Life at the end of the road

March 28, 2009

Racing through Saturday

Filed under: daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:33 pm

Literally, it took me so long to write yesterdays effort that I’m running out of steam for Saturday’s report. I have to say it got off to a very unpromising start with snow lying on the bedroom Velux window and severe lack of enthusiasm on my behalf. After the usual half gallon of fresh coffee but without the customary bashing of computer keys I set off for work via my 8 piglets on the hill! All of whom were quite rightly in their beds.

Remnants of the gale

Remnants of the gale

Although the wind had abated the sea had not and there was still a good swell pounding up the shore at the wee cove where I used to keep my boat a few hundred yards down ‘Calum’s road’ from our house. Continuing on my way southwards through the flurries of snow I again took the ‘low road’ through Oscaig to have a look at the new harbour.

Finished ramp?

Finished ramp?

And it looked to my untrained eye as if the ramp for ‘Luke skyhook’ and his big crane was finished 🙂

Harbour works 28/3/09

Harbour works 28/3/09

Being far too busy recording the progress of Raasay’s new harbour for posterity I let the rest of the crew overtake me and winch in the Loch Striven which was lying at the extremities of her many mooring ropes under the pressure of a good breeze from the north east. The poor weather yesterday and the inauspicious start today had led me to continue working down below in the warmth but apart from the bitter cold wind on the whole it turned into a bonny day most of which I spent working on the starboard upper deck and emergency battery box.

The hardiest tree I know!

The hardiest tree I know!

Though I did go and have a look at this tree that never ceases to amaze me, growing as it does on the remains of the pier, suck out at sea with its roots in a crack between two planks just feet above the waves. Actually I went to see if I could snap a picture of the otter I’d just seen climb onto the pier whilst we were tying up at 11:45.

Glamaig in a mood

Glamaig in a mood

Although I never saw the otter the view of Glamaig more than made up for it and that wee tree in the previous pic is growing on the end of that pier! aint nature marvelous?

Summer starts today!

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:42 pm

Well OK it was yesterday actually and it wasn’t really summer just the summer timetable for the Raasay ferry 🙂 and it felt far from summery I can tell you. A week today, well actually yesterday because today is Saturday and I didn’t do any scribbling/plonking last night, a week today I was stripped to the waist chopping wood prior to having a barbecue! Now we’ve had two days of icy blasts, from the north yesterday accompanied by freezing cold rain and hail whilst today it’s north easterly with flurries of snow!

Friday

I’ll start again, the day began a little earlier than usual with my feeding the pigs on the hill about 15 mins sooner than yesterday in an attempt to keep the two groups apart at feeding time, which apart from one minor glitch has worked well for the past 9 days. If you are ever thinking of keeping pigs please do not take any notice of our haphazard husbandry methods and visit http://stonehead.wordpress.com/ for proper instruction 🙂 The new summer timetable also meant a first sailing at 7:55 instead of 8:00am

http://www.calmac.co.uk/summer-timetable.html?id=summer-raasay–sconser-raasay.gif

Summer 2009

Summer 2009

Which managed to catch one or two people out! 😦 and if you can’t read the picture visit the link. As well as being the first day of the summer time table it was the last day of school before the Easter break which usually signals a few extra visitors and new faces on Raasay. The summer time table also means I do a stint in the wheelhouse during the afternoon to give the skipper a break so if you were wondering why the ferry was taking a strange course between 14:30 and 15:30 that was me :-), well not all me, later on  the by now gale force northerly wind which had put the Mallaig ferry off was causing us to take a slightly different course for the sake of comfort.

North wind 1

North wind 1

North wind 2

North wind 2

There’s a particularly nasty bit just here

Good fishing, Poor sailing!

Good fishing, Poor sailing!

where the sea bed rises up sharply from around 40m to about 10m which is made worse with an incoming tide. The red line is our normal course, the red cross a ‘waypoint’ where we normally alter course, the black circle is the current position of the ferry and the black line in front of it is our heading. As you can see we are taking a less direct route for comfort.

Troubled waters astern

Troubled waters astern

That’s the nasty bit just astern of us and whilst it’s not a great place to be with north wind and an incoming tide I suspect it’s not a bad place for fishing as there’s always cormorants, shags and the odd great northern diver around  about there. It was also a spot I’d visit now and then in my clam diving days, though not spectacular I’d always get a picking there.

Once the day at work was done I met up with wifey and boy at a friends house in Balachuirn. Where once I’d dried and thawed out after getting power washed by the driving north wind and rain on the way up her drive I had a wonderful evening with family and friends, arriving home some time after 11:00 and going straight to bed!

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