interesting couple of hours chat and they came down again this morning for a couple of photos and another chat. Yet another couple who were attracted to the peace and quiet of Applecross.

Today was still a little windy although not as bad as forecast and it was off down to the pier to wash some creels. And it was off down on the new purchase. Complete change of mindset, instead of jumping in to the van and away down the road. Had to plan the trip on the bike, keys for the shed, wellies, camera and iPod, cause I am not coming back for any….well maybe the key as the pressure washer is locked up. So first trip out and it went really well, probably keep the bike in eco mode as I want a little fitness benefit as well as saving diesel money and fumes.


100 creels washed and another couple of chats, then off up the road on the bike, shower and back on to the funeral. I almost think that because I had got there by bike I felt more alive (maybe not a good turn of phrase when you are seeing some one-off) it could have been the squall or the rainbow or the cold north-westerly breeze.That is 10 miles already and a possible change of life style. Another advantage is that it takes longer to get to where you are going to and you are able to have a wee look around and even a think although that may be a bit dangerous at times. So a bowl of soup on the way home and the bike is now on charge.


Had our telephone conference to finish off the day and the blog out put has to double somewhat over the next six weeks. Interesting comment on the phone it seems that six weeks is important to clear yourself of addictions. As the bike and trailer cost £1,500 the van addiction is well in the past. The extra blogging will be starting imminently.http://travellingtales.org/

Fish Science, Electric Bikes and Geese

Five days of grey weather, sometimes wet and breezy, but mostly grey. I would think that the mood would be a bit of a downer, but been very fortunate as I have had some really good conversations and a couple of mini projects have come this way. Through the SCFF become involved in a creel project which is going to see if the mesh size on the creels have an effect on what the catch is. that still has to get off the ground and I still have to pick up the creels and ropes from Aird. May have to go round specifically as the last two weeks I have not had to leave Applecross for my massage as Sarah has been coming here. Also on the fishing front contact has been made as part of a standard survey and that was quickly done followed by a far more interesting conversation about some of the things happening at sea. Chatted about some research, very new, that to me suggests closing an area and walking away sometimes does not work. Seems that just about every where it may be site specific, which < I suppose < is a get out clause for the scientists. I do not think it should but that rile some fishermen if they see an area closed and no improvements in the stock. Going back to this new research from another country…….there was a ten-year closure which saw no recovery of fish stocks. In fact the nephrops did really well, so well that the thought is they modified the bottom so much that the fish could not re-establish in that area. Maybe the Grand Banks suffer from this when a fish stock gets overfished so much it takes more than a closure to allow that stock to recover. Broad Bay and the area around it has been hammered so much in the past that a closure has little benefit to the ecology of the Bay. Not sure opening it up to the dredge is the answer either as that may have been part of the original problem. MPAs are on the way, just hope a lot of thought is put into their establishment and where. One of the worrying statements at last Friday’s meeting was the fact that there was going to be a review of all the “closed areas” but none of the all access areas were going to be checked out which suggests areas are going to be opened up but none closed down. There are some closed areas that do regenerate off Mexico and New Zealand for example, so we are back to site specific. And people thought that fishing was simple. The oceans are the fount of all life and once we start treating it with a lot more respect than we do at present we are in trouble…..Now that felt good. Far better to have a little written rant than shouting at some one.

In complete contrast Val in the guise of AEE posted on fb an invite to blog for 6 weeks on a change of transport. https://www.facebook.com/ApplecrossEnergyEfficiencyAs we have two modes of transport, in the country with two different jobs that is the way. The post nudged me towards doing something about it and I headed off to Toscaig, initially to meet some one from the Dept seeing the croft, missed her, and to check out the electric bike stall in Upper Toscaig.


Well impressed and a little research coming up tomorrow regarding electric bikes and trailers for the prawns and we are going to try to cut out 70/80 miles a week of running around in the van. Not so sure about the basket on the handle bars, not good for the image. Two gallons of diesel will easily counter the outlay of the bike and trailer over a short period and even allowing for the manufacture of the bike will cut down the footprint further. Always a thought as we are supposed to have a higher one living in rural spots. So a coffee, chat to the geese,


and another chat,


and ok, a cuddle,


and a couple of emails later I seem to be guest blogging on a charity blog site. Stopping and thinking what I get myself into is not a strong point, but good fun as a result. Shift at the Inn tonight was great and met some interesting chappies. But more of that later, now it’s hazelnut and pink gooseberry ice cream.

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