Up at 7.00 am, breakfast with an eye out for the boys arriving from Eigg and Rhum on the Lola. A turn back to the older days when guys traveled by sea going from place to place up the west coast. Their alternative was to take the ferry from Mallaig and drive up to Applecross,involving timetables and fuel and expense. 7.45 am after seeing the Lola coming around the Ardban peninsula went down to the pier, got them onto the mooring and ashore, meeting George and Sean about our broadband installation roll out.
All very technical so it was up to the Bay with Dougal and Co. On the way up the first sighting of a dredger. The worst April Fool, I think, on the west coast is the opening up of the lochs to the mobile sector and I have to say that I find this method of fishing simply depressing. Stopped at Milton Loch and took a picture of Kenny quietly hauling his crab pots,sustainably, I think, and astern of him a boat totally unconnected to Applecross either socially or economically dredging for scallops. Tomorrow Kenny will be fishing there and the other boat will be destroying grounds somewhere else. Once he has done three or four runs over the ground that’s it for the year. Some one tell me that is a good way to treat the environment and explain the benefit to the seabed. 9.30 am, the bin for the Filling Station needed emptying and hopeful news on the software front as we are promised a visit next week. I rebooted yesterday and saw in the diary that was the third in four days. Lovely and crisp at the Bay where there was a mix of sunshine and frost on the seaweed. Dougal has a slightly mad look on his face but he is going somewhere very fast…don’t think he knows either.
Back to the house after a cup of tea at the Inn and the boys were ready for a lift back out to the Lola. Simon and Ian were upbeat after the meeting and there are plenty of options and potential for the roll out. There are lots of things going on at the same time such as working with CBS and finding out how to best secure the best speeds and also to tap in to the latest exchange upgrades. All good and going ahead. Zipped up into the dry suit for a dive around the Varuna for lost prawns and some work on my moorings. Did not turn out to be too successful as I did not have enough air, the wrong size of shackle,pea soup visibility, and not quite enough weights. As I am not diving so much now and not really a natural I find I need a bit more weight to get down. Time is getting on ,it’s 12.30 pm now. It is a blue sky day and warm.
Out into the garden for the afternoon and almost finished the four new raised beds courtesy of the salmon farm industry. Been told there are more coming into Kishorn in a couple of weeks so that will a job for the rest of the summer. First red admiral of the summer spotted and getting used to the new sound of the summer, bees flying back and fore collecting pollen for the hive. Lots of different colours coming in. Now 5.00 pm and getting a bit sore after diving and riddling soil for around three hours. Washing dry but going to leave it out and the tea cooked, barbecued pork chops.
Now 7.00pm, Archers and coffee and printed out the pier bills, so engrossed missed the first ten minutes of the Barcelona game but not the sunset. lots of issues in the day’s travels but only a diary today.
The last couple of days has seen Simon from Eigg and Ian from Rhum come over and install the first stage of our Community broadband network. Alison had successfully applied for a grant to run a pilot scheme to set up our own community broadband as all we seem to get from government and big business are sound bites and programs promising us new and faster networks and then nothing happens. As we are learning it up to the community to go ahead and do it ourselves. So it was Hebnet we turned to and Broadford village hall who offered to be our “host’. Simon and Ian stopped off there at the beginning of the week to set up the dish and broadband at Broadford before coming over here yesterday. On Tuesday Sean and I headed up Tor Mor to roll the power cable down which was not as easy as first thought . Off course the rims of the cable reel are bigger than the inner resulting in the cable coming off slower than our pace. Solution from Sean meant we had to turn back up hill every now and again to keep the cable slack. so an hour and a half later in the wind and rain job done. So without many hitches the dish has been installed on the Tor Mor, then it was off to the Heritage Centre and the evening in the Inn saw Simon and Ian showing off our new 5/6 meg network. Today saw us down at the Pier with Ian installing a unit to beam the signal received from Tor Mor back to Camusterrach.
It was a miserable day and a lot of the work was outdoor but by the end of the day a couple of cables and a switch installed meant that by tomorrow there will be 9 installations completed and we hope to iron out any glitches over the winter, if there is any, and roll out the network to the rest of the community next spring. In the afternoon I took Dougal and co up the Tor Mor only to meet Sean and Simon up there tweeking the equipment.
Looking forward to getting our 6 meg tomorrow. Jill will be down with our last connection and we are off. For some 6 meg is nothing to write home about but for here it a huge step into this century and will allow some people to move here with their work in tow.
Another first is the proposed solution to our medical cover. dan has applied and been offered the job with the support of a team from Raigmore. More of this later. when Dan was on Eigg doing some locum work he met Simon and expressed a wish for Applecross. Imagine his surprise when he opened the door to Simon this afternoon who installed the last of the units in the Nurses house, leaving a very happy Doc in his wake. An example of win, win,win, all the way for the community. Managed a couple of shifts at the Inn, not so busy last night but good to chat to everyone and an extraordinary coincidence of introducing the dentist lecturer to the good friends of a dentist he had taught in Birmingham who now lives in Kintail. Small world with Applecross Inn at the centre. A good days fishing yesterday meant that prawns and squats are back on the menu although squats already sold out tonight. Tonight Aussies on table D, All Blacks on A and South Africans on table 6. The New zealanders were from Waipu which has a strong connection to Wester Ross and a lot of antipodeans come back this way tracing their routes. Chris told me when he went to Waipu museum the first thing he saw was a picture of his own house. Supper tomorrow is a couple of codling caught yesterday, pan-fried in lemon and garlic with new pots from the garden.
The final first of this post was after over 30 years of fishing I got smacked right on the nose by a creel on Wednesday. Bit stunned and lots of blood and there wasn’t even a prawn in it. And some people think fishing is easy.