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

Posts tagged ‘low tides’

Mixing Old and New.

A look at the snaps taken and you change your mind about not a lot happening in the community and there about. Saturday saw me out reasonably early and a rapid 300 hauled before going in ostensibly to watch the rugby, poor fool that I was. Supporting Scotland in just about anything at the moment takes so much out of you whether it is community, nationhood or just sport. Although it was the poorest performance so far there is always the next game and hope springs eternal. The Irish are always the best team to lose to as are the French. Lovely and quiet day at sea


and the fishing not too bad, the creels seem to need a longer lying time or soak to catch a decent amount of prawns. That is why most boats have so many creels and now miss days at sea. In the past hauling creels every day or at least every second day was the norm. Sign of the times now that they have to be left 2/4 days to give up a good haul. Part of the eclipse, moon etc has resulted in a very big tide and only just getting the dingy into the shore.


Signs of spring appearing although I am sure winter will be back, the first bonxie of the year in the morning. Just a scout around and did not land for a feed. Sometimes you see as much colour here as you would in the Red Sea or the Caribbean.


So after the rugby it was up to the Inn, nice cloud cover to the West


and a busy but easy night, everyone heading off by ten before the recyclers from the Hall arrived for an on the road coffee before going home. It all got slightly surreal when the survival suit came out and Lynne put it on, part of Anne’s dolphin rescue outfit and very fetching it is. What the dolphins make of it….. Donald walked away with his own cup with his many entries. There was a recycle down at the pier today. This shed used to be a freezer shed at the Inn and now is going to enjoy another life as a fishing shed. Looking a bit drafty at the moment but I am sure there are plans for improvements.


Sunday shift at the Inn was as quiet as has been for the last couple of months and had plenty of time to wander down to the Bay


to take a couple of shots.


There was a family digging for spoots and he obviously knew what he was doing in the way he was walking backwards.




Today after a slow start a trip with the dogs down to the pier to mend some creels getting ready for the summer hauls. On the way down noticed for the first time a ruin just below the bench on the Craig Darroch and stopped for a look.


No idea what this was, best guess a sheep shelter if not for the opening to the west.


No suggestions although lots of interest from Dougal and Eilidh.


Synchronised all round watch.


They amuse themselves while I am mending, Jenny was not good at that and got easily bored. With the iPod on shuffle it was a mix of the old and new. Mending fishing gear and listening to new fangled music. The shuffle feature gives one many pleasant surprises. One minute you are listening to an Alabama Gospel choir belting out Amazing Grace then its John Prine, Neil Young, Van the Man and a bit of Floyd before you are into the Peatbogs and Cathy Anne Macphee singing Canan Nan Gaidheal. Music takes you to places all around the world and then back home. And it is back home that is providing some fine sights. A stop off in the shed to refill the mending needles and wait for the shower to pass, but when it passed you are treated to yet another magnificent spectacle,


a rainbow of fine proportions stretching across the moorings.


Was earmarked to go to Rona for Sean to do some work on the system over there and as the Wedding is this weekend there was a little pressure to get over before the weather breaks. Sean with a spot of flu called off but on for tomorrow. Early start to get most of the way before the northerly blows up. The ay back will be fine with the motion and wind on the stern. Only blot on the day was the dentist appointment, nipped over the Hill in double-quick time to find locked door and realise appointment is for tomorrow. The joys of rural living without a diary.

The Community Company battles on, seems Vodafone cannot work with third-party networks as BT are the best. They provide half a meg while the AppleNet Broadband with a few exceptions is around five meg. But BT are deemed better and they also consider themselves to be better than our attempts at providing a phone box at the Filling Station. I think we may well do better than this although it has to be said the bar has not been set very high.


Wolfish Breadcrumbs.

Memories of the Post Valentine’s Sunday now a distant past. Quiet lunch yesterday with 25+ customers and little to say. The saturday evening chaps and chappettes were fairly late in leaving and not too surprised about that. Saw a bottle of “angels share” changing hands but no more said…. Tide was as low as it has been over the last few days


and as no one around wandered off down the shore for a couple of snaps.





The oyster catchers only let you so close before taking off and should not disturb them too much as they need as much as they can get coming up for breeding season.


Does not feel like spring is in the air and the Hill was closed during the day with a combination of falling snow and wind blow. Contributed to the lack of customers. Maybe the menu was too fierce for some, in particular the breadcrumbs.


The old head was acting up but kept it suppressed long enough to see through the shift without anyone noticing but this morning paid for it. Lost day but nothing worse. Had a wee power cut which needed the Filling Station rebooted. Zuzu went up first but with no success and I headed up later on and again struggled. Owen came along and spotted the OPT panel may have tripped. I had messed about with them but green for me is on and red is tripped, not so in electrical terms. A switch back on but we had to leave with it only 71% up assuming that would be it and remotely rebooted from Dundee or Burnside. Not so as a phone call came through to the schoolhouse asking what was showing on the screen. Not something to be answered straight away as the screen is two miles away. Back on the bike and another reboot, this time all okay but a wet cycle back home. Patience is the virtue that is most important when one gets involved in todays community activities. Although far better than the previous system there are still always going to be problems to solve, many of which are not of our own making. An example is a lady of twenty years standing leaves our fuel supplier and it almost as though she takes the files with her. DDs are having to be redone and driver instructions and phone numbers are being passed on though they have been in the systems for five years. One just sighs, learns another small detail for sorting the system, and gets on with living in a small community. Dougal loves these Filling Station hiccups and when they are not happening he is at the door ever ready for his next outing.


Just a passing thought but last thursday/friday the whole of the Applecross fishing fleet was out of action, two boats up on the Yard, one boat out of action through skipper breaking a bone in his foot, another having trouble with his hands and wrists and finally Davie the Diver’s back giving out. He had been going to the Torridon gym a couple of days a week as his medical was coming up so his son bought him a personal trainer, result he did his back in, the irony. Good to see him back in the water today so nothing long-term.

Strange Weather and a Cycle.

Strange start to the day, lying listening to impending predictions of doom to the East of Europe on Radio4, but also the wind rattling the window, not the forecast at all. Thought it was the southeasterly that sounds far worse than it blows. Up and a quick look out the window across the Sound and it was blowing hard from the west south-west but the light on Skye was what got me out in double-quick time, already as I am writing this it has faded. Lots of cloud cover but shining across from the east, south-east, from the old home land of Kyle it was not to shabby a view.


Weird little aberration on the weather and looking at the forecast again in an hour it will be fishing weather again, we will see.

Now it being Wednesday morning and we are back to the wind and rain of a good old March day in the north-west Highlands. Yesterday’s strange weather continued, when I say strange, it was totally different from the forecast although to be fair they did match for a couple of hours in the afternoon. The wind dropped, the sun stayed out and the temperature soared so it was out on the bike and away up to the Glen with the dogs. Getting around Eilidh’s take on life by having a lead in the pocket at all times and if I see any small people and /or dogs she is immediately tied up. Dougal charges up to dogs for a play and Jenny does what she is told. As Dorsi, from Flensburg, was heading off today I planned to drop in some langoustine for her, a taste of Applecross, before she went. So the gentle cycle started going through Camusteel where I thought I had discovered a new seabird in by the shore. Fortunately they were left alone by Dougal who thought he had found yet another mole. On closer inspection I realised they were the domestic ducks of Ali Mackenzie’s having a midday paddle in the bay.


Wonderful day and only feeling mildly guilty in not rushing out to do a half day on the water I continued up to the Big House. The field across from the Larder where there often are the estate horses was holding a fair bit of water


and the reflections were looking peaceful.


Called in to Brambles to be greeted with a raucous “Hi” as they were having lunch. Hopefully they will all have a taste of Applecross by Thursday. Quiet saunter back down the road and past the deer fence that runs down the shore, the one that was taken out by the northerly in November. Looks like a more robust replacement being put in with the help of Duncan, Toscaig.


Back through Camusteel for the dog biscuits I had forgotten in the morning trip, just realised that the tide would have gone awful quickly in two hours to get photos of the ducks followed by the low tide scene. Ducks were on the morning trip.


Dougal,being mostly spaniel is straight in.



So after a visit from Dorsi and Co in the afternoon, only further duty was to attempt to sort out the signal to my GPS while getting Dorsi’s prawns, failed, and it is resorting to phoning the sparky who will know how to do it. So to end on a wee bit of good news Judith’s dad was taken off to Raigmore a couple of days ago with a suspected stroke, unfortunately this has been true but the good news is that the 24 hour danger period has passed, he has had his scan, although a little confused and mixed up speech it is a lot better looking for him this morning. He is not a young chappie but hopefully he has a lot more to see and enjoy in Applecross for some time yet. So now this is done I have no other excuses for doing the boring things I am supposed to be doing, although now there is a lunch invite to the Walled Garden and almost forgot to mention the Climate Change Quiz on Friday evening, which will include all the lovely Flensburg students. They have to join different teams to make it fairer for the locals!!  https://www.facebook.com/events/421894991290304/Been asked to contribute to questions, another excuse for staying away from VAT. While I am at it and this was something I have meant to do for a couple of posts is to put a link onto the following for people to read up about what was said at the Conference last week. Some really interesting views, ideas and talks.http://s3.spanglefish.com/s/27214/documents/applecrossenergymatters.pdf  And finally, really, there is some great news for one of the speakers and her community of Camuscross and Duisdale http://www.camuscross.org/ as they have just been awarded funding for their planned community hub. A good feeling to see other communities working together.


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