Life at the end of the road

July 10, 2010

It wasn’t much of a surprise :-(

Filed under: daily doings, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:47 pm

I really must learn to keep my mouth shut, or at least not put anything on here that I don’t want anyone to see or hear about. I left you at 7:00am this morning with promise of more tales of my exciting life after I’d delivered some ‘surprise’ shellfish to my parents, vacantly forgetting that mum reads the blog every morning. So when we did arrive with two freshly caught and cooked crabs and one fine lobster it was hardly the surprise that I’d expected 😦 Still, as ‘Kingdomcat’ puts it the CRAFT moments will become more frequent, now it took me little ‘Googling’ but when I found ‘Can’t Remember A F*****g Thing I had to laugh.

Anyway I’ll rewind back to yesterday, post oil cooler and pre lobster, as I’ve said the weather was rather wet but with no wind so we went out for a spot of fishing. My boy had a pal staying with us who had little experience in the wonders of the sea so we were keen to show him. It’s been well over a week since we last put to sea in my mates ‘Pioner Maxi’

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and as you (and probably he :-() can see by the floating petrol tank there has been rather allot of rain in the intervening period! Fortunately this was no problem to what must be one of the most versatile and idiot proof boats on the planet, and we had it bailed and launched in no time, despite the tide being out 😦 I cannot praise this ‘rockproof’ craft highly enough, the 15HP engine pushes it along at a fair old speed even with two adults and two children in and it uses very little fuel. I’m a great fan of Pioner boats having been reluctantly introduced to them whilst working on the fish farm in Loch Arnish. After the demise of our 13’ fibre glass dinghy my then employer ‘Kenmore Salmon’ gave us a ‘Pioner 10’ with a 4HP outboard and I have to say that upon its arrival I laughed out loud. Four years later when the boat was still in service after being dragged up and down a stony beach 4 times a day, abused, over loaded and left out on moorings in severe gales I had the greatest of respect for it. We also, as divers quite often worked from the larger ‘Pioner Multi’ lifting anchors and the like and I have to say that these boats are virtually indestructible.

So with the boat emptied the fuel tank filled and a bag of bait on board we headed out to our first creel below the cliffs at Tarbert.

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Which, much to my surprise yielded two fine lobsters, OK they’d had a bit of a scrap and one was minus his claws but they were both a good size and I’d be eating one of them myself 🙂

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We were only out a couple of hours but in that time lifted four fine crabs, saw a dolphin, a dozen or so seals and had a wee wander about on Grian a Sgier a small island west of Fladda.

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The truly miserable morning and afternoon gave way to a fine and sunny evening so I took my boy and another of his pals out hunting.

They did not actually kill anything but had a great time trying 🙂 Me I just wandered around the ruins of Brochel castle whilst they stalked bunnies in the bracken 🙂

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And it’s taken me 21 years to find the toilet at the ancient seat of the clan Macleod of Raasay,

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which, joking aside is a fine piece of stonework, though it must have been pretty smelly in the summer 🙂

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It really was a beautiful evening and that tiny white speck in the distance is one of the ‘Ronja’ well boats anchored below Hallaig.


We were to see this fine Norwegian boat again today in Loch Ainort at Marine Harvest’s Cairidh fish farm.

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As I mentioned earlier we all went to visit my parents where I did a little work on their water supply, delivered one lobster and two crabs, had a fine pasta and returned to Raasay on the 15:00 ferry. After cutting wood, mowing the lawn and having dinner I repaired my mates ‘Harris turbine’ but I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow as it’s time for bed 🙂

False alarm

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:12 am

There may not have been much in the way of wind today but it certainly did rain, relentlessly 😦 Fortunately I was up early and managed to feed everyone before the deluge arrived. Being at home on ‘child watch’ meant that I was unable to leave the croft and tinker with my hydro turbine so had to content myself with having a look at the ‘Old Girl’s’ oil cooler. I’d noticed on the way to Rockness that the oil temperature was creeping up higher than last summer when we were crawling up out of Glen Shiel towards Cluanie. I’d put this down to my re positioning of the oil cooler when I fitted the larger radiator and was not unduly worried as I had several options. 1, I could fit a larger oil cooler, expensive :-(, 2 I could lower my present one to get a better air flow, cheap but I’d have to remove the radiator, fan, winch solenoids etc and it would make the oil cooler a little more vulnerable :-(, 3 I could pipe the water cooled coil in the main rad (which is presently unused) after the air cooled rad, very attractive but a little tricky in the plumbing department 🙂

I’d been weighing up these and other options over the past month and decided to go for option 3, it would be a little fiddly but I’d got a box full of hydraulic couplings off Donald M Macleod Raasay’s very own engineer and figured I could get it done before the on my next week off. It’s 300 miles from Arnish to Dundrennan and that’s a lot of work for 87hp weighing two tons and towing a caravan 😦 However on a warm Wednesday evening with the wind behind us (no air over the radiators) I’d noticed both water and oil temperature creeping up, sure enough the electric fan kicked in to cool the engine at around 88 degrees but the oil temperature was up at 120 and when I stopped to check, the hoses to the cooler were still cold, sorry ladies if this is really boring 🙂 Cold hoses indicating a lack of flow through them, not only that but the oil cooler was stone cold 😦 Eventually on the way home the oil did start to flow but not until the gauge was well over 120 degrees C.

How not to change an oil stat on a Land Rover

Having consulted on’t internet 195944-TD-oil-stat and been told that the stat should be fully open at 74 degrees, I suspected a duff thermostat, a theory that was reinforced by the number that were for sale when I googled the part number ERC5923, when Britpart Shitpart make a copy of something you know that it’s prone to failure 🙂

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Residing as it does on the side of the oil filter housing it’s pretty easy to remove, just two M6 bolts, or in my case stainless steel Allen bolts (I know I’m an anorak). A wax thermostat is a very simple and fairly reliable piece of kit, the whole thing is filled with wax and as it warms and expands it just pushes out that stainless steel pin.

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Easy enough to check just heat it up in water and measure the temperature, most important that you do not use your own kettle for testing oily thermostats 🙂 Surprisingly it worked fine so I got to thinking that it was perhaps sticking so left it out and rebuilt it.

An hour later with the engine running at 2000 RPM, the electric fan cutting in and out and the oil at almost 130 degrees there was no sign of warmth through the cooler pipes 😦 Now I’ll not bore you with the details but it then took me several hours of messing about to sus out that the stat needs to be in for oil to be diverted to the cooler and my oil temperature gauge was reading high.

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Something that I confirmed by putting a temperature probe down the dipstick hole, as you can see cheap Durite gauge 100, expensive Fluke 78.6, all in all I’d wasted most of the day on this and got soaked in the process 😦

Much more did happen but I’ll have to fill you in later, it’s 7:00am the sun is shinning, the pigs are hungry and I have some lobsters to deliver to my parents, more of that this evening 🙂

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