Life at the end of the road

February 4, 2008

Happy otters and hungry sheep

Filed under: animals, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:11 pm

Living on an island, working on the sea and having a wind turbine tends to make you a bit obsessed by the weather. Even most landlubbers on Raasay with a computer have their favourite weather sites bookmarked and study them carefully prior to important journeys. As usual I checked mine UK Wind Map several times on sunday and it said all would be peachy today (wind wise). The wind was blowing hard all day sunday, like XC said it would. The house was roasting with all the excess from the ‘Proven 2.5kw’ wind turbine and as I went to my bed at 11:00ish it fell calm like XC said it would. However when I got up this morning the voltage of the battery bank that supplies the house was much higher than it should have been for the gentle breeze that was forecast. Undetered I set off down ‘Calum’s’ road armed with the dudes air rifle thinking I might pop a bunny on the way down for dinner, and for those who have read previous entries I was NOT going to shoot the lovely hare in his winter coat that I’d seen the last 2 days, but I did fancy a rabbit as mrs C had a good recipe off Jamie Oliver she wanted to try out. However once I’d set off down the road at 6:30 I realized it was far too windy for popping at bunnies with an air rifle and by the time I got down to the ferry I could hardly walk along the pier.

Much to the annoyance of the poor commuters and the joy of the schoolchildren we didn’t sail, though we did have a go at 9:00 and whilst the sea was not so rough the totally exposed nature of the slipway made landing impossible let alone loading 11 cars and foot passengers so we returned to our berth on the pier and didn’t sail until 12:30.

The happy otter

Although we did not actually sail the engines were running and the props turning whilst we were tied up, this was obviously stirring up tasty morsels for our resident otter who was happily feeding and playing in the maelstrom of sea and propwash. OK the photo’s are cr4p but it really was lovely.

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After watching the otter till he got fed up I bolted down the engine room where it was nice and warm and got on with some of the weekly maintainance . After about 3 hours down there in the warmth i went onto the pier for a bit of fresh air and came across this sheep that was obviously fancying a change from grass!!

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This is actually quite a common sight and they obviously do it for a reason other than hunger as you see it all year round. Sheep are not as daft as they seem, I remember watching them waiting for the tide to go out so they could walk over the causeway to Fladda , they would walk down the steep rocky steps to the shore about 20 mins before the tide uncovered the causeway then trot off to the green grass on the other side for a few hours before returning to Raasay before the tide covered the crossing again.

Anyway the wind moderated and backed to the west so normality was returned at 12:30 and we sailed as per schedule. The only excitement being a big arctic arriving with the rock drilling equipment for the ‘ground source heat pump’ for the new village hall.

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