It has been a little while since you had an update of what is happening on the island so this will be a quick summary.
Firstly the seals have pretty much left the island. When we came back onto the island in January to open up the cottages there were still plenty of adults moulting and hauled out on Rona but pretty much all of this years pups had left the island. We did have a bit of a surprise as when we opened the drying room we found that a weaned pup had got shut in there. Either the door was closed on it just before Christmas or the door was left open and got blown shut with the pup inside. Regardless the pup was in good health as they do sit around for weeks after being weaned anyway and was very unwilling to leave its lair. Once flushed out it immediately went into the coal shed. The result of its stay in the drying room is eye-watering, and it is going to take an awful lot of water and scrubbing to remove the smeared deposits and lingering smell!
As the seals left so the builders returned. KDM and their partners are now struggling in the depth of winter against weather, weather, logistics and more weather to complete the new visitor building. Progress is being made with at the time of writing the concrete footings just about complete and the granite set floor being started. As soon as a barge can get in then the walls and roof will start going up soon and we will start to have what could be called a building. The finish date is the 31 March so the aim is to have the new building ready for the first visitor boats of the new season.
With all the building work and other activities on the island going on it is involving a lot of early starts leaving Anstruther before dawn and a lot of splashy trips that are rough but do-able (as Colin would say). All part of the job and better than sitting in front of a computer. But not a great look!
Last week on our way out to the island we met our friends the pair of common dolphins again. Just off the Lowlight again they made a beeline to us in the RIB and rode our bow wave halfway into Kirkhaven before it got too shallow and they turned back.
And as in previous years the winter storms nibble away at the island with a couple of big rock falls at the north end of Pilgrims Haven putting some huge boulders onto the beach, one is the size of a large car and must have made a big bang.