Friday night and I’m home for a couple of nights leaving the good ship Hallaig in the capable hands of my ‘back to back’. Not my regular shift but he’s kindly let me away to kill some pigs, not something I’m looking forward too but we’ll be happy enough once they’re in the freezer.
Anyway, last time I was on here I was on my ‘week off’ and ended up (as usual) running around like the proverbial fly with the blue bottom. Wifey was working and I was in charge of her hens
and this one wasn’t looking very happy, all puffed up and with a pale floppy comb.
Here’s a healthy specimen just about to go and ‘hen peck’ her They really are quite brutal with each other, we’ve separated her, wormed her and are keeping an eye on the wee hen but she’s not looking great.
Once I’d dealt with all the fowl and swine,
where does that derogatory expression come from??? I turned my attention to the fuel.
I’d already decanted 600lts of diesel into my tank but left one barrel to take up to the new house site for Harry.
This would be my first ever delivery to the new house apart from a few cans poured in by hand. I’ve got this fuel transfer carry on well sorted, I should have really, I’ve been doing it since 1985!!
I use a small electric pump with a bronze impeller that I’ve had for years, I seem to remember buying it from Jansvans in Portree in a sale some twenty years ago and it’s been indispensible ever since. I have it all set up ready with 30m of oil resistant hose and a tap on each end, that way no diesel or heating oil ever leaks out of the pipe. It all fits nicely into a plastic fish box and will empty a barrel in around ten minutes, although not ‘self priming’ it’s easy enough to bleed by just keeping it lower than the barrel.
It may seem a bit ‘haphazard’ but in twenty odd years I’ve never spilt a drop. Normally, if just filling my own tank I’d use a bowser in my trailer but I’d only found out by chance that the tanker was coming over to Raasay and the barrels are easier to take down to the pier at short notice.
After sorting myself out I then loaded up the trailer with containers for the Torran generator http://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html
not that that needs much diesel. The solar and hydro that supply this large self catering let cope well with most of the demand but you do get people turning up with hair dryers and toastie makers occasionally.
The renewable energy system there consists of 1260w of solar panels and 300w of hydro feeding into these Rolls S530 batteries. The 24v 1000ah bank then supplies a Studer XPC inverter which turns the 24vDC into 230AC and can cope with most of the demands of a large household. However there are always the folk who seem to delight in leaving every light in the house burning, the heating on full and three hair dryers running. At times like this the Lister ST2 generator ‘picks up the slack’ so now and then needs a drink, perhaps only once a year but a drink nonetheless.
It was on the way home with an empty trailer and hurrying to get to work
that things went ‘pear shaped’ or should I say ‘pigeon toed’, for the trusty Yamaha YFM 350 quad headed straight into a ditch
as one of the ‘track rod ends’ fell apart.
I did manage to get home by pushing it back in (twice) and I did have a spare, but it turned out to be the wrong end Track rod ends, or ‘tie rod ends’ as they’re called in the USA are threaded RH at one end and LH at the other, and typically I’d only got a LH one when an RH one was needed.
After removing the end and squeezing it up in the vice I built it back up and rushed down to work
where the rest of the crew were preparing to finish for the week
Me, I just did a couple of runs and shut down for the night
Not sure what happened on Wednesday but Thursday was a far better affair
and just around lunchtime the Striven’s sister ship MV Loch Linnhe turned up fresh out of dry dock.
At some point during the day a ‘fire engine’ appeared but I’m not sure if it was ours, a replacement or what.
Today was kinda busy so I’d little time for anything other than our new ship, which had a minor hiccup at 7:30am and refused to start one of her drive units. Anyway with a foot pump and several meters of garden hose I managed to coax the £11,000,000 beauty into life well OK, perhaps not quite like that but the ‘minor glitch’ was sorted and off we went.
The ‘drencher’ got its weekly check, and believe me you don’t want to be under that when it goes off.
We had a temporary new crew member, Jack, who came aboard to sniff for drugs he never found any but he was very interested in my leg
The 11:30 was a little delayed as we waited for an ambulance
that returned to Skye on the scheduled 12:15 sailing.
Loch Linnhe safely moored behind us with Lustre ahead of her.
And the last passenger of interest before I left
a Texal tup
And before I forget, Snow White and the Raasay mine gnomes will be performing tomorrow night at the school ‘be there or be square’