Wednesday morning arrived at my parents house with the patter of tiny feet on their conservatory roof, in other words it was pishing down, just for a change I really am severely fed up with this weather, sure the house is roasting and the generator hasn’t run since September due to the abundance of wind and water but I’m sick of it now.
After a walk with my dad and the dogs I headed for home, the weather was carp for outside work but I hoped to make a start on indoor jobs at least.
It may have been torrential rain but that didn’t stop our diligent council sending over a 7m long pickup with a few shovel full loads of tarmac in to repair some potholes. You could not make this incompetence up, that truck will have at a ton in the back at the most and will cost well over £100 on the ferry as it’s a commercial. For a few extra quid they could send over 15 tons in a lorry, now my maths isn’t great but that truck comes over once a fortnight to fill in around six potholes. So that’s two tons every month, for less money than that they could send over 15 tons or more once a month, I despair.
Coincidently the BBC were also over filming the disgraceful state of the ‘bomb craters’, they are now way past being called mere potholes.
Well, Wednesday was pretty much a ‘write off’ by the time I’d got home,
but it did provide us with the first sign of spring, the hawthorn was out
No sooner had I got home than wifey decided to leave me actually it was long planned that she’d be heading sowf on Thursday but that didn’t stop me taking it badly. So, after checking over the old Nissan for her I hitched a lift to the ferry terminal to pick up Lachie’s telehandler to unload the turbine. Sure I could have done it without but I’m 57 now and my back is wrecked.
The Proven/Kingspan 2.5/3.2kw head weighs in at 190kg and believe me it’s far easier to unload with a forklift than drag across a veg patch
Had the ground not been totally waterlogged I could have got everything much better positioned but settled for putting the turbine in the barn
and getting the mast sections up near their resting place.
That lower mast section really needs to be the other way round, the base will be in the lower left hand corner of the picture, but just check out the tyre tracks. The last thing I wanted to do was ‘bog’ Lachie’s telehandler and in a few weeks I’ll be able to get the Land Rover up there and winch it into position.
With the head nice and dry and the mast sections more or less on site I concentrated on getting the base into position.
This turbine mast will be anchored firmly to Scotland like my last one, a thin screed of concrete and then bolted firmly to the Lewisian Gneiss.
After much scratching around I found the perfect spot that would allow the minimum of concrete yet still allow me to feed a duct for a cable into the base.
That was about as far as I got on the wind turbine front, I still had to deal with pigs, hens, eggs and of course feed myself. Having no wine to distract me that proved quite simple and I even managed a little blog Friday dawned far brighter and clearer than I’d expected, and whilst the showers were indeed viscous on the back of a 70mph wind it was a pretty good day.
You could see them coming thus avoid them, and they didn’t last very long, so I spent much of the day up at the new house preparing the turbine site.
Mounting a wind turbine on solid rock
Of course ‘in the real world’ it’s far easier to dig a hole and order some ‘readymix’ but that’s a trifle expensive on Raasay, extortionate at Arnish and you couldn’t get a lorry to the site anyway. Not only that but the soil isn’t very deep and the rock is very stable, this I know for a fact because my mate Hooky despairs every time he puts his rock breaker on in this part of the island. Indeed he’d already ‘pecked’ at this particular rock and given up,
The spot I’d found was perfect, a nice hollow that would need only a little concrete to fill in bellow the base.
A wee bit of chiselling with my breaker to make a path for the conduit and then a test bore with a 32mm drill proved it to be suitable. The next stage was to get the power washer rigged up so as to give the rock a good clean so the concrete would key to it.
That proved a more ‘long winded’ affair than taking the mast up there as it was a long way from the water supply.
However, it was well worth the effort and did a far better job than a brush and shovel.
One little piggy ??
Sadly I had to leave it there as I’d pigs to deliver and a boy to collect from the ferry. Coaxing the two spotties into the trailer was easy enough, and once they were in there I let them settle whilst i had some tea and a bite to eat. Come 15:00 I set off slowly south with the two spotty gilts bound for Oskaig, it was just as I rounded the Rubh Crion around half a mile from home that I glanced in the mirror and saw a pig wandering amiably down the road towards home! Talk about ‘double take’, I blinked and looked again, sure enough a spotty gilt was just rounding the corner out of sight. stopping the Land Rover I climbed out and went to check on the trailer, half expecting the door to be open. Nope, there in the back was the other one, all alone and well shut in.
The missing pig must have climbed out of the narrow gap above the door!! Ah well, a quick call to the customer on the lines of, ‘your pigs gone AWOL, will Monday be OK’ followed, then I just let the other one loose on the highway. Sure you couldn’t do that in Accrington However, she’d just head down the road after the other one for sure, then join up with the rest of the herd on the hill, so no harm done.
After dropping off eggs at the shop, collecting a bottle of wine (hic) then the Dude from the ferry, we headed home. Sure enough, as soon as we got around the Rubh Crion the two pigs were grubbing away at some bracken roots near the rest of the herd. Much to my surprise though, as soon as I lowered the ramp of the trailer they went back in!!!
Even more to my surprise though, when I got back home there was a pig missing!!! That’s the rascal in front, she obviously prefers walking