Life at the end of the road

December 3, 2010

Almost as good :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:27 am

22:30 already so it’s highly unlikely that there will be acres of meaningful writing tonight, it’s been a long day and I’m whacked. Whilst being ‘whacked’ in a centrally heated room after a hot bath and chicken stuffed with haggis is not an unpleasant experience it’s not half as enjoyable as being ‘tired and shagged out after a long squawk’ (as John Cleese would say) with wife and child on Raasay. And no, I’m not laying all this missing spouse and boy stuff on for the benefit of ‘darling wife’ cos she never reads the blog anyway 🙂 Anyway if she did she’d probably divorce me :-(  The truth is that I don’t actually like being away from home, and whilst I can cope with it when all is ‘peachy’ at the ‘north end’, when the water is off, the road is impassable and we’ve a sow due to farrow I’m not so enthusiastic about being 200 miles south.

Still, in my experience the best way to get over a long week is to approach it with enthusiasm, get your head down and just get ‘stuck in’, which is what I did 🙂


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So after an excellent poached egg and haddock at the Victoria Hotel I found myself, after a 10 minute drive ,at Ardmaleish boat yard just north of Port Bannatyne. The Loch Striven was looking good in a fresh coat of paint with her two old Lister generators sat outside and the Loch Alainn was in the middle of a major refit.


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Joining the boat at 8:00am (when it would still be half light on Raasay) I was pleased to see a freshly painted car deck and a whole new bunch of seats on the port side.

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And it is now 7:00am, for sadly I fell asleep at the wheel so to speak and have not long been awake.

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So I’m just going to stick a few pictures on here and head down for breakfast and work, that’s the forward ‘Voith Schieder Propeller’ prior to the forward main engine test run.

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That’s it running 🙂

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That’s a man who shall remain nameless ‘lying down on the job’, the ‘job’ being 800HP of V12 Cummings on the Loch Alainn next door.

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That’s one of a dozen rather large ‘holes’ where the liner and piston sit and the shiny thing at the bottom is the crankshaft, the green bit is the engineer 🙂

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That’s our new aft generator getting the finishing touches last night

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and that’s the Loch Alainn just before I left the yard for my hotel and dinner

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which was a ferry large piece of succulent chicken stuffed with haggis. In fact it was almost as good as the one my wife makes 🙂


  1. chicken stuffed with haggis?? I’ll have to try that. Hope you were in better state than I was;after my “haggis”night on wednesday–I’m still suffering😀

    Comment by frogsaint — December 3, 2010 @ 7:42 am

  2. I had a rather nice chicken with Haggis on mv Hebridean Isles this year! Great pictures of the refit

    Comment by David — December 3, 2010 @ 8:22 am

    • Hi David,

      glad you like the pictures, didn’t seem to take as many this, probably more of a rush 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 5, 2010 @ 7:45 am

  3. Mhmmmmmm. I’m sitting here, whiskers twitching, thinking I could actually smell that stuffed chook, when I realised it was the stock boiling over in the kitchen downstairs *sigh*
    I was quite purrepared to believe you had invented smell-o-blog!

    Comment by Kingdomcat — December 3, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    • Hi KC,

      ‘smell O blog’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 5, 2010 @ 7:46 am

  4. Hi Paul.
    Greetings from the land of snow and ice. The Gaelic news today had an interview with the Raasay Gritter- he reported finding a ‘roadkill’ vixen when out on his early duties! Thats a new one.. but I hope it was a hoax-a carcass from overseas. Cheers.

    Comment by sotw — December 3, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    • Hi SOTW,

      hopefully it arrived in a lorry full of straw or feed and was on it’s own, Good job you never visited last week or you’d still be there 🙂 Mr JM was so grateful for Charlie’s letter by the way and so was I.

      Many thanks, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 5, 2010 @ 7:51 am

  5. Oooohhh lots of pitting in that water jacket I do hope there is proper water treatment.

    Well that’s what it looks like

    Comment by Thinfourth — December 3, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  6. Dear Paul,

    got quiet a buzz as they say, worked 15 years in a small private shipyard here on the Maas in Holland, rebuilding and repairing ships is an art and also engineering. The boss would call me in on the Monday and say look this is what we have to do in the next couple of weeks and I was left on my own to get on with it, we specialized in building in installing bow pushers, so the large 2,000 ton barges could turn around in the river. It might take me a day or more to get every thing ready the cables plan how I was going to lay the cable runs size of cable how I was going to run the controls too the bridge etc.the fitters were working out how they were going to do there job.There was no central planing, a small family firm with about 15 people. The ship came in, we never had a slip, we had built our own dry dock which raised the prow or the stern out of the water, before you knew it we would have a hole in the deck or the side and the new equipment in place, before nightfall, give a day and a half to do all the tidying up, and then the river trials, magic, pure magic. Mind you we all knew our jobs and after a couple of years we all knew enough to help each other out when we had finished our own job, for an electrical fitter cum engineer I didn’t turn out too be a bad welder. Getting the skipper to sign off the work, when you had finished your work accompanied by a few beer and a few snaps, that was really magic, you felt you had done something worth while.

    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — December 3, 2010 @ 11:35 pm

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