Life at the end of the road

November 7, 2009

Happy birthday Rachel :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:50 pm

The lack of enthusiasm for yesterday was more than made up for today and I headed off for work early with a feeling that I’d forgot something. I was about a mile down the road when I realized what it was, the wheelie bins! I usually take them south with me to save the bin lorry trailing up north, still they weren’t too full and would last until next week. After all the hens and birds get what little gets left on our plates, the pigs get the peelings and the fire gets anything likely to smell.

It was a fine morning and despite the early hour there was great activity at the new harbour.

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The previous evening had seen a 120 cubic meter pour of concrete on the new piers ‘dog leg’ and the big Kobelco was just swinging a large block of concrete as I drove by at 7:00am.

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An inauspicious red sky came to nothing and I set about drying off some deck that I’d started painting on the beautiful day that was Thursday.

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With the large extractor fan blow drying the deck I started  the monthly chore of checking all of the 18 ‘through deck’ bilge pumping and fuel shut off valves. These spigots being extensions of valves down below so that in the event of fire or water ingress they can all be operated from on deck. These 7 on the port side and 7 on the starboard side going directly to the manifolds and valves that are connected to the two large electrical pumps than can be used for sucking out water or feeding fire hoses.

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One is permanently set up for fire fighting and one for bilge pumping but operation of these valves can switch them both to fire or bilge as required.

Rather busy for a Saturday in November


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Unusually for a Saturday it was busy both on and off the ferry, the Hebridean Princess passing through the Scalpay narrows during the morning and a boat load of babes in the afternoon!

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The birthday girl was seen off safely by her husband, children and father in law after which the girls introduced themselves to the crew 🙂

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It was a very special birthday for Rachel, who’s house we pass every day as we ply between Raasay and Skye. Rachel was having a bit of a bash on Raasay which involved a champagne and chocolate lunch on the ferry.

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A little sight seeing

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and then a treasure hunt on Raasay.

A day down below

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 3:26 pm

In sharp contrast to Wednesday and Thursday, Friday was pure miserable, the forecast rain arriving much sooner than expected and the wind several knots further up the Beaufort scale than it should have been.

Up earlier than usual I showered the bonfire out of my hair before heading south for work and the Loch Striven. With the annual docking just on the horizon and the weather cr4p it seemed like the ideal day for drawing off oil samples from all the boats machinery and fuel tanks to send away for analysis.

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Done at regular intervals throughout the year and always before the annual dry docking in December, oil analysis can provide a valuable indication of potential problems like bacteria in the fuel that can lead to filter blockages and worse. High levels of tin, copper and lead can indicate bearing problems in an engine and tiny water droplets may indicate a faulty seal in a Voith unit.

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It was also a good opportunity to replace the oil in the huge ‘Norgear’ 2.161:1 main engine gearboxes, a once a year job that we always do just before the boat heads south for dry dock. At 40lts capacity each and with oil as thick as treacle, taking the top off, sucking out the oil with a pump and tipping the new stuff in straight from the 20lt container makes for more sense than messing about with filler and drain plugs 🙂

That was about it really, I don’t think I stepped off the boat all day and wound my way home to spend the rest of the evening catching up on the blog 🙂

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