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

Posts tagged ‘langoustine’

Cornering Failure

You never know what is round the next corner, or in my case on the corner. I made off to Inverness around 9 this morning after taking some langoustine ashore for the Loch Ness Inn. Called in at the Inn where I decided to go round the coast and up Glen Torridon. I had plenty of time so managed a couple of stops on the way to try to capture the beauty I was driving through. First had to try to get the locals to use the passing place


before rounding the Cuaig corner.


I have never managed to capture this scene, the road winding its way north against the backdrop of the magnificent Torridons and the bleak foreground of the Cuaig common grazing. A brief stop at Ardeshlaig


before coming to the corner up Glen Torridon. Black ice and before I could react I was sitting in the van on rock and heather five feet below the road


and slightly shock up.


Would have been a fine bit of parking if there had been a car park there.


Twinge in the back was all and after checking the langoustine in the back I was helped by some very kind visitors who let me use their phone to get in touch with recovery. A pleasant hour was then spent waiting for Peter to turn up, not before Colin wandered down having recovered another van further up the Glen. So home in a wee Peugeot instead of my van which is almost certainly written off. A cup of coffee and natter at DMK’s before coming back over the Bealach stopping again



as it was breathtakingly beautiful.



So a phone call or two before making arrangements to head off to Inverness, this time to buy a van, still instead of thinking if only I had….I think I was looked after today.

I knew my post last night would cause reaction and am pleased that it did. I am always careful not to personalise problems, but becoming less afraid of pointing out the negative effects of organisations, hoping that they will change. I can only say that being positive is the only way ahead. Sorting out a nonexistent Filling Station, then a duff one, helping to improve Broadband, helping with the Hydro, both publicize it and sorting out small problems. I believe we will have affordable housing built in Applecross and maybe in the future the community may be able to buy into the current housing stock and create a two tier market. Short term we need affordable housing now. I have enjoyed a Facebook conversation since coming home and I know there are residents ready to take this community forward. Access to land is definitely not a lost cause and it will happen either through talking, cajoling or in the last resort using powers given to communities by the Scottish Parliament.

I got so involved in posting last night that I forgot to post the photo of the German contingent in town with Graeme.


I give tables little titles when I put the food orders through, usually after a wee chat and it causes puzzlement in Prep and kitchen as they are off the wall at times. Their title was “Graeme and the Germans” I suggested it could be a title of one of his future novels, we’ll see. The crumbles went down a treat as did the haggis and cheese melts.

The day has ended with me missing out on the funeral service, leaving the beer kegs in Inverness but salvaging the langoustine by selling them to the Applecross Inn. So instead of a planned trip to The Loch Ness Inn it will have to be another trip over the Bealach for the best seafood in the Highlands.

Couple of Days of Fishing Talk.

Thursday and the weekend approaching is for most people the break in the week. Recuperation to get ready for the next onslaught, but it is seasonal here and you take your breaks any day you can. Although working tonight it will be a catch up day until evening at least. The weather has broken with another band of rain coming in and the easterly going to the south already blowing. It had rained hard on Tuesday night so checking the Hydro website was first job yesterday morning. White water coming down the hills but the site only showed a start and stop. Went up to do a manual and get the pressure up once the Campsite opened after nine. A couple of phone calls and a good 24 hours running at maximum, so all’s well. Meant I was a bit later going out but the creels had quite a few small langoustine in them. Knowing there were no half pints of tails at the Inn managed to fill that wee gap in the market.


We do not tails anything smaller than the langoustine that are sold at the Inn, just the smaller of that size. There are a couple of sizes landed below what most creels boats land and then there are what is called beetles, smash etc caught by the trawl……..tells you which method of fishing is the sustainable one.

The beginning of the week began early, five on Monday morning, out to the Varuna to pick up the langoustine for the Inn and a detour to the Loch Ness Inn. You add on plenty of time as the train leaves whether you are there or not. Everything went swimmingly and made it with an hour to spare. Even managed to purchase Donald S Murray’s tales of St Kilda, The Guga Stone, before setting off for Edinburgh. Went early due to price and a more relaxed view to missing days at sea. Beautiful Edinburgh,




and tourists all around. Lazy afternoon catching  on the early start. Wifi may be a little faster than Applecross but a lot more expensive. Then meeting up for a couple of Crabbies with the rest of the group at The World’s End, a bar made famous for all the wrong reasons.


Fishing talk all the way, the problems, the frustrations but safe in the knowledge that we are on the right side of the story. Backed up by all the evidence already out in the public domain.

The next day was discussing the future and how we were to go about it. As it is well organised and will be out in the public domain in due course more of this in the future. Great to meet up with a couple of organisations one new to me and one I have followed for years. Left a half hour early as train does not wait and after picking up the van in Inverness the call of home becomes stronger. Some lovely mists on the Lochcarron hillside


and the light last night on the water was as special as ever.


Over heard a visitor talking about how hard it was to buy shellfish on the pier-head now. Entered a discussion about the sustainable fishery that we are involved in and hoping the future she will be able to buy in Applecross, like the lady that took fresh langoustine back to Torridon when we landed yesterday. Busy evening at the Inn but went like clockwork. Although the customer does not know it, you forget a couple is coming down late, but another two leave a table just in time and it appears seemless. We get away with so much that the customer does not know. Changes to be considered now that the new Cabinet has been announced. Richard Lochhead has stepped down we now deal with Fergus Ewing. We always felt that Richard heard our story and wanted to support it but his wife’s health and possibly the farming IT disaster influenced his decision to step down. So the rest of the afternoon spent on the couch with a lazy Dougal and Eilidh.

Simply the Best.

For all those that could not make the journey I thought I would ease the pain a little with some photos. I am not a food photographer so hope they taste, sorry, look ok.




Everything was startlingly good, from the canapes to the chocolates, I had a bit of time on my hands before the first customers came in so thought of arranging the chocs appropriately. Tony, as he has said often before, when he has the langoustine always thinks he is on holiday….so he had langoustine. The halibut and lobster was stunning as was the soup….a fine evening and it goes on for another two.


Really good the chef often is not very good at counting and at the end of service the extra medallion had to be eaten.

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