Life at the end of the road

February 1, 2011

And another good reason to keep the ETV

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:01 pm


First of all let me thank you all for the messages on the blog with reference to the award, the award is great, but much better than that is your appreciation and there’s been so much of it these last two days that I’d be struggling to thank you all individually. Well I’d be toiling to do it and write a post, so I’m sure you’d rather me do that, wouldn’t you 🙂

As you probably know I don’t much go in for the media, I seldom watch TV, never read newspapers, despite having two ‘comics’ delivered daily to the ferry, and me listening to the news, via Radio 4 is on a ‘week on week off’ basis. Recently however my grip on current affairs has been even more tenuous, three weeks holiday has meant no driving to work listening to the Today program on my meander south. Then when I did finally start back on the ferry I found myself riveted to a fifteen hour long audio book called ‘The hollow hills’ by Mary Stewart . The second of her Arthurian trilogy, the first epic ‘The crystal cave’ keeping me enthralled for the trip to dry dock and back in December.

Anyway, despite missing out on civil unrest in Tunisia last week and now Egypt this week I did catch two important events nearer to home this last few days. Events of far more concern to me and events that highlight the folly of our current government. In less than seven days we’ve had a multi million pound aircraft (which won’t be insured) ditched in the Minch. The coastguard that coordinated the rescue is about to be axed, the helicopter that plucked the two pilots out of the sea is being sold off and the Emergency Tow Vessel that came to clean up the mess is due for the chop.

It’s not like these events are exactly uncommon for last October we had HMS Astute aground off Skye,

image image

followed two or three weeks later by the coaster ‘Red Duchess’ very nearly aground on Rhum in a south westerly gale. The Malaig lifeboat had got a tow onto the stricken vessel but had insufficient power to prevent her drifting towards the rocks of Rhum, fortunately the ETV arrived quickly from Stornoway and towed her to safety.

So imagine my surprise when I heard this morning that the Lorient registered 46m long fishing vessel ‘Jack Abry II’ was aground on Rhum and fourteen of a crew had been rescued by the same helicopter


Jack Abry II on rocks. Pic: Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Here she is fishing off Scotland last February


image image I wonder how many of those fish were ‘discards’ 😦

It was hoped to pull her off today before the bad weather comes in,


anglian earl

I dunno if the ETV is going to attend her but she’s certainly heading that way 🙂

Where was I

I was just away for a bath there and lost the thread a bit, good job really because I could feel a proper rant coming on about successive lunatic governments of all persuasions, they really are all as bad as each other 😦 The Conservative lot may have destroyed our manufacturing industry but new Liebour certainly encouraged  the final meltdown based on a corrupt financial system that got us into this mess. But what do I know, my news comes from the week old sheets of newspaper that are strewn across the kitchen floor to mop up puppy pi55 and I only read the big writing as I screw them up and throw them in the bin. Which just about sums up my thoughts about the media and governments in general 🙂

Anyway, I had a pleasant run into work following a big stag for a few hundred yards down the road at Tarbet before the sky was illuminated by a great sheet of lightning. After that the showers came thick and fast but I did manage to get aboard the Loch Striven without getting soaked and once the sun came up most of the showers passed us by.

 010211 006


In fact, apart from the bitterly cold wind it was not such a bad day, though I did spend most of it in the engine room 🙂

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Most that is apart from my lunch break when I had a run along to our old berth at Suisnish,

310111 002

actually I’d been along yesterday also to give these chaps a padlock. These chaps from Tain had been making a fine job of fitting a galvanized steel barrier to keep people off the old iron ore pier.

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It was a first class job but I bet they wished they’d have done it today 🙂

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I think this kind of thing will be the foundation of our new economy, the safety and litigation based economy. Manufacturing died with the Tories but was replaced to some degree by a vibrant service sector repairing stuff bought by imaginary money created by a dodgy financial sector. Now we are going to have an economy based on suing each other for our own incompetence, propped up by a huge manufacturing industry for safety harnesses, fences, signs and printer ink for all the frigging forms you have to fill in :-)  This wonderful well made and expensive fence just about sums it up, everyone knows the pier is dangerous, just to make sure you know there are big red signs and a gate at the end of it telling you so. For most people that would be enough, but just in case some halfwit who can’t read comes along and falls down one of the holes in the pier they have to put up this fence. They have to put up this fence at our expense just in case some snake of a lawyer sues their ar5e off on a ‘no win no pay basis’ 🙂

I can’t wait to retire 🙂



  1. The rescues you’ve mentioned are the real reason why the coastguard needs to be maintained in Stornoway- the Tornado crash is a bit of a red herring here. Having a coastguard in Aberdeen would be of little use (unless helicopters can tow ships these days) unfortunately I can still see them closing it and when people die because of it – it’s too late to restore the service as the helicopter has been sold.

    Love the gate as well. Scrapping legal aid and introducing no win/no fee lawyers was one of the biggest mistakes ever made, it’s not just the cost of the gates that result due to fear of being sued it’s the increase in insurance as well.

    When I was a youngster if you did something stupid (such as walking on a dangerous pier) and got injured you got a clip around the ear when you got home for good measure. Now? You get paid.

    The world’s gone mad.

    Comment by Tony Giles — February 1, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    • Hi Tony,

      the tornado crash is not such a ‘red herrring’ as it would of course be full of fuel and lubricants and one of the jobs of the ETV is polution control, OK, I understand that in the grand scale of things a few thousand litres of avgas is not a big issue, but it could have been a nimrod or jumbo.

      Yes that’s just what I would have got, a clip round the ear 🙂

      The world has indeed gone mad 🙂

      PS, love your blog

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 1, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

      • My thoughts on the red herring were to do with the fact that the pilots would have been rescued from Aberdeen no matter what – they’ve got the gear to survive in the sea for extended periods. It’s the ships at risk of being dashed against rocks that offers the greater risk to life.

        However, I do take your point regarding the ETV, I didn’t know that it was responsible for pollution control as well, and I’m sure that the politicians in Westminster don’t know this as well. As a mainlander my thoughts on the coastguard have solely been driven around saving life not protecting the environment which is a major oversight on my part.

        Perhaps we just need to wait until the next sub runs aground and there’s no ETV to rescue it.

        Comment by Tony Giles — February 2, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

      • Morning Tony,

        that’s if you’ve not been blown away 🙂 yes you are right, in that respect the pilots were never in any danger the rescue could have been coordinated from Whitehall 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 3, 2011 @ 7:07 am

  2. Paul
    you are being delusional, but don’t worry, in the future you will be able to get pills for the problem provided by a corrupt pharmaceutical industry and paid for by out taxes every time you suffer from these fits of abnormal common sense.
    What you might have missed while hibernating up in the north end of Raasay is that Sconser is going to get a new car park for 500,000 pounds which I gleaned off a Spanish Web site.

    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — February 1, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    • Morning Dave,

      I look forward to the pills 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 2, 2011 @ 6:52 am

  3. I will try–honest,not to rant again on your blog;OK i left scotland in 1976(married a frog in 1975 and came here to live with him) But I find it b****y unbelievable that whitehall still can’t understand that there is life north of the watford gap;to cut back on the the coastguards is so crazy and latr they will no doubt cut back on the mountain rescue service; Until some big member/and their family or the a member of the royal family are in no difficulty of the scottish coast,of course we don’t these valuable services.For the love of god , Whitehall,wake up!
    P.S I too ,enjoy your blog

    Comment by frogsaint — February 1, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

  4. Glad you’ve discovered Mary Stewart at a time when she is definitely not too fashionable, but nevertheless an imaginative writer who grips you and takes you right in to the heart of the story. A good one is ‘Airs Above the Ground.’
    Years ago in another life, I performed at a musical soiree in her Edinburgh home. Thank you for reminding me of a different world–the 1960s!
    And thank you for your blog!

    Comment by Carolyn — February 1, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    • Morning Carolyn,

      can’t wait to listen to the third installment 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 2, 2011 @ 6:53 am

  5. Congrats on your award! Confirms the good taste of your readers.
    I am thrilled to see another rainbow, and the otters.

    Comment by Flora — February 2, 2011 @ 3:12 am

    • I was pretty thrilled to see the otters myself Flora, pity that it was such a poor day, I had to be very quick with the camera due to the rain and wind. It’s amazing they turned out as sharp as they did 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 2, 2011 @ 6:57 am

  6. Hi Paul – your ranting does you good it gerts things off your chest. the unfortunate thing is that the people in power seem to have lost all common sense and seem immune to seeing the obvious. Keep on ranting – maybe someone will hear, you never know!

    Comment by Phil — February 2, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    • Good morning Phil,

      if I did watch the news my blog would probably be X rated through all the swearing 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 3, 2011 @ 7:04 am

  7. I can’t wait to see the day when the Hebridean Princess runs aground on Eigg with the whole royal family on. The locals on the republic of Eigg could hold them hostage until they reinstate the ETV.
    You really should watch the news more often. It would enable you to have more to rant about and keep us entertained. How do you manage not to swear on the blog?

    Comment by simon — February 2, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    • Good morning Simon,

      I do all my swearing at the pigs and puppies 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 3, 2011 @ 7:08 am

  8. this is of course the country where rescues at sea are very often carried out by…volunteers. Step forward the RNLI. The fact that they receive no central funding should tell you everything about how the government views the sea, and all the dangers therein…

    Comment by Helen — February 2, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  9. Congratulations on your award Paul, keep up the good work!


    Comment by Climber — February 2, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    • Cheers for that Climber,

      good to have you aboard 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 3, 2011 @ 7:14 am

  10. Hope you are all getting all the loose bits fastened down for the big blow on Thursday Pm,good luck.

    Comment by Gary Brindle — February 2, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    • Good morning Gary,

      aye, been keeping an eye on that one myself, started tying things down last night 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 3, 2011 @ 7:16 am

  11. Congrats on the award. I love your blog

    Comment by eileen scott — February 3, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    • Thanks for that Eileen 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 3, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

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