Life at the end of the road

October 30, 2014

A late one

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:05 am

Well, that’ll be us in the hotel a little earlier tonight and a table booked for 19:10, a far more civilized booking than the previous two evenings. Eight ten, which in reality is well after nine PM is far too late to be munching cod or pheasant, however on Monday and Tuesday we couldn’t really have eaten any earlier due to late finishes at the dock.

I had fully intended scribing a few lines last night but it was after nine when I’d finished the baked cod, chick peas, chorizo and salad!! yes really. I gotta admit to being a bit dubious about ordering it but Victoria, who must be six feet tall assured me it was delicious. Not wishing to argue I took her advice and had it for dinner, my compatriot and captain choosing the sea bass. Now I have to admit at being a little dischuffed with the breakfast here at and my captain also was less than impressed. He and the rest of the ‘Raasay crew’ having been spoilt in the ‘Isle of Mull’ at Craignure and the ‘Royal’ in Cambeltown.

The Marine is just fine by my standards but I was severely pi55ed off at the £4.25 surcharge for two measly kippers at breakfast. Being sick of eggs and dead pig for a while, I thought I’d pick a healthier option yesterday, only to be handed two small and very salty herring on a plate. Nay egg, nay parsley, not a sign of a decent bit of bread and hardly any of the buttery sauce promised Sad smile

It’s 20:24 now and the Marine has just redeemed itself.

028 030 031

A spectacular smoked mackerel starter followed by pumpkin tortellini for myself and scullen skink plus a beef slice for the skipper has just forgiven the Marine’s shortcomings in the breakfast department.


Oh dear, that didn’t go to well, I fell asleep and didn’t surface until 6:30!! So just before I do my ablutions I’ll stick some carpy phone pictures of progress so far.


Dock dry just prior to our inspection,



opening up the double bottom prior to inspection,



Voith blade inspection,


box coolers for engine 1 and 2 plus forward drive.


The dock gates holding back the sea


and the pumps that keep it empty.




Modifications to the sewage plant piping,


work starting on the aft ramp


019  020

RL Engineering removing the clevis pins,





023 024


October 27, 2014

All ‘dried out’

Filed under: New hybrid ferry — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:48 pm

Gosh, it’s well after 22:00 now, which is 23:00 really and I’m still awake, nothing short of a miracle really considering the day we’ve had. A last minute change of plan saw us leaving Cambeltown at the unsavoury hour of 6:00am and I’ve barely stopped since. The rain is hammering down onto the windows of my seafront ‘berth’ at the Marine Hotel


and I’ve not long since ‘polished off’ some fine ‘chuck’



that’ll be the ‘pan seared pheasant’ complete with buckshot



and the salmon fillet in haddock sauce. First class indeed, and well earned after the long long day.

Anyway, we arrived at Troon harbour around 13:00 I guess



and pretty soon were entering the dock. JST’s floating pier and a mountain of timber reminding me of their spell on Raasay a few years ago.



Being an hour before HW we slipped into the dock easily, though a few hours earlier would have had us ‘pumped out’ quicker.


The dock gates were closed behind us and the long task of securing Hallaig in the correct position began.



A line of heavy blocks on the keel, four wires at each quarter and four telegraph poles amidships held her in place as the dock was pumped dry.


That operation took a full five hours and more as we all made ready by shutting down various systems whilst a sub contractor gave us a shore power connection.


As soon as the dock was dry and shore power established


we wrapped it up and called it a day.

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