Life at the end of the road

May 18, 2008

Back to dial up

Filed under: daily doings, Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:14 pm

After a lovely night at my parents with the pine marten and broadband it was off to Kyle of Lochalsh for the Dudes swimming lesson though not before we had a wander round the harbour to check out the boats and skips! I was cursing being in mrs Cs new ( well new to her ) car as there was some fine 2″ suction hose in the skip behind the new medical center but it would have upset the domestic harmony of the C household had I rolled it into wifey’s car so the Dude and I reluctantly passed it by. Checking out the RNAS torpedo recovery ship Tornado instead.

Her vital statistics being a gross displacement tonnage of 698, dimensions of 156’x28’x10, twin screw with 2x 2,200hp engines, a max speed 0f 14knots and most importantly a barbecue welded onto the after deck! She’s been grubbing about on the east side of Raasay this last couple of months with some ‘nukes’

More on my hydro

With the lunch time ferry caught and the Dude dropped off at football practice I headed home and after spending a bit of quality time with my extended family of pigs decide to do some work on my ‘penstock’ ( the pipe which will supply my hydro turbine ). Whilst this project is still a long way off in financial terms I’m doing what I can when conditions are right and you have to live on the west coast of Scotland or somewhere similar to appreciate what I mean. Already the braken is growing an inch or two a day, all we need is a bit of rain then sun and it will be 5′ tall and even finding the pipe will be difficult let alone working on it when the braken fronds are holding gallons of water from the impending summer rain and providing shelter to clouds of hungry midges!.

The straighter the pipe the better, though for my kind of flow (max 5lts per sec) that’s not really a problem with 250m of 63mm pipe. More importantly the pipe should be continually falling with no high spots to trap air or low spots to trap sediment. The first thing I did was set up a block and tackle near the top, tie the block around a convenient tree and pull the pipe as straight as was possible.

With the pipe reasonably straight I then stated placing stones under the low spots and making sure there were no high spots, that was until around 5:30 when I was driven out of the woods by the midge!

Despite virtually no rain in 3 weeks and the ground being cracked and dry there is still half a liter of water a second going into my header tank. The theoretical power output being .5(flow in lt/sec) X 40(head in mts) X 9.81 (a constant for gravity) = 196.2 (power in watts) even allowing for a 60% efficiency that’s still a respectable 117 watts or 2.8kwh a day and as our daily average over the last 3 years has been 4.1kwh per day it’s not to be sniffed at. We already have an excess of power from the wind in the winter but this will keep the batteries topped up in the calmer months and the surplus can go into heating water.

Sally’s on the barbie!

Out of the birch wood the evening sun was still strong so a barbecue was the order of the day with some of the wee pig I killed on Wednesday. The combination of a light breeze and smoke from the barbie kept mister midge away and we cut some fine belly pork into strips for dinner. It was a nice piece of pork but to be honest even if it had tasted like burnt cardboard I would have enjoyed it and treated it with the respect in deserved. After the best part of a bottle of ‘Mount Gay’ rum between the 4 of us I went to bed, slept like a log and awoke this morning as fresh as a daisy. Unlike the rest of the team who partied on until the early hours.

A day of rest

Being a lovely Sunday and having achieved so much this week since I finished work on Tuesday I decided to go and visit Bill Cowie on

The last time I was there we’d been assisting Hugh Piggot install another wind turbine but today the Dude his pal Ryan and I were just going up for a day out. Bill looked after us feeding and watering us, we gave him a lift to make some cattle pens and did some exploring, returning home around 5:00 without even hanging a fishing line over the side or lifting a creel and we’d all had an excellent day chasing orcs, goblins and the like amongst the jagged rocks of Rona and Eileen Tigh.

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