Life at the end of the road

August 31, 2017

Testing the bag :-)

The old midge was pretty fierce this morning but once the sun was out and a wee breeze got up it was bearable. That didn’t happen until after 11:00am right enough but I managed to work my way around the ‘wee devils’ by staying inside blogging until almost 9:00 then going to visit my mate at the Torran Schoolhouse to blag some fresh sweet coffee.

P1040391 Walking the dug Smile

You know the stuff the Italians drink out of a percolator with enough sugar in it to stand your spoon vertically, well, not quite but you get the gist. Funny thing is, much as I love coffee like this, we never actually make it at home. Methinks if I started then I’d be drinking far too much of the stuff. So for now I’ll just keep scrounging it off me neighbours Smile

After arranging a ‘plan’ for the day’s diving and agreeing that afternoon would be best I headed back home. He’d ordered some mooring tackle from the usually very efficient Gael Force Marine However, despite several assurance it had not, as yet arrived, which is very unlike them. They started off making creels in Stornoway in the 1980’s and now are into everything from yacht chandlery to fish farm feed barges. I wouldn’t at all be surprised that if these fish farm anchors we’ve been lifting were made by them.

Back in the day when I was fishing I used to buy all my creels from them and much else besides. It didn’t matter how many years passed between my infrequent visits to their warehouse in Inverness, the directors would always remember me by name and ask how things were on Raasay. I guess that’s why they’re so successful because I kept returning and recommending them to others. I’m sure the stuff will be here tomorrow Smile

More path prep

Once back to Sonas and with the day improving I set about working on the path around the house.

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I just loosely arranged these, the wife will then keep adjusting them to find the best place for footfall and colour. Once she’s happy we can dig them in the chuckies and set them permanently. We’ve done some already around the ‘bunker’ and they look great, not only that but now the wee dug can walk around the house. The chuckies must be really unpleasant for dugs, deer and pigs, which at times is not a bad thing.

Once I’d unloaded those I set about making a border around the front of the house to separate the chuckies from the ‘meadow’. We don’t do grass cutting here at Sonas Smile


Life is so much easier with a digger,


you would not be moving these here by hand.

Just like riding a bike

That done we set off for the shore with our kit to go looking for another anchor by yet another disused fish farm site.

Smolt bin

Here it is some twenty years ago having smolts delivered, the chopper drops that bin in the middle of the cage then lowers it nearby to have the tipping mechanism reset before flying back to the hatchery for more.

This was once a cost effective method of transferring smolts to remote farms but now they’re all brought in by large ‘well boats’ which is a lot less stressful on the fish and staff. I had a few scary moments with those bins on a rope Smile 


Here it is today with the picture taken from just behind where the cages would have been. The helicopter was dropping the bin on that outcrop of rock just above the centre.


These two steel rings for the running mooring and a few more for the ‘land fasts’ being all that remain. We were thinking that there may have been some tackle left behind so got ready to check it out.

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The anchor hunting wasn’t very successful but at least the new scallop bag got a good testing Smile

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My boy is most definitely getting ‘his eye in’, we gonna really miss him when he goes to uni Sad smile


Those are seriously good clams Smile


  1. Oh you really are reminding me of my previous life. I remember smolt transfer and getting a shock of the bucket which hadn’t quite earthed in the water. I also remember watching Baldy Pete flying down from Loch lundy followed by two of her majesty’s finest in their flying machines buzzing him. He wasn’t happy saying that those two jets could have made him drop out of the sky.

    Comment by artimaginguk — August 31, 2017 @ 8:59 pm

    • Gosh, I’d forgot about the shocks 🙂 Those pilots were good though and that rope wasn’t very long really. When we did the Loch Arnish transfers we reset the bucket on a 2m squre platform at the cage (rubber pipe type) corners. I remember getting almost pushed into the water and looking up towards the pilot. You remember they did it all via a mirror. I could clearly see him smiling, he was just fooling with me 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 31, 2017 @ 9:05 pm

  2. Yes they were very skilled pilots I believed that flying smolts was childs play to them and many of them got their kicks doing pylon work.

    Comment by artimaginguk — September 1, 2017 @ 7:44 am

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