Life at the end of the road

March 10, 2011

1k and I’m still here :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, hydro, life off grid, weather, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:14 pm

I don’t know where it came from but once again the wind speed was double the forecast 😦 Now that’s a sad face because I’ve got my seaman’s hat on right now, or at least I did have this morning 🙂 This weather might not be very good at sea but it’s perfect for wind and hydro turbines and like a true ‘anorak’ the first thing I did upon leaving the house for work was check my ‘Owl’ The Owl being connected solely to the AC dumps in the house and not to any of the regular metered supplies.

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The one on the left being the reading at 6:30am and the one on the right, last nights from 19:00, a good 12.5Kwh ‘dumped’ or around 1Kw every hour. Pretty good considering the hydro turbine had gone off during the night. So before heading to work I cleared the cr4p out from the header tank filter to get my Stream Engine back on line then told wifey to switch on another heater and do some washing 🙂



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The further south I got the worse the wind blew, and by the time I got to Holoman it had a ‘ferry stopping’ look about it 😦

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The squalls and spindrift off Ben Tianavaig were pretty fierce, you’d think that in the lee of that mighty hill there’d be shelter from west wind, not a bit of it. There may be no seas running close to the land but the downward blasts and unpredictable gusts have gotten one or two people into trouble on sunny summer days.

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By the time I got to work it was pretty obvious that we weren’t going anywhere and I parked on the car park for fear of getting the ‘Old Girl’ salty, I know, I’m such a pansy when it comes to my Land Rover. The Land Rover may have stayed dry but I caught a big green one during my sprint down the pier and arrived on board soaked 😦

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No point even starting up the main engines in weather like this so I just flashed up the port generator to put some life into the ship and the skipper phone Uig to say we were off.

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It rarely dropped below forty knots for the next half hour but by 8:30 it had moderated to the low thirties so we sailed and continued to do so throughout the very cold, showery and squally day.

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A perfect day for greasing up and painting one of the huge Hamworthy ‘Dolphin’ general service pumps. This being the starboard one that is set up for bilge pumping duties. There are two on board capable of shifting 25 cubic metres of water an hour each so the ship would have to have a pretty large hole in it before these babies couldn’t cope 🙂


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And whilst the blue paint was out 🙂


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That was it really, I got home to another 13kwh of power on my Owl 🙂

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I know it’s pretty lame for my 1000th post but I can’t believe I’m still here, and what’s more it seems to be getting busier, few are the days now when I’ve less than 1000 hits 🙂

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Just wish I could have a glass of wine instead of a cup of earl grey 😦



  1. Hi Paul , just so you know the weather today looks so typical of what I miss , My mother who is visiting asked what I missed on Skye , All you crazy people !!! . Paul you take care , I have my first pigs , doing lots of smoking and curing , the summer farmers markets not too far away , they think I hope we have something special from the Hebrides . Thanks Paul , you keep me informed that I very much appreciate , hope to see you in 2012 . P.S . we have been under 3 feet of snow for over 12 weeks now , todays its raining . Still no good eggs , my chicks came by post 2 days old !!!! only in America. Jonny

    Comment by jonny quirk — March 10, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  2. I’m sorry Paul, but 1,000 posts deserved at least a small dram of Dalwhinnie, if there’s any of it left!
    Congratulations! I check your webpage almost everyday without fail and still have a small hint of excitement when I see there is a new post. So thanks for bringing a little excitement, and a lot of Scotland, into my life.

    Comment by Morgan — March 11, 2011 @ 3:08 am

  3. Hi Paul
    Did you know that your employer has produced an ‘app’ for smartphones to show up to the minute service status on all their ferries? I have it loaded on my iPhone –
    It also shows all the timetables as well. Much quicker than phoning Uig 🙂 Just another great use for these phones that you hate 😉

    Comment by Derek — March 11, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    • Morning Derek,

      I actually like the ‘phone’ bit of the phone and despite the fact that there’s a chance I’ll get testicular cancer from it or searing headaches if I use all my 600 free minutes (don’t think I’ve spent 600 minutes on a phone in my entire life) I find the ‘phone’ bit essential, even out here in the sticks. I even like the clock and the torch. What I don’t like is all the 5hit3 that they put on them to slow down start up and flatten the battery. I’m sure if I lived ‘in town’ and had a proper job I could even get an ‘app’ (whatever that is) to wipe my ar53 but for now I’ll just stick with my ‘old person’s’ phone 🙂

      Cheers, Paul 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 12, 2011 @ 6:04 am

      • 🙂 Point taken.

        Comment by Derek — March 14, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

      • Secretly Derek I’d really like one but I’m too technophobic, myopic and deaf for it to be any use 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 16, 2011 @ 6:24 am

  4. Hi Paul

    Congrats on the 1000th posting, yes you deserve a wee dram especially after being at sea in those winds. Great pictures (as usual) of the weather you are encountering. Snow forecast down here in East Lothian tomorrow.


    Comment by moss — March 11, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    • Morning Moss, 6:00am here and no snow yet, you can keep it in East Lothian 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 12, 2011 @ 6:06 am

  5. Yes, congratulations on the 1000th post, here’s to the next 1000! I’ll have a toast to you later tonight with my Atholl Brose.

    Comment by francesp — March 11, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    • Might risk a glass myself tonight Frances, late start tomorrow 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 12, 2011 @ 6:07 am

  6. Congratulations ,Paul
    great to spend time in the country with you, thanks for sharing.
    I noticed Raasay House in the background of your picture and was wonder how that is going. Will visitors ever get to stay there?

    Comment by Tony — March 11, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    • Morning the tenders for the contract have gone out so fingers crossed that they’ll make a start this summer.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 12, 2011 @ 6:09 am

  7. Quite an achievement. Don’t think I’ll live long enough to do 1000 postings, even with 9 lives!

    Comment by Kingdomcat — March 12, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

  8. Congrats on your 1k post, Paul! Always entertaining and informative. I really look forward to your observant and humorous writings and photos.

    Comment by Flora — March 14, 2011 @ 1:54 am

    • Good morning and thanks Flora 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 16, 2011 @ 6:23 am

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