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

Posts tagged ‘Kishorn Yard’

Supposed to be Anti Rotational.

Anti rotation pump is something I did not think I would be talking about, but as I ended up ankle-deep in hydraulic oil in my engine room it turned out to be quite important.

A wee portent of the weather that appeared today showed its face over Raasay as the shift started last night.


low-key shift last night with the MoD boys in as usual Inn family but little else to keep one occupied. Scored later with a breaded wolf fish as the lady wanted one pan-fried. Some good but slightly depressing chats, especially the one about how scarce the young folk are and as usual the lack of accommodation. Have had a couple of in-depth conversations about the future of our wee place and again a worrying trend in place. The guys from Hamilton were sparky and provided some irreverent humour about the Dukes of Hamilton and Buccleuch’s origins. One or the other, maybe both were cited as the bastard descendant of Charles the second. On to be born of good stock, takes away so many of the every day stresses. One only has to keep what one has.

Genuinely excited about the sea-going today. Trip to the pier for bait and left the bike at the endless line and cleared the seaweed from the rope all in readiness for a day at sea. Weather beautiful and over the Hill


to see the Varuna already sitting in her cradle and ready for the off.


Noticed the recovered landing craft on the beach


before heading out past a showing of fish,


the Applecross Hills


and down Loch Kishorn.


Stunning day, flat calm and passed several boats making the most of the weather. Mood was buoyant and she felt new with all the bits and pieces in the right place and working. Steel plate in the deck where hydraulic pipes had worked themselves free of the fibre glass,


new flood light


and radio ariels all sorted.


Deck all sorted and ready for hauling by the time I was passing the Crowlins.


So had time to programme the new radio, I find if I read instructions it’s not a problem. So onto the first fleet and then the wee problem. All good until 3/4s of the first end up when the hauler died. Familiar problem but as the tank had been topped up thought it a bit strange that I would be out of oil. Everything okay on deck so looked below to find 80 litres of hydraulic oil swimming around the engine beds and the last of it pouring out the seal at the back of the pump. Nothing for it but to head for home and after a couple of abortive phone calls back over the Hill to see Ewen. He was mystified and said he would be over once he finished at the Yard. Took the Varuna in to the Pier where he replaced old with new and saw the seal on the new one burst. After a check on turning the engine worked out the old one was anti rotational but was marked as rotational so the new one worked against and burst the seal. After filling another can from new and sieving some from the floor, luckily no water involved, replaced the oil as well as the pump. Seals will be ordered and pump turned around and all is well sometime during next week.

Have to say felt pretty carp for a couple of hours on the way in and going over to the Yard but solutions sought, found and sorted means I hope to be on the water first light tomorrow. Tied up with the rope over the new cat head


and admired the search light,


mood lighter. Came ashore around sixish


to enjoy a lovely sunset over Raasay


and again just south of the Tor Mor with Dougal and Eilidh.


At peace listening to the water falling in the Alt na Chriche and losing the smell of oil in the evening breeze.

An Enjoyable Favour.

A little confusion reigned this morning. When taking the dogs out first thing got a request for a couple of cans of diesel for a generator. It was do that first or head for the toilets, well I did the diesel and it was just as well. Headed out to the Varuna to check her over for tomorrow’s tow but saw Donald on board and the confusing bit was he was waiting for me to tow him over today. Did not take much organising and we headed off in ten minutes. Actually a far better day for doing it especially having seen the forecast for tomorrow.


Speed was not too bad


and the trip down to Uags, round the corner and up Loch Kishorn. Lovely views over to the West, passing first Eilean na Ba


and then the Crowlins.


Toscaig next.IMG_7020

Over to the south the Bridge was lit up


and rays of sun light kept coming and going.


Towing went well with calm conditions all the way.


Weather up ahead, although quiet was looking showery and the result of the sun still shining in the south-west were some spectacular rainbows.


In the quiet weather boats were out making the most of the break.


Then for the tricky bit. I am getting good at not getting too stressed out by not thinking about events before you need to. Tied up along side the Michelle we headed in together to tie her up along the north side of the pier at the Yard. Ewen waiting for us and everything went well


with no boats hitting any thing they were not supposed to.

The Michelle safely tied up , Donald with his lift arranged for home it was just a case for me to cast off and head back to the mooring. As I was leaving Donald said something that was unnecessary “Anytime you want a favour just ask” but he still said it and like Kenny towing me in when I ran out of diesel this summer it is always good to know you are surrounded by good people. Only glad it was my turn to help. It is very much a sea code….you drop everything to sort some out who may be in a spot of bother.The reason I thought everything was happening tomorrow was another boat was ear marked for the cradle and she arrived as I steamed back out.


Past the now historic Kishorn Oil Yard’s base


and Dry Dock,


now the domain of Ferguson’s Transport and Donnie “Tarzan” Gillies.

Journey back was as enjoyable with views to the north both bright and dark up the Bealach.


Terns down here as well.


Back down the Loch was wonderful


as was the view due West just to the South of the Crowlins.


Round Uags and north to home, past the ruins of the families struck down by TB,


then on by Ardban.


Into the moorings where a big Greg was out in his Canadian


paddling amongst the eiders….well only one as I have not seen his mate yet.


All that was left to do was to drop the diesel off, up the road to pick up a couple of sirloin  steaks get a lesson involving fingers and thumbs on how to gauge whether a steak is well, medium or rarely cooked. Then back home to cook two medium rare whisky steaks to finish off a very enjoyable and fulfilling day. But not before taking in another rainbow.


Life is good despite Hassles.

What I like about Applecross is you can be as busy and stressed out as working 70 hours a week in The City, although I think there is far more purpose to life here and the stress is only really in one’s head. Fantastic weather and it is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. Took a day from fishing yesterday to try to sort out my charging problem on the boat and headed over to the Kishorn Yard to pickup a replacement alternator, although back in plenty of time to replace it the flu bug kicks in again with a vengeance. As it turned out I did not have the right size of allen key to get the pulley and fan off so it was a quick trip back over the Hill and not wasted as I watched two engineers get together to loosen the nut. It was on for 8 years. Back out in the engine room today and the prognosis is not that good as the gauges do not indicate I have solved the problem. Now its a check on fuses and connections, which is logically some thing I should have done first but I am not logical. As usual trips over the Hill are combined with other events and Kishorn Port Authority were putting on a display about the possible reopening of the Kishorn Yard, this time for building wind turbines for the expected western offshore wind farms. Not a lot of new information but got talking to one of the environmental consultants and it’s certainly of interest….may even be a tourist attraction!!! Possible 2/300 jobs involved but so much up in the air. As far as I can make out KPA refurbish the site and attract a company in to build the turbines, glad I do not live in that high risk world. As I was waiting for my alternator to arrive at Kishorn I wandered off with Dougal up the lower reaches of Russel Burn and despite feeling very unhealthy Dougal is good company and I do live in one of the most beautiful corners of the world.IMG_1607



Some in my family believe Dougal has little or no intelligence, I strongly disagree although his spaniel tendencies have to be catered for on a fairly regular basis. The Hills of Applecross I think are one of the defining features of this community, an island on the mainland and maybe makes some of us a little awkward and contrary. The Keoch Nose looks majestic from any angle but I am never going to climb it.

Tonight involved a trip out to the Community Hall to see a nature film by Nick Wright and sound by Stephen Deutsch. Very enjoyable and they are planning a film on Applecross that will involve some of the contraries as well as the wealth  of nature that we live amongst. To get there meant a lie down , a 20 minute shower and breakfast, first food for two days apart from the small bowl of veg soup at the Inn but it was well worth it and Nick is coming out on the boat for a day’s fishing, health and alternator permitting. Today’s trip over the Hill was combined with nipping into Lochcarron for a box of scallops. Really bad news on the bee front is that Audrey has found that she has varroa in her hives and has kindly given me the organic as possible solution and instructions to treat. A job for this weekend, Wandered over to the hive today and nice to see some activity. Such a shame as Audrey had tried so hard to keep her hives mite free and that was the reason for me waiting to get bees locally so I would not have to deal with varroa. As Sean has once again fixed our broadband it’s a wee spell on iplayer to catch up on Spiral and Dancing on the Edge.

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