Monday, September 29, 2008

Lifeboat rescue on Loch Ness.

Lifeboat on exercise finds family of five and pet dog stranded on loch.

Loch Ness RNLI lifeboat team, on a training session this morning, discovered a motor cruiser aground in Urquhart Bay, Drumnadrochit, shortly after 8am. The group of Welsh tourists and pet dog "Chadwick" had been stuck fast since last night.
The family had felt safe enough to wait out the night in the bay and deal with the problem after a good night's sleep.

The RNLI Loch Ness team were training in the area and noticed the rented vessel was in an unsafe position. An RNLI volunteer crew member, Howie Whyte, was transferred to the cruiser "Teal" and found all to be fit and well. A tow was established and the vessel was pulled free. The cruiser appeared to be watertight and not to have suffered any serious damage so was able to continue on it's journey.
Aberdeen Coastguard had been informed of the situation and acted as a coordinating authority.
Howie Whyte, Loch Ness RNLI Crewman and local Crofter says "The family appeared in good spirits and were very relieved to see the lifeboat "Mercurius"and it's crew".

Kindest regards
Martin Douglas
Crew Member/Lifeboat Press Officer
Loch Ness Lifeboat

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nature's colours.

As we were enjoying breakfast Saturday morning before going up to Aspenwood the weather suddenly started to get very windy. The trees at the front were swaying dramatically in the strong westerly wind blowing up The Great Glen and Loch Ness became quite choppy with white water bouncing off the crests of the waves. The spray of the water caused a rainbow to form which was an extremely colourful start to the day.The weather during the day was pleasantly warm but quite breezy and it just got better as the afternoon wore on.The washing dried on the line as we sat outside waiting for our new guests to arrive.In the evening there was an amazing sunset and we could imagine our guests sitting out on the decking with a glass of something refreshing and watching the colourful performance in the sky down to Inverness was tinged with different shades of pink and the opposite view to Fort Augustus had a yellow tint reflecting the sun as it finally disappeared behind the mountains opposite.
It was quite beautiful and just like sitting inside a painting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Local Heroes on Loch Ness

Press report from the Loch Ness RNLI Lifeboat...14th September 2008
Local Heroes on Loch Ness. Two off duty Lifeguards came to the rescue of a 21 year old woman who suffered a suspected spinal injury in a water ski accident on Loch Ness this afternoon . Loch Ness RNLI Lifeboat team launched and arrived on scene with an RAF rescue helicopter from Lossiemouth.

The original incident was witnessed by the off-duty Lifeguards, Laura Munro and Mhairi Burns, who quickly recognised the need to immobilise the injured woman until emergency teams arrived.
The three people in the water were sheltered by the quick thinking skipper of the fishing boat "Asbo".

Ross Edwards, RNLI Loch Ness volunteer Helm, says.
"The two off-duty lifeguards and the skipper of the fishing boat did a magnificent job in providing vital stability and reassurance to the young woman." "The crews of the Jacobite tourist boats, understanding the seriousness of the incident, kept their boats at an absolute crawl, minimising the possibility of their wake disturbing the casualty, a highly commendable action."
The young woman was placed in a Spinal Board by the lifeguards and RAF Winchman, Mark Dean and the Loch Ness RNLI crew, Howie Whyte and Vivian Bailey. She was then airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for further assessment and treatment.

RNLI volunteer crewman, Howie Whyte heard about the incident when he was taking tourist passengers on a trip on the loch. He immediately brought the boat, "Nessie Hunter" back into harbour and ran to the lifeboat station. His surprised but supportive passengers were taken care of and given a complimentary trip out on the research vessel "Deepscan" skippered by John Minshull. This arrangement is typical of all loch users and boat owners keen to support the RNLI and the work of its volunteer crews.

The Loch Ness RNLI team give their sincerest thanks to all the people involved in today's incident.

Loch Ness RNLI lifeboat station has been operating since April 2008.
Loch Ness is Scotland's only Inland Lifeboat
To learn more about the lifeboat station go to
Loch Ness RNLI website

Guests staying in Aspenwood this week happened to be at Dores on Sunday and witnessed the unfortunate incident.

Monday, September 15, 2008


 We have recently had regular visits from a new young squirrel with a noticeable lovely blonde bushy tail, not the usual dark red variety....hence the nickname Blondie. She also has striking ear tufts which they apparently moult once a year in late autumn and they moult their coat twice a year.... read more interesting squirrel facts. After a quick drink from the rain water left on the garden bench she goes off in search of food at one of the nut feeders. She also amazingly climbs up onto the bird table using her sharp claws and is rather partial to a little bread and cheese. Caught in the act here!
We realise that there is another drey, apart from the one near Aspenwood, in the woods beyond our garage. We watch her acrobatically descend from the table and scamper off to the woods which are full of delicious hazel trees...squirrel heaven.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Walk in Torr Woods.

 A very pleasant warm breezy day with temperatures of about 19C so decided to go for a walk along Dores beach and into Torr Woods. Lots of white water on Loch Ness today - quite different to the other day when it was quite calm and still. It was very warm but very windy with a good strong breeze whistling down The Great Glen and causing the waves to crash onto the beach kicking up alot of spray. Enjoyed a pleasant stroll through Torr Woods passing the marina and the village of Loch End on the opposite shore. We kept an eye out for any colourful fungi emerging through the forest floor but not much to be seen-maybe we were too early or the lack of sustained rain has held back growth for a while. However we did spot a Red Admiral Butterfly resting on the ground with wings extended to catch the sun...a much better sight than a mushroom !

Monday, September 08, 2008

Loch Ness from Dores beach.

After a chilly night we woke up to a clear blue sky. Went into the city of Inverness this morning on business and found the city still very busy. On our return journey we couldn't resist pulling in and parking by Loch Ness beach at Dores village. The view down to Fort Augustus enveloped on either side by mountains was amazing. We enjoyed a casual stroll along the crescent shaped shingle beach.Click here for more Ness facts and for the full journey around Loch Ness.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

September sun.

The weather has not been as wet and gloomy as predicted on the weather forecasts. Chilly nights have been followed by rather dull early mornings with a thick haar mist coming along The Great Glen but by lunch time it usually brightens up. Boats of all sizes have been using the water of Loch Ness. Some for business and some just enjoying life and messing about on the water.

The Loch Ness Lifeboat has been out on training exercises. It is a very important craft and is the only inshore lifeboat in Scotland. It covers a vast stretch of water as Loch Ness is 23 miles long and extremely deep in places.