Life at the end of the road

July 14, 2009

Quite chilled (for a Tuesday)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:35 pm

I don’t actually remember seeing anything about rain on yesterdays forecast, but rain it did, big style through the night. I awoke to the stuff lashing against the Vellux window and reluctantly went to feed my herd for the last time this week. Fortunately pigs, like myself are not fashion conscious so never batted an eyelid when I fed them in a one piece waterproof suit wearing  ‘Jesus boots’ and nail varnish on my toes ( don’t ask ) Being surprised by the quantity of water that was lying in the wheelbarrow and various hollows dug by the pigs I went to check on my hydro turbine in the forlorn hope that it might have generated some electricity.

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To my astonishment it was actually generating for the first time in over a month, OK it was only 129v instead of 230v and it was not actually doing anything, but it was a start.

Whilst the ‘run off’ from the baked fields into our burn had put some extra flow through the ‘Navitron 200w’ hydro turbine it had done nothing for our domestic supply with nothing extra going into the tank overnight, or at least nothing noticeable.

A proper lobby

Weather it’s a Tuesday on the ferry or a Tuesday on the croft they’re always manic as I’m rushing around like a headless chicken finishing off all the things I’ve started over the previous 6 days and doing all the things that I should before I disappear for a week! Not this Tuesday however, having only actually done one or two things all week and finished both of those I opted to keep up my relaxing week and do very little. When I say very little I mean relatively, so first off I dragged the sleeping teenager in the house out fishing, or if I’m more honest, I took my boys mate out for one last attempt at beating his 6 pollock in 6 minute record and try to catch a lobster for my mum! I did try to coax my boy out but he was glued to his  ‘X box’! I had a pure ‘flakey’ when he was given this infernal machine a few months ago, as to me it is the electrical incarnation of the devil himself and I’d rather him go out and kill real things to eat than wear away his thumbs and get fat playing on this contraption 🙂 ( told you I was eccentric ) However we came to a compromise and he can only play on the thing when the battery bank voltage gets over 50v, which basically means only when it’s blowing a gale or the generator is running. It has also enabled my 10 year old to gain a fuller understanding of the various power requirements of domestic appliances and the workings of our wind/hydro/solar/diesel/ battery system

With the rain still pouring and not a breath of wind  we went out to lift the creels and caught an undersized lobster in the 2nd followed by a nice dinner sized one in the 5th.

First legal lobster

First legal lobster

Once our 7 pots were re baited and re set we spent a fruitless 40 mins line fishing before heading back home to get dried and changed before catching the lunch time ferry.

Turbines and boats

Continuing the ‘relaxing’ thread we’d opted to visit my parents on the mainland, a spell in the car and then at my parents would at least stop me digging ditches or collecting rocks thus undoing all the hard work I’d done resting my sore arm all week.

Large propellor, small runway

Large propellor, small runway!

Once on Skye we called in at the Ashaig air strip to have a look at the huge wind turbines destined for the controversial Edinbane wind farm. I say controversial, to me it only seemed to be controversial to a determined set of NIMBYs most of whom did not live on Skye let alone Edinbane. Still, I don’t read the papers or watch TV so I could as usual be wrong but as this wind farm has appeared regularly in the West Highland Free Press for the last 18 years it’s been hard to miss even for an ostrich like me 🙂 I’m sure if the people who objected to these things directed all their hot air into some kind of generator they would not need wind turbines 🙂

After checking out the turbines we drove down to Kyle of Lochalsh to watch them being loaded onto lorries before being taken to the air strip.

MV Geise

MV Geise

From sea to road

From sea to road

Can’t find out much about this ship as it’s late and time for my bed but she was used recently to transship Polish helicopters used in Iraq or Afghanistan from Bremerhaven to Szcezin

After an enjoyable couple of hours with my parents which included a walk in the woods above Ratagan where I happened upon this fine old piece of kit languishing in the braken.

Forestry equipment?

Forestry equipment?

It looked to me like some kind of trailer for extracting timber, made from iron and wood it was just calling out to be rescued and restored.

More boats

After a light lunch the dutiful son fell asleep! which is not like me, anyway we headed home for the last ferry where I managed to get a better picture of ‘Kingdom of Fife’ which was lying on a mooring in Broadford bay.

Kingdom of Fife

Kingdom of Fife

And that’s it for now, it’s 6:30am and I must head down ‘Calum’s road’ with my 7 bananas for a week ‘before the mast’ of the good ship Loch Striven.

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