Life at the end of the road

April 5, 2010

How will we manage?

Filed under: daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:12 pm

The less I do the longer it seems to take, 22:15 now and I’ve only just put pen to paper so to speak. I’ve not actually done anything all day apart from drive down to Winnie’s for a session of the To be honest even had I not been suffering with this bad back it would have been an ‘inside day’ as the torrential rain and near gale force winds have made it very unpleasant outside to say the least.

weather 050410 

Though we seem to have had it much worse at the north end of Raasay than the south.

graph 050410

The gusts of 30 plus mph were certainly not in evidence from Suisnish as I went to my 9:30 appointment at Winnie’s

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As can be seen from this picture if the fast patrol boat HMS Smiter as she powered her way south past the Raasay pier an hour later.

Class and type:
Archer class patrol vessel

49 tons

20.8 m (68 ft 3 in)

5.8 m (19 ft)

1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)

2 shafts, Rolls Royce M800T diesels, 1,590 bhp

18 knots

550 nmi (1,020 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)

5 (RN), 1 training officer (RNR), 12 students (URNU) or 12 (RN)

Sensors and
processing systems:
Decca 1216 navigation radar

3 × 7.62 mm L7 GPMG (Cyprus Sqn.) (can be fitted with 20 mm cannon on fo’c’sle)

The picture is not great because it was a sh1t of a day and she was a long way off but I’m glad to have got a decent look at her, for I saw her yesterday at a much further range heading north. In fact not only did she head north but I’m told she anchored in Loch Arnish where the crew burst into a rather dirge like version of ‘Amazing Grace’!!!!! I kid you not. Of course I never saw it because I was collecting my boy from the south end, or should I say I went down to the south end to collect my boy who did not want to return home 😦 That was fine by me because we were having friends around for dinner and I could have extra ‘back medicine’ 🙂

It was the neighbours that came for dinner that informed us of the strange goings on below the old Torran schoolhouse aboard HMS Smiter. We all speculated upon their choice of song and I reckoned that they’d broken down and the engines had been fixed by a female engineer called Grace 🙂 whatever the reason I was really miffed at not witnessing it.


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Whilst the Smiter’s crew were busy singing yesterday (Easter Sunday) the crew of the Northern Lights Vessel, Pole Star were busy in the Raasay narrows servicing the starboard hand buoy.


Gross Tonnage: 1174 Tonnes

NET (Registered): Tonnage 352 Tonnes

1,174 tonnes

o/a: 51.52 m; B.P: 44.00 m

12 m

Air Draught 25 m

3.2 m

to Upper Deck: 5.00 m

Cummins Wartsila CW8L170 – 3 x 920 kW AC Diesel-electric dynamic positioning system, 2 x azimuth thrusters, 2 x tunnel bow thrusters

12 knots

Boats and landing
craft carried:
Workboat: Sea Rover 5.5 m


15 x Single Berth Cabins,

2 x Twin Berth Cabins

6 x Officers, 9 x Ratings

The harbour works had shut down for Easter and whilst I was desperate to go down and have a closer look wifey insisted that we get home and make dinner 🙂


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Which was a shame because I really would have liked to have seen why that boat was at such a strange angle 🙂

Anyway the roast beef dinner went well, helped along by a couple of fine bottles of red medicine and once more I laid in my bed whilst poor wifey dealt with the pigs 😦 After my trip to the ‘back doctor’ and another few hours in bed I arose to spend most of the day ‘surfing the net’ for bits and bobs for my new hydro scheme which is of course extremely dull for the vast majority of readers of this blog.

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I did however manage to get a photograph of this fine monument down near the old mill that had been erected the other day by Hector from Sconser. It had been completed on Friday or Saturday but was covered up to protect it from the rain. The cement having now set and the strong winds having removed the tarpaulin.

Back down memory lane

As I’ve little else to write about I delved into the ‘little red books’ for the 5th of April 2001


The ‘little red books’ being Willie Eyre’s meticulous records of our clam diving trips. This particular day being one spent just north west of Holm island on Skye.


Map picture
Map picture


Around 45 mins steam from Arnish it was always an great favourite of ours when conditions permitted and was I believe a great favourite for lobster fishermen from the north of Raasay in days gone by. Only they would row over there !!!!!!!!

young crewman

Willie was not the only crewman aboard for that trip, my young son spent 18 months aboard the MV Conqueror until he was 3 years old.

shovling clams

I’ve always been a bit of a ‘slave driver’ 🙂 I know that social services would have probably taken him off me if they’d have found out but there’s no nursery on Raasay and just look at the plus side, he’s got great ‘sea legs’ and could count (scallops) long before most children of his age 🙂

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