Life at the end of the road

July 18, 2012

The blogger next door :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:15 pm

A great day for what we did today but hardly a ‘peach’, kind of damp first thing but dry enough to go out in the boat without oil skins, which is what we did. It was a spontaneous thing on account of having a wee chap staying with us who was keen and the threat of more north wind to arrive shortly. North wind, the north end of Raasay and small boats not being a great combination 🙂 and north it has been since April at least. Even today’s gentle breeze was accompanied by a lazy roll from the north that had the shoreline covered in cotton wool 🙂

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So after feeding everyone, eating our porridge and finally dragging the teenager out of bed we went down to the Arnish shore and my mates Pioner Maxi. I’d done the de winterizing work in May during my holidays in the vain hope that we’d get out in it then, but north wind and other projects had prevented that and now it’s July, where has the year gone.

I cannot praise this little 12’ plastic boat highly enough, it is ‘bombproof’, ‘idiot proof’, ‘rock proof’, fast, economical and light. With its 15HP Yamaha it will plane along happily with a couple of adults and a child in it and for beachcombing there is nothing better. Just look at that solid rock shore, try dragging a fibreglass or wooden boat up that every day and see how long it lasts 🙂

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Once the trusty Pioner was in the water we had a look around Loch Arnish to see if any treasures had been washed up, but apart from the usual plastic detritus there was nothing 😦 The Horses Cave however on the southern shore seemed to have suffered a rock fall over the winter though.

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Here it is last April, that is a serious amount of rock that’s come down and it looks like much more will follow this winter. I’m not sure how it got it’s name but there is a place near here were old horses were backed off a cliff to their death to save on burial and a bullet, perhaps this is where the bodies ended up.

The main reason for going boating was to go and collect grit for wifey’s hens, the excellent stuff given us off the Golden Dawn’s prawn creels having run out. Hens need grit to grind up seeds and stuff in their ‘crop’

from: Chicken Health Handbook, (c) 1994 Gail Damerow, used with permission

before being able to digest it, and there’s nothing better than broken lime rich shells or worm casts off creels.

The islets to the west of Fladda called Grian a Sgeir having a particularly good supply of the perfect stuff.


Map picture

Only a few hundred square meters in size this tiny archipelago is named the ‘sunny rock’ on account of it often being bathed in sunshine, something that I can confirm, whilst all around it is in rain or cloud. Once a place where lambs were  put for the summer, it is now a refuge for birds and seals.

The tide still being a little high for grit collection we took the inside route between Fladda and Raasay for a trip to visit our next door neighbours on Rona

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Considering that Bill is our nearest neighbour we spend far less time visiting each other than we should but the pair of us are devils for getting caught up in projects and life so two or three times a year seems to be about the sum of it. A tragedy really because some of our conversations would be a ‘sell out’ at the Edinburgh festival 🙂 Honestly the stories we could tell about ‘yachties’, kayakers, divers and humankind at large would have you in stitches 🙂 Imagine sailing in some of Europe’s cleanest waters and carrying your dirty dishes ashore and walking several hundred yards to wash them in peaty water !!! Imagine owning £100K worth of yacht and begrudging a £1 landing fee on  this beautiful pontoon!! ONE FECKING POUND, you can’t even buy a a touch up paint for the dinghy that you’ve just scratched on the beach for that.

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The well on Rona has almost run dry,

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people want a shower or to use the internet, my mate works his ar5e off and these people make up all the excuses under the sun for not parting with £1, I despair. They leave their rubbish and dog shit, all of which has to be cleaned up, and they moan like feck because of the landing charge, nay fecking wonder they can afford £100k yachts 🙂

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Fortunately they are not all the same as Bill’s blog will attest, and we arrived unannounced at his house to find one such ‘customer’ using and appreciating the facilities that he’s provided.

After coffee for us and Coke for the boys, a good rant and laugh we went to check out his new ‘summer house’ in the woods,

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as well as some of the older ruins.

Leaving shortly afterwards with some vacuum packed Rona venison we headed for Grian a Sgier,

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its abundant grit,


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phenomenal winkles,


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and curious seals.

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And I’m falling asleep now, so will finish this later 🙂

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