Life at the end of the road

November 19, 2009

Polishing the bilge!

Filed under: daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:20 am

It’s 5:00am and I’ve already been up for an hour doing all the things that I should have done last night. Last nights quality time with wife and child being confined to dinner, after which I went to my bed at 7:30 pure wrecked!

Dunno why I should have been so tired, it was hardly a stressful day at work, in fact it was a pretty leisurely day on board the good ship Loch Striven. Mid week and mid month meant not a great deal of traffic and the boats impending visit to Ardmaleish boat builders on Bute for her annual refit had seen us making sure that all maintenance was up to date and everything on board was functioning as it should.


I left Arnish at the usual time in a pool of light from my Christmas tree like Land Rover and had a pleasant run down Calum’s road to work.

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The new harbour works trying to compete with my HID headlamps and 4 Hella Jumbo 220s on the roof won hands down and I skulked off to work in a mood 🙂

Arriving at the Loch Striven for the start of what would be my last working week on Raasay this year I headed down the engine room to fire up the ‘port. number 1, aft generator’ that would bring the ship to life with a purr from the Lister down below, a whine from the hydraulics and a glow from the lights. Despite it being only the middle of November this will be my last stint on Raasay this year, or at least until the 30th of December, my next working week should be down the Clyde on Bute and then I’m on holiday for three weeks. What a job 🙂 I only work 24 weeks of the year and at least one of those is on the isle of Bute!

The forecast that I’d been keeping an eye on had shown this as the last good day in quite a while, in fact it was giving storm force winds for Saturday with just your average winter gales for the rest of the week.

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Despite the mildness of the warm air coming in off the Atlantic that was heralding the onset of the gales giving a distinct autumnal feel to the day, the lack of any sun until we were half way back from Sconser spelt WINTER in very large letters.

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Even as a Hercules transport purred quietly and lowly eastwards at 9:10 it was still not fully light.

Before long it was lunchtime and as it was, according to going to be sh1t3 for the foreseeable future I set off with my camera to take some pictures of the harbour and Raasay house.

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OK, I know it’s only a pile of rocks a crane and a digger but if you look on the right you can see some of Lachie Gillies’s fine stone work and that pile of rubble that the digger is sat on is off the sea bed.

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Stabilization work was continuing on the shell of Raasay house

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and work had at last started on the ‘Raasay Heritage Centre’ that will incorporate the old mill at Inverarish.

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Here you can see the remains of the mill wheel which is being renovated by DM Macleod and will, I hope turn once again, this time perhaps generating electricity instead of grinding flour 🙂

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The afternoon saw the departing of that most excellent service the mobile library that visits Raasay every third Wednesday and the deteriorating weather saw me heading down below to the warmth of the engine room. Where I spent several hours hoovering and cleaning the engine room bilge.

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The imminent visit to the dry dock and resultant army of workers clambering over, in and under the vessel means that the cleaner the bilges are then the less grubby, oily footprints to clean once she comes back out. It also means it’s easier to spot all the nylon ‘tie wraps’, gaskets, washers, nuts, bolts and welding rods that get left in there to jam up the bilge pumps at sea trails afterwards 🙂

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