Life at the end of the road

April 26, 2009

Keeping the capstan turning

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:53 pm

Sunday, my favourite day at last, I just love the liesurly pace of the 24 Sundays a year that I work, that extra wee lie in bed and a chance to feed the pigs that I’ve not really seen since Tuesday. What never ceases to amaze me is how quickly piglets grow, especially the spotty ones. The Tamworths grow a little slower then seem to put on a spurt just before they’re due for the chop 😦 but the Gloscester Old spot X Tamworths seem to grow daily. I awoke as usual around 5:00am but the day had a kind of grey gloomy feel to it so I opted to stay in my cosy pit until the cock crowed and as he usually starts around that time I figured that if he was staying in bed then there must be a good reason for not getting up! 6:17 and he announced to the world, well the 24 pigs, 7 hens, 3 sheep, 2 lambs, and 1 duck that is our croft that it was time to get up. He was wasting his breath on the rest of the household as they were oblivious to his call, me however I arose to what is my favourite time of day when the old house is at peace and the fresh coffee is bubbling away on the squirrel in the kitchen ( squirrel stove that is 🙂 ). After the daily kick start of caffine to my body I set off out on the feeding round and was pleased to see that our first Soay sheep to lamb had turned up for breakfast with her two offspring.

Chalk and cheese

Chalk and cheese

The lambs are a couple of days old now and this is the first time that she’s brought them down for something to eat. These sheep are extremely hardy being bred for the rigours of St Kilda but we’ve been feeding these to stop them trying to get back to Plockton where they came from. They did do the grand tour of Raasay a couple of months back so I’m reluctant to let them out on our ample hill grazings untill their lambs are settled in here at Arnish. Hopefully once the lambs are a bit older we can let them out and feed them only in the winter.

Not quite so liesurly

The usual slow pace of Sunday on the ferry was disrupted today by the need to fit a new vlave to the FWD hydraulic capstan ( twirly thing for tightening up ropes in boatspeak )

Fwd Capstan valve

Fwd Capstan valve

Being over 20 years old the new one needed considerable modification to fit it

Minor mods

Minor mods

But armed with drill, hacksaw, instructions from http://www.rlengineering.co.uk/ and my able bodied camera man from Gourock we had it sorted in a couple of hours or three. Leaving us plenty of time for a jolly in the FRC, I mean boat drill 🙂 whilst the weather was not perfect with a good breeze of south west wind we launched the FRC ( fast rescue craft)

swinging out the FRC

swinging out the FRC

and headed over to the new harbour site to view progress

Hermes, barge, blocks and pig

Hermes, barge, blocks and pig

First off we had a look around the ex Norweigian ice breaker/tug Hermes that was lying alongside an ex US military barge that was loaded with the 20 and 9 ton lego blocks that make up the new pier as well as a big ‘pig’ full of cement.

harbour 1 26/4/09

harbour 1 26/4/09

harbour 2 26/4/09

harbour 2 26/4/09

The inside will be filled with rubble and the top capped with 1 meter of concrete

harbour 3 26/4/09

harbour 3 26/4/09

Which is about the same hieght as those steel ‘H’ beams under the big crane, so once it’s finished it should be pretty substantial. The journey back to the ‘mother ship’ was a little slower and wetter with the wind meeting the incoming tide.

The man from Gourock!

The man from Gourock!

But the man from Gourock and the 4m Valiant rescue boat coped admirably and we had all stowed and flushed out with fresh water in time for the 16:00 sailing, after which I headed north on my usual wild life safari home

two stags

two stags

spotting two stags on the hill at Glame

Kirstie Anne

Kirstie Anne

and two dudes in a Glastron speed boat called ‘Kirstie Anne’ in loch Arnish.

and that’s it if I’m quick at brushing my teeth I’ll be in bed before 22:00 🙂

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.