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cotterless45

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Quite fantastic Nick, I hope that you get some spectacular skies.

I have just returned from a trip to the Isle of Mull. Good day time weather but only one clear sky evening which I tried to take advantage of. I had with me my 16x70 binos and monopod,  sky transparency unfortunately was not so great and the moon rose up after an hours observing - otherwise the location might have looked very like your picture. Still it was good to get observing - pray for a breeze to combine with the potential spectacular sky - my most important equipment was my midge head net coupled with a wide brim hat, full clothing including summer gloves and a squirt of smidge that midge. The blighters did disperse later on thank goodness but remember dob mob, you will be on their menu!

 

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4 hours ago, cotterless45 said:

Just had this through, sky in North Uist. Off to North Skye, first two weeks of October, it might not be dark enough !

Old Nick.image.jpeg

Nothing like whetting the appetite, eh? :D

I am looking forward to your reports. 

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I'm currently on holiday on the Waternish peninsula on north Skye.

The sky was absolutely stunning last night with the Milky Way clearly visible across the entire arc and so many stars it was near impossible to make out all but the main constellations. The sight of M31 filling the whole diameter of the 1.89° field of view in my Altair 152 and 17mm Ethos with M110 and M32 easily visible will live with me for a long time, as will the very much larger size of M13 than would normally be seen under poorer quality skies.

A quite amazing experience which I am sure you will love, Nick :wink:

 

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3 hours ago, scarp15 said:

Quite fantastic Nick, I hope that you get some spectacular skies.

I have just returned from a trip to the Isle of Mull. Good day time weather but only one clear sky evening which I tried to take advantage of. I had with me my 16x70 binos and monopod,  sky transparency unfortunately was not so great and the moon rose up after an hours observing - otherwise the location might have looked very like your picture. Still it was good to get observing - pray for a breeze to combine with the potential spectacular sky - my most important equipment was my midge head net coupled with a wide brim hat, full clothing including summer gloves and a squirt of smidge that midge. The blighters did disperse later on thank goodness but remember dob mob, you will be on their menu!

 

if wee beasties are gonna do battle with the mob they better come prepared.....its not going to be warm in December,plus the vodka in our blood will soon see 'em off!

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6 minutes ago, estwing said:

if wee beasties are gonna do battle with the mob they better come prepared.....its not going to be warm in December,plus the vodka in our blood will soon see 'em off!

You'll smell like fairies but this stuff does the job. Tried and tested by someone who lives in Midgeland! (and worn by the SAS guys)

As scarp said, Smidge that Midge also is excellent.

You don't wanna use Jungle Formula and melt your Televue Ethoi  :D

 

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1 hour ago, Beulah said:

You'll smell like fairies but this stuff does the job. Tried and tested by someone who lives in Midgeland! (and worn by the SAS guys)

As scarp said, Smidge that Midge also is excellent.

You don't wanna use Jungle Formula and melt your Televue Ethoi  :D

 

Yes I like to keep a bottle of Avon Skin so Soft handy for occasional use. it is much nicer when applied (particularly if you have sensitive skin) than any formula of midge repellent that I have used. Some question its effectiveness, but it seems to work OK, just depends on the circumstances really. I like to take this along for late summer observing if not on higher ground with a breeze, and like you mention, will not harm your equipment.  

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22 hours ago, cotterless45 said:

Off to North Skye, first two weeks of October ...

As you will no doubt know, Nick, the moon will be waxing during your two weeks, so I hope you get clear skies early in your holiday. As you are leaving those latitudes I will be arriving (though on the mainland) and, with my usual attention to detail :happy9:, the moon will be full ...

As others have mentioned, the midges must be considered, although they should(?) be diminished in numbers and strength in October. There is a suggestion that the 'recipe' for Skin so Soft has been changed since the celebrated 'discovery' by the SAS guys and is now not so efficacious as it was. I suffer quite badly with the beasties and, on a recent trip to a dark sky site I covered myself generously with Skin so Soft but still didn't last more than 10 minutes(!) before having to run, defeated and battered by the voracious midge. But 'mileage may vary, etc.' for others. I hear that Smidge gets the thumbs up.

In my experience of the far NW, if you're lucky enough to get clear skies you have to be doubly lucky in order to escape strong winds ...

Fingers crossed that you're doubly lucky and have a great time. :happy11:

p.s. I've always wanted to know how and why the first SAS guy discovered Skin so Soft ....

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13 hours ago, estwing said:

just ordered some fairy dust!......nothing goes on unless its raining....always clear in Elan!!:rolleyes2:

Hehe, yep, clear every night...I wish.  :(

@Floater, I don't know if you are like me, but every year I always hope that I might develop an immunity against those fearsome beasties being a local, but no, they seem to love me more. :D Worst time is late June to early August where I sport the worst bites. The best ones are on the eyelids and under the eyes when people ask me if I walked into a door again.

Skin So Soft & Smidge does the trick for me, as well as a good head net when the midges descend in thick, black clouds..... But we all have to find our magic formula; some people even suggest eating copious amounts of garlic but I suppose that depends if you are an introvert or not.  :D

As for that said product...maybe some toughnut SAS guy's wife was an Avon lady? :D

 

 

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Beulah, it seems we react in similar ways. And yes, the eyes have it! I can look like I've gone a couple of rounds with someone who can box. The aborted dark site session I referred to earlier also saw me bitten on the lips. So bumps all over my face, eyes puffed up and thick lips. Not a pretty sight!

The swelling on the eyes and lips goes away after a few hours, but bites on my head, arms and legs (and some other quite surprising places!) itch for a week to ten days - even if I take anti-histamine tablets. One particularly bad night years ago when camping in the Cairngorms - I know, I know - I threw myself in the river in a demented effort to escape them. And I've even tried to sleep roping myself in while up a tree. All to no avail.

I know what they mean when they say that astronomy can be 'character building' ... ??

As for Skin so Soft, the rumour has it that the midge-beating properties were discovered by the guys based at Faslane. I did some work there over a couple of years but, dig as I might, I never got to the bottom of that story.

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14 minutes ago, Floater said:

The aborted dark site session I referred to earlier also saw me bitten on the lips. So bumps all over my face, eyes puffed up and thick lips. Not a pretty sight!

The swelling on the eyes and lips goes away after a few hours, but bites on my head, arms and legs (and some other quite surprising places!) itch for a week to ten days - even if I take anti-histamine tablets. One particularly bad night years ago when camping in the Cairngorms - I know, I know - I threw myself in the river in a demented effort to escape them. And I've even tried to sleep roping myself in while up a tree. All to no avail.

 

On the lips? Ouch.

Maybe I can train 'em to bite me in the right places so that those darn wrinkles can disappear? #freebotox  :D

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I arrived on Skye on Saturday at around 6pm. The sun was out and there was no wind whatsoever. "Lovely", I thought, "I'll sit on this bench in front of the cottage and have a beer and a peek through the binoculars to see if I can find any seals".

Five minutes later I was in the house scratching every part of my body. I have not stopped scratching since and I am absolutely covered in bites that are now starting to bleed :sad:

 

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The only thing you can do really is to cover up, body hugging clothing and summer weight gloves, a midge head net with cap or hat is essential. I keep anti-histamine tablets in my camping first aid kit to. Sending you demented is definitely the right term. One of (many) horrendous camping experiences I have had was whilst on the Isle of Jura. Camped next to the village pub - inside the swarms could be seen thick against the windows. When the time came, my bed for the night was in a single hooped bivvy bag (Phoenix Foxhole for the connoisseurs) this meant sliding worm like inside the cavity, inviting thick black swarms of blood thirsty female midges to feast - very akin to a horror movie no doubt.

Skin so soft is fine to fend off a few random chancers, but the Scottish midge population (actually believe it or not the swarms at Kielder in the Summer have an even worse reputation) require more in the way of deterrent.

Then there are the ticks - welcome to the Highlands.  

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Oh yes, the ticks...pulled a few of 'em out in my time. Still have the scars...  :D

I do marvel at those who go hill hiking round yer, in shorts and sandals...

The midge population here is pretty bad but they do ease off during a dry spell. Give us a damp, overcast, muggy day and the windows are black with 'em.

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4 hours ago, Beulah said:

Maybe I can train 'em to bite me in the right places so that those darn wrinkles can disappear? #freebotox  :D

That made Mrs Floater laugh out loud. ?

3 hours ago, DRT said:

Five minutes later I was in the house scratching every part of my body. I have not stopped scratching since and I am absolutely covered in bites that are now starting to bleed :sad:

You need to wear boxing gloves in bed at night, Derek. ?

3 hours ago, scarp15 said:

... horrendous camping experiences I have had ...

Mustn't turn this into a competition, of course. But once, too young, too stupid and too much to drink, I tried to 'bed down' in a bank of ferns in Glen Nevis. Had to visit the local GP next day, you'll understand. ???

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