Life at the end of the road

July 26, 2010

Cheers George :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:42 pm

Home at last, It was a fantastic weekend at the Wickerman but there’s nothing quite like being back amongst the mud and pig pooh of home 🙂 The ‘Old Girl’ performed faultlessly on the 700 mile round trip, that’s the 24 year old Land Rover and not my darling wife 🙂 Though I’m sure there are a few motorists that would disagree, especially up some of the rather steep hills that had us crawling up them at less than 30mph, so if you were stuck behind me I’m really sorry and I do try and pull over whenever possible. Seriously, I’ve spent most of my adult life cursing old farts with caravans so I do know what it’s like, my wife says I was born middle aged but at least I never got a caravan until I passed 50 🙂

Anyway we left Dundrennan just after 8:00am, I would have liked to say that it was 8:08am and I was playing 808 State on my CD player but that would have been too much of a coincidence as that’s what happened when we departed Arnish on Wednesday.  Ignoring the satnav we took the back road into Kirkcudbright and saw little traffic right through until Glasgow, arriving at my parents around 18:00, without, I hope, annoying too many motorists.


It was a clam damp evening and the first thing that struck me was the lack of midgies, this particular corner of the west coast is ‘midge heaven’ and there were none, very strange, perhaps they’d all drowned 🙂 A long overdue bath and early night followed by a wee lie in saw us back on Raasay at 11:50 and before long I was at home wishing I’d stayed on Raasay for the gala day. The weekend away may have been mega but so was the pile of washing and all the phone calls and mail waiting for me 😦

The Raasay Gala day

After emptying all the crap out of the caravan, putting all the food in the fridge or freezer, foolishly hanging the tent on the washing line and washing all the bed linen I set about pig related stuff. A good friend or three had kindly fed our herd of Tamworth’s and Old spot pigs but now I had to do all the ark cleaning and change their bedding. A task not helped by the pouring rain that had arrived not long after hanging out the tent 😦

Whilst not actually at the event that was supposed to celebrate the opening of our lovely new pier that is a mere 17 months behind schedule, I was fortunate enough to have a freelance photographer on hand in the form of George Rankine from Eyre who sent me these excellent pictures of the day. A day that by all accounts was a great success, though I’m sure it would have been an even bigger success had the ferry actually been in the harbour.


The early morning rain faded away and gave way to a fine day that just got better and better.


No gala day would be complete without a ‘tug o war’,



hmmm, that rope looks familiar 🙂


and the Raasay firemen won the competition, no doubt helped by the elephant on the end 🙂


Not sure who won the run but it certainly looked like fun.


And as for the ‘Fergie pull’, I though it was two tractors pulling against each other 🙂


The successful end of this years Gala day was brought to an end by Duncan Koek on the pipes and we’re all looking forward to a bigger and better event next year. One that will have the Loch Striven in attendance and maybe even a finished Raasay House.

Queenie couldn’t make it

The other major event that yours truly missed whilst giving it big licks at the Wickerman was our ‘berthing trials’. Berthing trials being a fancy name for lets just make sure the ferry can actually fit in the pier, harbour and slipway OK 🙂


And here she is, the good ship Loch Striven on her maiden voyage into the new harbour, I gotta say I was pretty miffed at missing that on Sunday 25th July.



Not only did I miss the berthing trials but so did the Queen,


who sailed past 15 minuets earlier on board the Hebridean Princess (ex Calmac Columba),


apparently the Portree harbour master called up the vessel asking if she wanted to pop in and try out the new harbour but the captain declined 🙂

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