Life at the end of the road

March 28, 2009

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!

March 26, 2009

Minimal effort!

Filed under: daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:55 pm

I seem to remember having my tee shirt off this time last week splitting wood and having a barbecue! I also seem to remember saying it could change, well it did and the last few days have been pretty Baltic. A good breeze of west wind which never quite touched the gale force that was predicted drove some nasty showers off the Cullins and over to Raasay. Though as is often the case with this direction of wind there were also one or two sunny spells but with little warmth to them. My present tactic of feeding the two groups of pigs on the hill involves feeding them a little earlier every day so they don’t bump into each other, this is working very well but means that by next Tuesday they’ll be eating around 5:00am at this rate! Anyway it all went without incident and I left home around 6:30 with 8 happy piglets buried in their feed troughs. The early start gave me chance to do a little rabbit hunting on the way down ‘Calum’s road’ but true to form I returned empty handed, wifey says that if we’d to rely on my hunting skills for food we’d starve! which I thought was a little harsh when you consider the tons of scallops I’ve caught over the years, OK you just pick those up off the sea bed but it’s still hunting 🙂 Although I didn’t actually see any rabbits today I did see a golden eagle just before Glam, reminding me yet again how lucky I am to have an 11 mile commute to work that is more like a wild life safari.

Seamus where are you?

The other thing I saw was the fishery cruiser but it was a very long way off and the photo is rubbish, I can’t remember it’s name but I’m sure my ‘Shipping corespondent’ will soon fill us in 🙂 (Many thank’s to David Mackay for informing me it’s the Norna)

fisheries cruiser

fisheries cruiser

And the next few pics are of progress at the harbour

3 section crane platform

3 section crane platform

My suspicions yesterday about the purpose of this huge metal platform were confirmed today

Rock ramp

Rock ramp

As they were busy building a rock ramp for the big Kobelco to track up onto the platform

Crane and platform

Crane and platform

Once the ramp is finished the crane can sit on it to swing the blocks into position to seaward, when sufficient blocks are ahead of the crane it can the pick up the rearmost section of the platform, swing it ahead and track forward! I just can’t wait to see this!

harbour works 26/3/09

harbour works 26/3/09

more harbour works

more harbour works

And the minimal effort in the title was supposed to refer to how much time I was spending on this post but my internet connection appears to be useless between 7:00 and 10:00pm, which is just about as long as it’s taken me to upload those pictures and a bit of text 😦 so it was hardly ‘minimal effort’ anyway now I’m off to bed!

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