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

Posts tagged ‘renewables’

Arctic Circle, Nordic Horizons.

It felt somewhat strange to just be in Iceland. It just sort of happened, although well aware that it takes so much to get these Gatherings of the ground. Unfortunately Lesley could not make it due to a bout of ill health. Everything went so smoothly and little effort after leaving the flat in plenty of time, then the subway, bank, bus and airport. Little consternation when last call for boarding came as we were strolling towards the gate. Not too worry as there was plenty of time. Spotted Nicola, FM, strolling through the airport and again boarding the plane. After landing we got on a couple of buses heading for Reykjavík and again Nicola on board. Amongst all the crush she still very pleasantly had a couple of selfies taken for a couple of Americans. She never even batted an eyelid when one of the Americans asked what her name was, and that was after the selfie. I like this photo taken at the Scottish Reception on Friday evening.

Only been here for a couple of days but have come across so many polite and helpful Icelanders. They seem so laid back and give you lots of time to get you where you want to go. From the bus driver who dropped us of at our accommodation to the guys at the whale watching office and the especially at the check in desk for The Arctic Circle Conference. The Scottish contingent has been organised by Nordic Horizons. http://www.nordichorizons.org   I came as an unregistered hanger on and would have paid the full fee if I had to but as I was not planning more than the drop-ins today and again on Sunday it would have been an expensive trip. They could not have been more helpful and I had my badge printed out with the right country on it. Others had to change theirs from the UK to Scotland. Everything was done on time and we wandered up to our first event

where Nicola Sturgeon was taking part in a Q and A after a short speech.

I have to say that without the screen of the media presentation I was tremendously impressed with her erudite, passionate and informed performance. Even the Turkish citizen, who proclaimed his love for Margaret Thatcher did not faze the FM with his weighted question.

Off to the harbour after lunch,

you would expect this. But not before listening to an Iceland’s modified version of “Mercy” and an Adele song. Very soiree style.

First passing the huge Finnish icebreaker which was there as part of the Conference.

Cold brisk wind but a good antidote to the heated rooms of the Harpa Centre. There was a variety of boats

and only got into one conversation, albeit stilted as his English was not the best. turned out he was a boat builder and was interested in the longboat we were alongside.

Time shoots by and before you know it we were heading down the road back to the awesome Harpa Centre. Turns out listening to “The News Quiz” followed by the “Archers” and forgetting the time difference meant we had turned up an hour early, not as early as Maggie who was working off her first email and was puzzled there was no sign of anyone one and a half hours before the start. Met an Icelandic gynaecologist who had spent nine years at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital. She had introduced herself on the sight of the kilt and proceeded to expound on the wonderful time her family had in Scotland. Her kids continuing to learn English but with a broad Dundee accent. They are being pulled up for it as they are told it is not “proper”  but insist on keeping it.  Conversation revolved around Iceland now and seems there are problems here on the ground with ordinary working folk. Although there are signs that there is development going on all around

people are wondering where the money has gone and is another crash imminent. At least some of their crooks did jail time. Cynically speaking ours seem to get or keep their bought honours. The kilt has been brought out for the Scottish Reception. Wearing the kilt certainly has its benefit and kept catching sight of photos being taken. After meeting up with others heading for the Third Floor, a couple of glasses of red, we were at the Reception. Just a busy friendly, informative evening, and we were fortunate Nicola, when on the way in, headed for our little group

which had been boosted by Kirsty and her colleague from SAMS. Again selfies all around, followed by another short speech emphasising the connections that we all have. In closing wondering what advice we can get for our footie team. Towards the evenings close a Saami wandered up for a warm and inquisitive chat. He was a reindeer herder and was asking about hunting red deer. I am not sure he understood the controls the landowning elite in Scotland have over the “wild”red deer. Maybe a photo to follow. And after another glass of red it was home, a brisk half hour walk in the biting wind.


Yesterday it just rained and the trip out with the dogs round the Camusteel circle was a wet one.The Alt na Chriche burn in full flow is always worth a stop.


Watching it being split by the stone above the bridge takes a long time…..a lot of water is falling just now, all energy heading for the sea instead of being harnessed by run of river schemes. Cheap and renewable energy. Huge potential, a lot of work for communities, but a great source of income for these communities and fine source of energy for the country. There has to be a better coming together of central government, local communities and DNOs to make the process easier to the benefit of every one. Brief interlude in the weather in the afternoon when a few logs were split and barrowed into the wood store.


Two sets of minutes and some bills paid so the deadlines are being worked on although by no means out of the woods.

Good enough weather for a fish but it just never happened, good and productive day though with a trip down to the pier to see if all’s well, one or two little movements but nothing serious,


after the latest wind and rain. All was well and met Donald on the way and arranged to tow the Michelle round to the Kishorn Yard on Friday morning. Unfortunately he has to get his fly-wheel taken off as it had an argument with his starter motor. To get the flywheel off means the engine has to come out so that takes care of Friday. Can turn a fleet of creels around and do some more paper work in the afternoon before heading off with some to Inverness on Saturday. Stopped several times on the way back as the sun was out and it was still,


mallards on the Caman


and Dougal very interested in being a gun dog.


He loves the water and ducks. Further up the road just to the north of the burn at Culduie stopped again with this burn in spate as well.


Dropping down on the sea-side of the road there is a nice old culvert letting the water away.


Stories all around, looking out to the boats you see a lazy seal lying on his rock, another in the water and it looks like the seagull is not for moving.


All very peaceful and just my imagination, but it is so good the weather has settled and the forecast is for it to continue in this vein. Bit more chopping before up to the toilets


although little was done there but managed to purloin a sample of the latest flavour from Toscaig, a caramel and biscuit layered one which amazingly enough is still sitting in the freezer. It is called “Stormin Norman” remembering our recently departed little Welshman, Norman. Taken away from the toilets by the weather and the full on bird life on the shore below the Coal Shed.


Curlew, oyster catchers, not speaking,IMG_6983 and another flock of small birds that have been around for a couple of weeks,


at least that I have seen. Small, red-legged and very busy working along the shore.




This is the first time I have seen them without the help of Dougal, usually see them in the air heading off with a yelping Dougal behind them….well behind them. He comes back and one tries to save the birds energy but they seem to know him as they do not go far and as soon as he is away they appear back and settle down quickly. Today they are not too bothered as you walk slowly down the shore towards them and it is so quiet and peaceful with the late afternoon sun out. So back on the bike and past the wee light show off to the West


to some more wood chopping and letting Dougal out to try to catch some more rodents.

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