Friday, July 24, 2009

Life on the ocean wave.

A real mixture of weather patterns this week with something for everyone and no two days alike. In all weathers the working boats and trawlers travel along the loch. The pleasure boating craft are about on Loch Ness although there are not so many boats as previous years. Quite a few large private yachts from abroad and we enjoy researching their flags.
Had large private yachts sail past bearing the flags of Germany and Denmark.

A yacht from Norway was moored at Farigaig Pier and the owners walked up our driveway looking for a route through to the shop at Foyers and the Falls of Foyers. We had a very interesting chat and then sent them safely on the right path.
The new boat service Ness Express has been very popular and looks great fun.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New in 2009..''Ness Express' on Loch Ness.

 The Ness Express is a RIB ..Rigid Inflatable Boat.. and is a new boat service operating on Loch Ness. It departs from Fort Augustus at 10am, 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm weather permitting of course and takes you on a 90 minute journey to Urquhart Castle and back. It holds 12 pasengers and operates from April to September and looks a very exciting service. Guests staying at Aspenwood have been on it and really enjoyed the thrill. It is 10m long and powered by a 315hp Yannmar diesel engine and can cruise at 30knots. Find out more. See it in action.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lifeboat Rescues.

Latest press release from the RNLI Lifeboat stationed on Loch Ness.
 News Release
11th July 2009 Loch Ness
Family rescued and marathon canoeist pulled to safety on Loch Ness.A terrified family with five year old daughter were rescued after being driven onto rocks on Loch Ness following and engine failure on their cruiser this evening.
Loch Ness RNLI were busy completing the rescue of a long distance canoeist who had capsized near Urquhart Castle when they were tasked by Aberdeen Coastguard to search for a cruiser that had run onto rocks following a suspected gearbox failure.Volunteer crew members Neil Hillyard, Sandra Delday and Howie Whyte were recovering the kayak and belongings of Stuart Walker, who was in the middle of a mammoth trip from the Scilly Isles to Shetland, after he had been plucked to safety by Gordon Menzies in the tourist cruiser Morag no Chridhe. The RNLI team were directed by the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Control Centre) in Aberdeen to locate and assist the hire cruiser Eriskay with family
members Dad David, Mum Janice, Grandmother Margaret and five year old daughter Rachel on board. The family's boat had suffered a power failure and had been driven onto a rocky shoreline one mile north of Drumnadrochit.In what has been described as very challenging conditions, the RNLI lifeboat Beatrice Dorothy transferred crewman Howie Whyte onto the stricken cruiser. After a check to see that the boat wasn't holed, it was taken under tow to Urquhart Harbour. Family member Janice Hill says..My mother-in law, daughter and myself were hysterical with fear. We thought that was it. Then we saw the RNLI lifeboat and realised help was coming. The lifeboatman, Howie, was so calming and friendly and made us feel really safe. Mother-in-law Margaret says ..I was ready to jump off the boat into the water I was so terrified. The family hope to continue their holiday tomorrow when they are given a replacement hire boat. They will be visiting the lifeboat station tomorrow and hope to meet the crew and see the facilities that enabled their rescue.
Canoeist Stuart Walker did not need medical treatment but is considering whether to continue his epic journey.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wildlife update.

The weather this last week has fortunately cooled down and we have been experiencing wet but warm days with one terrific thunderstorm thrown in. In spite of all this the wildlife still has to go in search of food.Seen a few red deer nibbling on the wet grassy bank at the front near lochside and not surprisingly they always hear any movement with their lovely huge ears. The pheasant family- mother plus 7 chicks - are often under the bird table pecking at any remains hurled from above. The birds, especially finches, are always hungry and cling to the sunflower feeders daily but disperse at breakneck speed when the lethal, but extremely agile, sparrowhawk zooms round looking for a meal. The new bird bath is a big hit with birds and squirrels especially in the recent hot weather. The great spotted woodpecker is a colourful visitor to the peanut feeders. The red squirrels and youngsters with their much thinner tails are always fascinating to watch as they scurry down the tree trunks in search of the nuts and sunflower hearts - in fact they will eat anything put out on or under the bird table. This adult squirrel took shelter from a rain shower in the nearby trees just outside our window where we now have honeysuckle growing for the first time.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunrise surprise.

Daisy - one of our cats - jumped on our bed this morning at 3.33 to demand a very early breakfast. Watched the sun rise down the loch and the sky kept getting redder. Quite beautiful so thanks Daisy but don't do it every morning please.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Trip to Cromarty.

The weather has been glorious all week with a refreshing breeze off the water of Loch Ness and temperatures hovering in the mid 20C. Took a trip over to the Black Isle and drove right to the eastern end to the main town of Cromarty, something we have been meaning to do since we moved here 13 years ago.Had a stroll around the town which is rather quaint with a mixture of small Victorian cottages and more substantial houses designed to house both the workers and the management at the peak of its prosperity.The town originally grew around its deep port and all the industry was connected with the sea and sea faring.
Cromarty gives its name to one of the British Sea Areas used to provide important weather forecasts for shipping. Bought a tea towel in one of the gift shops, which was well equipped especially with local pottery and jewellery, and framed it for the cottage. Always been intrigued by the various names of the shipping areas when we hear them on the radio and now we know exactly where they are.
We enjoyed a picnic on a red bench kindly positioned on the sea front looking towards the mouth of the Cromarty Firth and the North and South Sutors [hills] that guard the entrance to the Firth.We watched the smallest car ferry in Scotland 'The Cromarty Rose' which operates between Cromarty and Nigg on the opposite bank. It can carry 2 cars and passengers and operates regularly throughout the day between June and October.
As it has been hot we have put 2 fans in Aspenwood for guests to use and cool down.