Jonnies

© Lorna Taylor

Photo 900

Jonnies at high water with OB 209 and OB 226 “Iolair” 1984

Fascadale Bay is open and exposed to the North West and North. Strong winds coming from there would build up big seas that made it dangerous to work small boats off the beach and unwise to keep a salmon coble on a mooring in the bay.

These were the days when mariners only had the shipping forecast for their weather predictions so at Fascadale the radio was carefully listened to at least twice a day

When conditions were forecast to be bad the coble was moved to the safety of Jonnies and the other boats pulled well up the beach. This could happen two or three times through the season

“Jonnies” or some times “Mackinnon’s” was named after Jonnie Mackinnon who had been the foreman at Fascadale for many many years though he had passed away by the 1970s. He and his family lived in a two room corrugated iron cottage by the sea half way between Fascadale and Achateny. Outside the cottage there was a harbour, partly natural and partly man made.

Jonnies was extremely safe hidden away behind a shield of rocks but a boat could only get into it when the tide was high, so only for about four hours out of every twelve. It was a drying harbour with a good smooth sea bed. All the stones had been removed from the seabed over the years to make it smooth and to add to its sea defences

Other than by sea you could only walk to Jonnies. There was a gate in the fence and a track that led across the field and down to the sea but the estate have been feeding cattle there for many years and the path is now impassible. The best way to get there is from Achateny Cottage to Achateny beach then along the shore. This is the route taken by the MacKinnon children back and forwards to the Kilmory School every day. Hardy or what?

Getting the boat into Jonnies could be exciting. Often you were coming in with the seas building behind you and heading straight into the rocks. There were “leading lines” to follow: “line up the yellow rock with the black cliff until you reach the line to starboard where the split rock lines up with the big tree” If you missed these marks, or if you were coming in at the wrong state of the tide then who knows what would have happened.

But once into Jonnies all would be calm. There was easily room for two cobles. Even in the early 1980s Mackinnon”s cottage was still standing: sadly it is now gone.

© Paul Taylor

Photo 901

High water at Jonnies. Lorna Taylor on board OB 209 with OB 226 “Iolair” and Mackinnon’s cottage in the background 1984

© Lorna Taylor

Photo 902

OB 209 and OB 226 “Iolair” moored in Jonnies 1984