Life at the end of the road

April 20, 2009

Where was I?

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:42 pm

I just realised that I’ve not actually finished last nights offering off, so you’ll be pleased to know that we did get the mooring laid.

More fish farm rubbish!

More fish farm rubbish!

We arrived back at Loch Arnish round about high water, I got kitted up again and we loaded the new chain into the Pioner Maxi ( the most idiot proof boat on the planet ) with the chain and shakles on board we picked up the rope I’d tied on in the morning and tied it to the handrail on the boat. Next I slid the new chain down the rope then followed it down to the sea bed with a spanner and crowbar to tighten the shackle and some wire to thread through the shackle pin to prevent it from coming out. I usually use nylon cable ties to do this but you do need good ones and not the mickey mouse B&Q or Halfords type things which was all I had so soft steel galvanized wire from some old armoured cable had to do. DO NOT use copper wire as it will cause the shackle to corrode faster due to galvanic action. With the new chain coupled and secured to the HEAVY ground chain and anchor on the sea bed I undid the rope attached to the Pioner and tied it to the loose end of the chain.  Once that was done we went to retrieve the ex fish farm mooring buoy and its 10m of  16mm chain off the shore, dragged it out to the floating rope and hauled up the new chain to attach on the mooring buoy, unfortunately it was about two feet to short so rather than wait for the tide to go out I kitted up again and did it on the sea bed.

The 'bomb proof mooring'

The 'bomb proof mooring'

OK I know a 250kg anchor with 18m of 1″ chain then 20m of 16mm chain is a bit OTT for a 13′ boat but you just never know 🙂

Rock proof boat!

Rock proof boat!

So then all we had to do was drag the boat up the beach with a winch and head for home unfortunately my wife, child and one of his pals had lost interest and vanished, fortunately the boat is light and takes no harm at being dragged up and down the rocky shore. When I worked at the fish farm here many years ago we had a ‘Pioner 10’ which was dragged up and down this shore 4 times a day for 4 years before the bottom wore out and even then it was repaired. These boats may not look like much but they are truly indestructible, again when I was diving for the fish farms we often used the larger ‘Pioner Multi’ with it’s forward ramp and subjected  them to terrible abuse with little damage.


The day, Monday did not start as promising as of late with a severe grey hue about the sky which suggested rain despite the lack of it on the forecast. After the usual morning chores of feeding everyone and organizing school children we all piled in the Land Rover and headed south down ‘Calum’s road’ and beyond to Raasay primary school and the ferry, with our children deposited we turned around and headed for Arnish doing a spot of work for the council on the way. That is to say we moved some rocks out of their drains at the side of the road to deposit around some of the gates around our croft, a kind of rock re distribution program designed to confuse future generations of geologists 🙂 Once that was done and second breakfast of French toast out of the way I set about doing some work on one of our ‘pig crates’. We’re putting a couple of gilts away tomorrow to Viewfield House Hotel on Skye and I just wanted to do a few mods on the crate as we usually use it for piglets that are a bit larger.


Mark III pig crate

So basically it was putting some chicken wire over the lid and adding a couple of caravan window handles to make it more secure. I really don’t know how we’d function as a working croft without old pallets and fish farm scrap, we have 3 of these crates made from old fish cage floats and they’ll fit into the back of most estate cars and hatch backs ( if you don’t mind the smell 🙂 ) After or possibilly before that ( the memory is not what it used to be 🙂 ) I cleaned everyone out and gave them fresh bedding. It’s been well over a week since I last did it but as pigs don’t soil their beds and the weather has been so dry they’ve not needed it which is a bonus. As that job cleared out our stock of cut rushes the swineherd and I went out and cut some more from the verges at the side of the road, filling up our stock trailer with enough to last a couple of weeks.

A battle of wits

The trouble with our ‘free range’ hens is they are seriuosly free range and are not shut in anywhere at night, on the whole this is not a problem and they do on the whole lay in their house. However one very old bird in particular is playing a psychological game with us and laying in more and more bizzare places.

Single egg and single Lister!

Single egg and single Lister!

I found this one today in my old genny shed by ‘Old faithful’ the 1969 Lister SR1 nestled in the diesel tank transfer hose box, followed a few moments later by this one


egg box!

in our mark I pig crate along with a few broken ones and I don’t even know how she managed to get in there through those bars!

And now I really must go to bed!

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