The weather isn’t too good here on the Black Isle this morning but we have hopes that it will improve this afternoon.
Sitting in Bessie, Peter spotted some dolphins out in the firth and took some photos. They are rather small as they are roughly a quarter of a mile away! Then, eagle-eyed, he saw a head in the water which turned out to be a seal. You have to look hard to see it!
Today we have plans to go to Invergordon again to do a little sleuthing. My cousin, Michael, has provided me with a photograph of the house that his mother and my father lived in when they were young. Will it still be standing?
But first we have to get there. There are two possible ways – the bridge back over the Cromarty Firth or the ferry which plies its way back and forth from Cromarty on the eastern tip of the Black Isle to Nigg on the other shore.
We decided to give the ferry a try although we weren’t sure whether Bessie would be deemed suitable to go on the small 50 passenger/4 car boat. Cromarty itself is a really delightful small town with lots of original houses and a certain time-stood-still quality about it.
We found the harbour with no problem and, after asking someone, discovered where the car ferry left from. It was just coming in.
Sad news though – the ferryman was adamant that Bessie would not be able to travel because of the overhang at the back – apparently other such vehicles had bottomed out and been damaged as a result. Peter tried to reason with him as, knowing Bessie well, he didn’t think there would be a problem but there was no changing his mind.
Disappointed, we had to drive the whole length of the Isle to get back to the bridge. Invergordon was having a Lifeboat Day today but sadly the weather had turned nasty and the rain was coming down in buckets by the time we got there. What a shame for them – I expect they rely on their Day to boost their funds.
We found the High Street and soon found the house that my Dad had lived in 101 years ago! I’m not sure how long for as his father, being a Chief Rigger, moved about regularly from dockyard to dockyard in his job. I remember that my Dad used to tell me he never wore shoes when he was a young lad in Scotland – those were the days!
Like Cromarty, Invergordon still retains many of its solid stone buildings, even if they have often been given new windows and have sprouted satellite dishes!
We returned to Rosemarkie, stopping at Chanonry Point to see if we could spot any more dolphins but only saw a couple quite some distance away. There’s another Stevenson lighthouse there though!
Back at the campsite, the rain cleared away briefly and the skies were stunning with sunlight striking the water dramatically (see featured image) and the nearby hills lit up. Amazing.
Love the moodiness of the header shot. Did you have any “sense” of your father whilst at the house? Is seeing dolphins another first?
What s totally amazing thing to do – stand outside the house where your dad lived. Worth the trip despite the weather. As I’ve said before, what a journey!
How strange is that? As I was replying to Sean you popped up in the middle!
Not really to the first question but it was good just being there. We have seen dolphins at about the same distance at St Ives in the past.
I love the moody skies in the header picture. The clouds almost look as if they’ve been painted. How fascinating to see the house where Grandad lived.
Did you spot the seal? 🙂
I’ll take your word for it that it’s a seal!
Sue Mann said:
Lovely nostalgic trip