On Saturday morning, most of us arose from the bunk-beds swiftly after seven o'clock.
There are sponge mattresses.
Bring your own sleeping-bag and pillow-case; abundant heavy blankets are provided.
It's wise to be self-sufficient here: Bring all food and drink, though there is a limited supply of fresh water from the well.
"Washing" water comes from a butt, and it is emphasised that this must not be used for consumption, even for boiling in a kettle.
So I got dressed and, armed with my wash-gear, found the male wash-room, which is outside in an old shed.
The stainless-steel sink is very large and, unfortunately, lacks a plug.
It has no running water, either; so you boil water and bring it from the kitchen to the wash-room outside.
There is no bath or shower in the wash-room.
Given that the island had not been occupied all week, the sink contained a few swallow droppings!
I decided not to avail of the facilities in the wash-room.
Instead, I boiled some water, poured it into a Pyrex bowl from the kitchen, took it outside to the front of the cottage, and washed myself in the open.
This was easier and less fuss.
I don't know what the others did. Some, I suspect, didn't bother to wash at all!
Others let their beards grow. The duty officer, I noticed, used an electric razor.
I made the mistake of believing that we, as a NT group, would all be sharing all our food.
I brought plenty of ingredients for an Ulster Fry, including twenty sausages, potato-bread and soda-bread; while others provided fresh eggs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms.
Phil generously supplied rump steaks, oven chips, vegetables, and red wine.
The kitchen is well equipped, with three cookers and an abundance of kitchen knives, forks, spoons, dishes, baking-trays and so on.
Next episode ... off to Heligoland!
First published in September, 2012.