Life at the end of the road

February 29, 2008

New waterproofing standard required

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:34 pm

Today turned out to be on the whole pretty scaby. When I awoke at 5:00 it was just starting to blow and rain, that kind of rain that you only get on the west coast, the kind that soaks you in seconds and we seem to get rather allot of. So by the time I’d gone through my morning ritual of hitching up my wee trailer for it’s daily cargo of rock, getting my insulated coffee cup out of the ‘old girl’ and switching on the cab heater I was soaked! I really must start doing this stuff the night before then I can make a quicker getaway in the mornings and I’m sure I could get through life without preheating the inside of my landrover!! Though I find it’s the little things in life that make it so worthwhile, like getting in a warm dry landrover with clean frost free windows and wearing ordinary shoes for a whole day ( you really need to spend 90% of your time in boots or wellies to appreciate this) Anyway off I set down ‘Calum’s road’ for my day on the ferry, arriving at the pier around 7:15 and parking as close as possible to the waiting room in an attempt to get out of my vehicle and into my oilskins without loosing a door or getting wet again. I’d gone for the one piece suit today as these are the driest and today was WET. The wind was gusting to 48 knots so we gave the 8:00 sailing a miss though our valiant skipper did have a go, we cast off the ropes and lowered the ramp in a lull but it was short lived so we sensibly returned to our berth and didn’t sail until just after 10:00. As I was already waterproof it seemed like a good idea to wash the decks, after which I discovered that my super dooper 1 piece suit was just about as waterproof as everything else that claims it’s waterproof when confronted with a west coast gale. Luckily as we had no passengers on board i could dry my clothes out on the main engines. I think there should be a new IP standard, dunno if you’ve noticed but when you buy outdoor switches, lights, plugs etc they are marked from IP 0 (no protection) up to IP 6 (high pressure water) well there should be another one, IP WC (west coast proof) because the rain here can get anywhere. Being cold and having very few clothes on I figured a bit of painting in the engine room at the base of the funnel casing was called for and it was even raining in there so i gave up and went for a 2nd breakfast.

At lunch I went to check on the the abusive digger driver and progress at the harbour, the site was nice and level and he was in a much better mood!!!!

harbour 3

and not only that but the day seemed to be improving

rainbow mine

That was until we got to Sconser and had to try and stay alongside the pier against the squalls racing down loch Sligachan.

sconser wind 1sconser wind 2sconser wind 3

16 years ago

Funnily enough it was also a leap year (well it would be wouldn’t it) and on the last day of February 1992 it was well and truly miserable, we were collecting salmon feed from a barge in the anchorage at Fladda to feed the fish in loch Arnish. I was still working on fitting out my fishing boat, a 23′ ‘Wilson Flyer’ and helping some friends right a caravan that had blown over in a gale!

February 28, 2008

Down the harbour and up the funnel (again)

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:24 pm

I know it doesn’t sound very exciting but life on Raasay is sometimes quite ordinary, I’ll not say boring because (and my mother will probably disagree) I’ve never been bored in my entire life. Anyway as I have become a bit preoccupied with my funnel so to speak that’s where I spent most of the day.

glossy funnel

Armed with a 4″ roller a tin of gloss paint and a very light head!!! (must have been the fumes) despite having both doors open and the engine room fans running I was decidedly ‘happy’ so just like yesterday I went to check on progress of the new harbour. OK I went to check on progress of the site for the concrete mixing plant for the new harbour.

the first dig 1first dig 2

And can you believe it that man was making rude signs at me!! so I left, picking up this fine bit of treasure on the way back to the ferry.

fish float

Now to most people that’s just an old plastic fish cage float with a hole in it but I’ve made these and seen them made into hen houses, coal bunkers, gas bottle covers, turbine covers, acid baths, foot baths, boats and a multitude of other useful things so there was no way I was going to leave it on the beach.

As today was Thursday I phoned the butcher to make sure he’d received Jack and Iona (the largest and smallest of the 4 ‘old spots’ that I took to the abattoir on Monday. He’d got them and I left cutting instructions, feeling a wee bit sad but just dying to get one of Jacks wee chops under the grill on the ferry as it’s become a bit of a tradition. As soon as they arrive at Sconser we have a couple for lunch and my feelings of guilt vanish very quickly. We used to get them on Saturday but now they won’t be here until Monday for some reason. Still I’ll enjoy it all the more for the wait.

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