Saturday, 28 February 2015

Action on Broadband

We've been making a huge fuss about the fact that superfast broadband is coming to Ardnamurchan in late 2016, and we've been watching the cables go in with some anticipation.  However, what is becoming increasingly apparent is that, unless we do something about it, many households will see speeds no better than we have at the moment - and some of these are dismal.

Dave Kime has been spearheading a campaign on behalf of those who are likely to get nothing out of the £millions being spent - unless we as a community do something about it.

These properties are in three areas:

1. Ardslignish, Glenborrodale, Laga Bay, Camas Inas: The fibre-optic cable goes right past the doors of most houses in these areas, but there's no 'green box' being planned, so Glenborrodale exchange speeds (it's the wrong word) will continue to make a tortoise proud.

2.  North Coast Ardnamurchan: There's no terrestrial broadband in villages like Kilmory, Ockle and Swordle at present.  The good news?  Nothing's going to change.

3.  Portuairk, Achosnich, Achnaha and the lighthouse do have broadband, but the speeds are patchy and probably won't get a huge amount better.

BUT.... We can do something about it.

If you live in these areas, or have a holiday home there, or have a business there, and would like to see good broadband speeds, then there IS something you can do to help both yourself and the community.  If you haven't already done it, fill in the form (link here) which can be downloaded from Dropbox, and send it to the Diary at kilchoandiary@btinternet.com - Dave Kime isn't available at the moment.  A committee has been set up by the West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company to pursue various options with Community Broadband Scotland.  CBS are being very helpful, but won't do anything until we have the evidence.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Lysblink Seaways - MCA Press Release

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the following press release today:

Preparations for towing Lysblink Seaways to a repair facility continue.

The vessel remains anchored at Scallastle Bay in the Sound of Mull while discussions about moving her are held.

Svitzer Salvage has a team on board 24 hours a day as part of the preparations to tow her to a repair facility.

The owners are in discussion with ship repairers at a number of locations and as soon as the final destination has been confirmed a passage plan will be agreed.

A temporary exclusion zone of 100 metres remains in place.

The Scottish Environment Group continues to monitor events and is supporting the work being done.

Mystery

We were a bit mystified by this very good bottle of red wine which appeared in our post box yesterday afternoon, without anything to explain it.  Unless someone claims it, thank you, it will be drunk with considerable pleasure - not by the robin.

Sunrise

Sunrise this morning, looking southeast across the Sound of Mull to the hills of Morvern, with Maclean's Nose at left.

Washed Up Dead

At first sight, this bit of flotsam looked like a gift from heaven to a local crofter - a bag full of top-quality, hand-picked scallops.  It may have come from a small fishing boat which had been off Ormsaigbeg in the previous couple of days, but why the diver should have lost his bag is a bit of a mystery.

Sadly, when the finder investigated the bag's contents, all the scallops were open.  This didn't seem a good sign, so they were all thrown back into the water - though the crofter kept the bag in case he ever went diving for scallops.

Further along the shore, something even less palatable had been washed up.  The larger corpse had obviously been there for some time, long enough for it to have been picked over by the birds and other scavengers.  It's a seal, fully grown, and....

....the other is a seal pup.  Its white fur suggests it was very young when it died.

At first sight it seemed that this was a mother and baby which died together.  The pups of grey seals are born in the autumn and normally stay on the remote 'haul-out', along with other pups, for the first three weeks of their lives.  We've never seen live pups on this beach, and this, along with the fact that they were together, suggested that the mother and pup might have been having problems: perhaps the pup was born at sea before both were washed up.

That they arrived at different times leaves only one small mystery: why were they washed up so close together on the Ormsaigbeg beach?