Wednesday evening halfway across the Minch bound for Lochmaddy, blazing sunshine heating up the steelwork and a lovely roll from the hash of west wind. Things could be much worse, it seems at last that spring has arrived, for at one point today, albeit sheltered from the cool breeze, it was positively hot. Yes siree for a good ten minutes I was really really warm, OK I was wearing overalls and a thick coat but that’s not the point, my head was hot too I have a feeling that this bank holiday weekend will see the bracken ‘take off’ and the dreaded midge arrive, that’s one thing I’ve not been missing.
Three weeks into May and no sign of the ‘wee beasties’, that’s got to be a record, though having said that I’ve spent most of the ‘spring’ so far in the Minch, perhaps I’m just missing them. I doubt it though, like everything else apart from my bills this year they’re late and still thinking it’s winter.
Not really got a great deal to ‘write home about’ to be honest, the day has been quite busy with traffic, both on the deck and on the sea. A couple of cruise ships and tankers at least, though far too far away for pictures, as I’ve spent most of the day on the car deck chipping and painting. Much as I enjoy the familiar sound of hammer on steel, smell of paint and sight of ‘Interprime 198’ on a previously rusty ladder, it didn’t provide much of a view of the sea. Still when I closed my eyes I could almost imagine myself back on the MV Loch Striven
Dunno what this basalt headland and wee stack are called at the north end of Skye somewhere between Kilmuir and Duntulm but it’s quite spectacular and amazingly sharp considering it’s at 32x zoom.
As well as the dozens of campervans, hundreds of cars and at least a score of articulated lorries we had one ‘DG’, that’ll be ‘dangerous goods vehicle’ in the shape of this gas tanker. Strapped down and segregated from the rest of the traffic, all DG’s go on the open after deck where any fire can be tackled from above with large ‘foam branches’, kind of like a water cannon.
It wasn’t all sunshine though, indeed there were a few nasty showers but most of them passed by without landing on the ship.
This light is on Sgier Ghlas on the way into Tarbert with the island of Scotsay in the background, there’s an Evance 9000 5kW wind turbine on there
but I’ve only ever actually seen it working once. These turbines are usually very reliable so I’m a little puzzled why it’s not spinning away earning the owner money ??
One of several motor cycles to cross the Minch today was this Triumph Bonneville and sidecar, something you see very rarely these days, and even more so with the sidecar on the right (left) side. I used to own a completely original 1969 Bonneville in around 1976 when I toured around England and Wales.
Mine was exactly like this one, even down to the grey top of the seat and it was rubbish Every time I took it out it blew a head gasket, once it burned a hole in a piston and almost seized, another time the primary chain tensioner broke and you couldn’t park it anywhere without leaving an oil slick Still, I did love it to bits and I’m sure that at £7100 (not including the sidecar) it’s far more reliable than mine was http://www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/motorcycles/range/classics/bonneville/2013/2012-bonneville-t100
A rainbow in Uig bay
and some spectacular cliffs on Skye, Dunvegan head in the foreground with the cliffs of An Ceannaich in the background. That lump of rock in the distance being just about the last resting place of the SS Chadwick.
The SS Chadwick being a collier bound for St Petersburg when she came to grief in fog there ten years after she was built. A place I visited regularly in the 1970’s and 80’s as fanatical wreck diver.
Anyway, it’s almost 22:00 now so I’m off to bed, either that or down to the mess room for a sandwich