Life at the end of the road

October 24, 2008

It’s an ill wind that blows no good

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:00 pm

To be honest I’ve never really been sure what that saying means. Does it mean that it’s a really bad wind that is totally cr4p or does it mean that even most bad winds blow some good and only the REALLY bad ones don’t blow any good? Anyway if you read yesterdays effort you’ll Know that we had a bit of a blow here and quite a few people were stranded on this little bit of paradise to the east of Skye that is Raasay. Now I’ve lived here 19 years and there have never been so many people and vehicles stranded here, well that’s probably because it’s the first time in a hundred years that so many people have actually worked here. When I say paradise that’s because I’ve got a nice warm house to go to and my family’s waiting for me with a hot meal. If your number 13 in the queue for a 12 car ferry that’s been ‘blown off’ and your home is in Inverness or Glasgow, there’s no accommodation, the hotel has no license and the shop is closed then I’m sure you’d have a different perspective on things. When I left for home last night there were almost 20 cars and vans left stranded by the weather and probably 40 people! As far as I’m aware most of them got a bed, fed and a breakfast thanks to the Raasay stores re opening and Borrowdale house ( Isle of Raasay hotel ) putting some mattresses in the dining room. When I arrived for work this morning at 7:15 there were 17 cars and vans in the car park and a few sore heads! Understandably some of the customers were displeased by the ‘Raasay experience’ and one or two gave me some stick for telling them at 8:30am on Thursday ” aye we’ll be sailing the weather’s going to get better ” Quite a few on the other hand had enjoyed the ‘craic’ and hospitality, one thing for sure they were all glad to get away! especially the ‘Rapid response’ van from Glasgow that had to be pushed on the ferry and towed off!

'Rapid response vehicle'

After doing an extra run to clear the mass of cars the day was pretty quiet traffic wise so I buried myself in the toasty engine room.

My ‘Sistene Chapel’

Whilst not taking me the 4 years that in took Michealangelo to paint

the Sistene Chapel ceiling, my latest project down the warm bolt hole that is the ‘Loch Striven’s’ engine room is it’s ceiling, deck head in boatspeak. It’s a bit of en epic job due to all the pipe work, wiring, ducting, alarms, beacons and general stuff! I’ve been at it on and off for weeks but today I almost reached the halfway mark.

engine room 'ceiling'

engine room 'ceiling'

The mass exodus and poor weather meant not much got done on the Raasay house and harbour projects.

The high winds and lashing rain however did mean that we had well topped up battery banks at the north end!

Well topped up

Well topped up

The top meter is reading from my 12v 1000ah battery bank which is charged by a ‘Rutland 910’ 50w wind turbine and 50w ‘BP Solar’ photovoltaic panel. This supplies low voltage DC lighting to our house. The lower reading is from the 48v 1000ah battery bank which is charged by a ‘Proven 2.5kw’ wind turbine a ‘Navitron’ 200w hydro turbine and provides 230v AC through a ‘Trace SW45 48e’ inverter. The pic was taken just before the dump load cut in and took the voltage down to around 53v.

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