Life at the end of the road

July 30, 2010

A pier a day :-)

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:06 pm

Helps you work rest and play, or may even keep the doctor away 🙂 Joking aside I’ve just seen one appear before my very eyes, it’s quite amazing really. Here we are over two years since the first turf was cut and 17 months overdue for our new pier at Clachan. There was even a Gala day last week to celebrate it’s opening and still it’s not finished, and along come and knock one up in less than a week. In fact most of it went up in a day, I have to say I’m well impressed, they started extending and raising the old forestry pier to the south of our berth on Saturday.

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And here is the progress on Monday,

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a nice big area cleared and a huge tractor dumping rock for the big machines to shape into a pier.

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By Wednesday it was at its full height

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and when I arrived for work on Thursday at just after 7:00 the tug ‘Red Empress’ was alongside the ‘hammerhead’ with a barge and a smaller version of the Sydney bridge. The previous day had seen much activity on the shore and in the sea with machines burying anchors and divers checking the sea bed for obstructions and ensuring that the seaward anchors had a good grip.

It was a perfect day for getting this serious kit in position with not a breath of wind,

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even so the newly refurbished ‘Enchanted’ ex ‘Celtic Star’

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had been drafted in to help with fine adjustments 🙂

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Though a few ‘tweeks’ were required by the man formally known as ‘Grumpy digger driver’ and A.N. Other 🙂


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What really impressed me was the speed with which they turned their buckets around from diggers to pushers, none of this knocking out of pins carry on, just release the ‘quickhitch’ push the bucket round with the boom then hitch back up, all over in seconds, amazing 🙂

I missed the next bit because at some point they must have turned the barge around,

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from this position,


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to this position,

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and once the barge with its connecting bridge was securely in position the two legs that it would ride up and down on with the tide were dropped in position by the Liebherr on deck.

You have to laugh really ‘Hapless’ sorry, the now defunct Atlas marine spent 18 weeks of good weather doing less than this on the Raasay ferry terminal and JST come along, throw up a pier and are hoping to be away before the end of September with god knows how many thousand tons of timber. Of course I know nothing of these matters being a mere grease monkey and pig keeper but it looked pretty slick to me 🙂

Buster is here 🙂

Now I didn’t post yesterday because I was in my bed long before 22:00 so here’s a couple of late pictures from the Macleod gathering on Raasay courtesy of  George (oyster) Rankine 🙂

Macleod Visit1

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And this surely must be Raasay village hall’s busiest venue to date and I even get a mention on the Macleod website, I REALLY am honoured 🙂 Anyway, after all the excitement of Wednesday and Thursday I kind of  hoped Friday would be a bit saner, not a chance, but it’s 23:00 now and I’ll have to tell you all about Buster tomorrow.


  1. Great post on the pier. Every picture tells a story and I have to say good pictures and enjoyed the story. Well done Paul.

    Comment by Mary F — July 31, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  2. Hi Paul,these piers are a bit like buses etc etc.This one looks like a variant of the Mulberry harbour of D Day fame.Hope its arrival was not preceded by a huge naval bombardment and scores of troops landing on Raasay.Great blog.All the best,Andy.

    Comment by Andy Tait — July 31, 2010 @ 11:20 pm

    • Good morning Andy,

      glad to see you’re still keeping up and give my warmest regards to Mrs T and the girls, the place just doesn’t seem the same without them. I’ve still got my ‘Calum’s road’ sticker but it’s a little faded now 🙂 If you’re ever in the area pop in, we never did have you up for dinner 😦

      Cheers, Paul, family and pigs

      PS bring your theodolite, were building a shed 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 1, 2010 @ 6:47 am

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