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Droning on...


Everywhere I look these days, a drone is never far away.


Even in my home farm, a rural property (think of a scene from Outlander) - our holiday rental cottage, was "droned" and as much as I loved seeing a bird's eye view of our wee "but n ben" - I kindly asked our guests not to put it out there on YouTube. One of the features of this property, is it's idyllic privacy - It just seemed wrong to bring the world in on our tiny corner of peace and tranquillity.


As an artist however, drone footage fascinates me, and I am greedy for images and footage which affords me still frames of the movement of the ocean I am working on.

Cayman has a superb photographic art company - some of their drone footage is truly magnificent!

Please, those of you in Cayman who are avid drone "techys"- feel free to share your images with me - feeds my "missing you Cayman" blues and affirms my inspiration.


I bought my (technology challenged) husband a drone for his birthday, he thanked me profusely and it is now.. well, I am not sure where it is to be honest.. but it has never been up in the sky I know that!

We own a salmon fishing which has been televised (along with yours truly) many times for our smoked food business. The fishing is traditional "net & coble" fishing, which means two of us "ring net" fish in the murky quicksands of the river Cree. I thought a drone for our fishings would be fabulous.

As a young girl my then boyfriend invited me to "come see his boat" - being the water babe I am, of course my antennae jumped high on the radar and I had visions of myself in white linen pants, Gucci loafers, glass of bubbly in hand, speeding across the horizon to the sunset..

Urm..not quite...

I wasn't quite sure how wellies came into play (wellington boots - we Scots are born wearing them).

I swear, it is the muddiest place on earth!

The banks of the Cree, a vast river of moving quick sands..

The boat? Oh yeah? A fourteen foot fibre glass rowing boat purposely made for dropping off a net, and jumping in and out of quicksands…

Och aye the glamour!

Of course, being young and madly in love, I took to the fishing like a duck to water. And before I knew it, I like many Marr wives before me, became my then future husband's "free labour" without even knowing it :)

I am sure it was his way of finding out if I was marriage material..

Could I fish? I doubt had I run a mile would the tale have had the same ending today!

I have fished those waters, each season, for near on 25 years now.



Where there's muck there's brass!



When the rain is pelting down, and you are thigh high (and sinking rapidly) in quick sands, with my beloved shouting "PULL PULL" (as in 100 yards of corked and leaded nets), believe me - the love story is no fairy tale. However, when it is one of Scotland's beautiful dawns there are moments, when I have wondered in awe, at the great beauty of mother nature.


Now, I am excused from being "required to fish" but, on a warm summer's day (if we get one), I will still fish an occasional shift just for the sheer joy of it. My favourite shifts are the early dawn tides - we have to fish when the tide has run out - and work our way down to the mouth of the estuary, fishing salmon "pools" along the way. When we reach the bottom of our fishing (we own title deeds to a stretch of waters), we have to wait on the tide to come in to get us back up river to the anchorage.

I have seen such beauty at dawn.. The sun rise over Cairnsmore, the mist on the water as day breaks, a silent otter swims by. The town sleeps, and here we are, having our morning coffee and breakfast roll, having completed a morning' fishing shift. Perfect Moments.


Misty morning by our Salmon Fishings


I love the rush of the tide, the great whirlpools as a huge tide floods in, we are so small, such a tiny fragment of this great earth.. and even if it is not aqua (mmm murkey grey perhaps?), I still love to watch the seafoam sparkle on the sand, and the great waves roll. And of course, having our own wild Scottish salmon for our smokehouse, is simply gold dust!

Anyway, the drone!

Yes, I thought taking a drone with us down our fishing might be exciting! Not sure if we will return home with it, but if this summer we do, I promise to show you all - the other ocean in my world ..



Sorting the net



When we were in Cayman, we did a bit of island hopping.

It was when I was in the Cayman Express that I thought to myself "This is like being an actual drone"!

Flying between the islands - I so want the pilot to stay low lol - I love the minutes when we are able to view the ocean and its reefs and beaches - THIS is where I take a photo in my mind, and store it for my art. I love to watch every sparkle, absorb every colour, and take in every movement of the beautiful Cayman waters.


Cayman Brac is the sister I have yet to really explore. My trips recently have been very much focused on delivering my art, so there has been little time for exploration. I think perhaps on one of our trips I would like to spend maybe three days in Brac, getting to know the island and its gorgeous rugged coastline a little more.


Little Cayman, as always, opened their arms to me.

It is the only airport in the world where I step off the plane and I am met with a welcome hug and a kiss. How special is that?

If you are in Little Cayman for the National Trust's annual Easter auction, you will find a beautiful little piece of my art on offer - be sure to take a look - Happy Bidding!


Beach walk and a kayak to Owen Island - a Perfect Day in Paradise



Eagle Ray

Beach Walk

aaaaah bliss


Sting Ray

Starfish (spotted on kayak to Owen Island)


Owen Island - paradise found!

And then - I get to go back up in "my drone" again (aka the Cayman Otter) - and now I get a bird's eye view of the very same Owen Island.



Owen Island, Little Cayman



And just when my body has gotten used to the six hour time change, before I know it - I am flying back to my wee studio here in Scotland, to get cracking on my next creation of Cayman Art.


Soon come!

Ruby xx






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