Saturday 4th July comments: A blog post from a long term volunteer, James Crymble.
After 8 weeks on the May I guess it is about time that I wrote a blog post. I have been working with David “Steely” Steel and Bex “Well-done” Outram, and now we are well into the season here and the island has a completely different feel to that of when I first arrived back in May.
Earlier in the year Steely rang me up an offered me the chance to come out for the 2015 season, promising me that it would be a marvelous experience. So far that has not been an empty promise. A wise man once said that, “You only get out what you put in”, and I have tried to throw myself into every aspect of island life whole-heartedly.
The best thing about the work on the island is the diversity of the jobs that need doing. No two days are ever the same, and there always seem to be something new each day. The highlight for me so far was watching a pod of 6 Orcas swim up the East side of the island. Not that I’m trying to rub it in.
The volunteer role isn’t just about looking after the island’s sea-birds. I look after the island’s visitors too. At first, it was tough going answering the questions that were posed to me, but after 2 months of being asked where the best place to see puffins is, I am fairly confident I can answer that one!
It isn’t all work though. There has been plenty of opportunity to let of some steam. A highly anticipated curry trip to Anstruther with Alex and rest of the May Princess crew, and Roy the skipper of the Osprey, was particularly entertaining. I would like to apologise to Roy for having to put up with our sea-shanties on the return journey.
I can say that, hands-down, this has been one of the most rewarding and educational summer’s of my life. Not only working but living with people that have so much experience in conservation and ecology has been a privilege and I am incredibly grateful to everyone I have met whilst out here.
Now I will rub it in. 4 hours after Steely had left for a wee jaunt back home I spotted a Mallard enjoying the Loch in the July sunshine. This is perhaps a fortnight after Steely had complained about not having seen a Mallard on the island so far. I hope he doesn’t feel too Mall-‘ard done by. That same day I spotted a Hummingbird Hawk-moth up by the main lighthouse. The moth identification book says they are a messenger of good tidings, so here’s to a great season.