Life at the end of the road

October 1, 2008

Raasay pier is almost finished!!!!!!!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:48 pm

The demise of Lister my ‘Amilo 3438g Fujitsu Siemens’ laptop has severely curtailed blogging for the moment as it’s taken me ages to configure a dial up modem that will work with my clockwork IBM ‘At the end of the road’. Actually I should re phrase that, I spent hours trying to get a modem to work then gave up and let Raasay’s resident computer doctor ‘Willy Eyre’ do it, Cheers mate! Much as I love living out in the sticks being 10 miles from the telephone exchange means only a handful of external modems will work and I’ve never yet come across an internal modem that will even connect to the internet at Arnish let alone transfer data. Anyway I have at last managed to get on line so here goes. The day got off to the usual 5:30am start but having no working computer to plonk away on I set about tinkering in my generator shed until it was time to head off to work. Of course being a Tuesday and the last day of my weeks shift I was full enthusiasm and got there early, trouble is I’m writing this on Wednesday and having a memory like a hen can’t really remember the finer points of the day but I’m sure it will come back to me as I plonk away. Anyway I got to work without incident, fired up the ferry and did all the normal stuff I do every working morning like check the fuel, start the hydraulic pumps and go and pay homage to the sewage plant for surviving the whole 7 days without a single blockage!  Feeling a little short of inspiration and spotting Iain Macphearson from ‘Balfour Beatty’ on the 8:00am sailing and thinking he may be heading over to the old ‘Howard Doris’ yard at Loch Kishorn I asked him if he’d take my camera and get some pics for the blog. The blocks for our new harbour are being cast 18 miles away at ‘Leiths’ quarry on the old Kishorn oil rig fabrication site. I went over there with my boy in April just as work was about to start on the 1000 blocks that will make up most of the new pier.

This is what it looked like at the start of April with hundreds of railway sleepers set in concrete to make up the ‘casting beds’ for the interlocking blocks that will make up the harbour wall.

900 blocks

And this is what it looked like on Tuesday with 900 blocks cast and only 10 more to go which means that the pier is almost finished! OK it’s still 18 miles away but you can’t help but be impressed. There’s more pics of the ‘Howard Doris’ site https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/back-to-kishorn/ here.

A seriously big crane

Also at Kishorn was the Kobelco CKE 1800 crawler crane.

Which had arrived in pieces on several articulated lorries and was busy assembling itself like some giant ‘Transformer’ This 180 ton crane is needed on Raasay to lift the blocks into place and could not be broken down into small enough pieces for the ‘Loch Striven’ which can only take 47 tons with a max of 11 tons per axle.

Here’s the beast lifting one of it’s tracks.

And here it is almost in position, as the ferry can’t take it the crane will be shipped over to Raasay on a barge and I can’t wait to see it in the flesh!

A hive of activity

Of course having given my camera to Iain there were lots of photo opportunities to be had. I went along to see Louis the mad Frenchman and Duck the goose at lunch. He was busy caulking the ‘Golden Emblem’ which was looking and smelling much cleaner since I’d lent him my power washer. During the last few of my visits to Louis It’s been pretty quiet down at the new harbour site but today it was just buzzing and I was wishing that I’d got my camera. The tide was very low and a 35ton machine was working on the shore placing rock armour one of the large tugs was pushing the ‘Reloader’ into position, another large machine was working on the pier root below the battery. I had a cup of coffee with Louis and we talked enthusiastically about wild mushrooms and guinea fowl! He’d been busy picking hedgehogs, chanterelles, yellow legs, and ceps. He’d pre cooked them and was going to use them as a stuffing for some guinea fowl I’m hoping to buy in Glasgow this weekend. But that’s another story and I’ve not even started on todays exciting events involving yet more pigs, anyway it’s taken me hours to get this far and now I’m off to bed!

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