Life at the end of the road

April 23, 2011

Bit of a contrast :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:21 pm

The cuckoo, lapwing, wagtail, wheatear and swallow may all be here, there are even a few puffins plying the waters between Skye and Raasay. A reliable source even spotted a gannet recently, and yesterday certainly felt like summer, I even took the cover off my number 2 🙂 (hat off recently shaved head). However today the temperature plummeted after a night of pouring rain.

The rain, at night anyway, I can cope with, after all it did give my flagging hydro turbine a boost, but the cold is diabolical, at least at sea. Who would have believed it last night when I arrived home it was beautiful,

good friday sunset

wifey was still in her shorts after a day in the garden and I went out for a wee wander with Molly. Actually I went to check why my hydro turbine was only producing 50w but it was as good a reason as any to go looking for another ‘Easter bunny’ 🙂

The hydro turbine was suffering an acute water shortage but I did manage to squeeze a few more watts out of it by plugging some minor leaks in the dam. I didn’t however manage to ‘plug’ anything else so had to content myself with the rabbit pasta that wifey had made 🙂


No warm breeze through the Velux window this morning at 4:30, no this morning I was rudely awakened by tiny droplets of rain on my face from the open light 😦 It was absolutely pishing down and left me tossing and turning for the next hour or so trying to remember what I’d left outside or which doors/windows I’d left open. I suppose living in a town you close windows at night and don’t leave footwear on the doorstep for fear of it being knicked, the last time I locked the Land Rover was December 🙂

Anyway, by the time I’d arisen at 5:45 all was well, apart from the stove that had gone out, typical I thought. No hot water as we’d used it last night, so if I didn’t fix the stove I’d be unable to have a bath tonight when I got in after 22:00 😦 A blocked filter sorted the stove but left me with kerosene scented cheeks instead of aftershave !

Heavy duty

Arriving at work early, on account of not trying to shoot anything with gun or camera on the way south I mistakenly thought it would be a quiet day.


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Not a chance, today was the day that had decided to start moving their hardware, I don’t think these chaps know what holidays are 🙂 This is one of two Fendt 936 ‘Vario’ tractors they have on this job at around £180k apiece they are the ‘Rolls Royce’ of tractors, the first with a truly ‘stepless’ variable speed transmission 


From what I can gather it’s powered by a 360HP turbocharged and intercooled Deutz engine but I thought they were air cooled, if so it was very quiet 🙂


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Check out the space age cab,

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the steering, pedals, console and seat all swivel round 180 degrees and you can drive it backwards just as fast as forwards 🙂

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OK, it’s not a great video but you get the picture and this wasn’t the only hardware that arrived 🙂

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‘Heavy duty’ Just about sums it up 🙂

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Speaking of heavy duty, the very competent ‘Margaret Sinclair’ steamed past empty at around 14:30, she’d headed north around 7:30 with a full deck but was too far away to get a picture.

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Built by Nobel’s of Girvan in 2006 she’s a very capable and versatile boat who looks as good now as the day she was launched

With an extra crew member for the afternoon I went upstairs to do my spell at the wheel, two wheels actually, the Loch Striven has one for each ‘Voith unit’.

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Busy in the wood

During the evening break I took a run up the Glen road to see how JST were getting on in the wood,


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that was a forest two weeks ago

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and that gap wasn’t there !

Despite the cold, there was one unwelcome sign that summer is on the way,


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the first midge bite, two weeks early 😦 I usually get one of these as a birthday present in May 🙂



  1. Hello Paul
    Was the forest being harvested planted as a crop. Just curious as it looks like a tree farm here in the US.
    Good day


    Comment by Tony — April 23, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    • Morning Tony,

      they’re pretty much all ‘tree farms’ here Tony, Scotland only has two native species of conifer and England only one, the yew. The Scots pine forests were pretty much hacked down generations ago and the yew is pretty much confined to grave yards. It was planted there on account of it’s toxicity to many grazing animals, also it just happens to be the best wood for long bows, a kind of strategic materiel of old. Slow growing and on holy ground it would not be harvested hastily.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 24, 2011 @ 5:39 am

      • lol Paul, you’ve spent too long with animals … it’s yew not ewe

        Comment by carina — April 24, 2011 @ 9:42 am

      • Thank yew Carina 🙂 sorted

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 24, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  2. Hi Paul.
    I’m fishing Loch Etive June, boat and shore.
    One question.
    What repellent can you recommend for the midge ? Reason last year I was bitten silly.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — April 23, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

    • Walter, try ‘Skin so Soft’ by Avon, beats the hell out of the stuff i was issued with in the army that dissolved plastic!, God only know what it did to our skin!

      Comment by Rich — April 23, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

    • Morning Walter, Rich,

      aye S S S is the best by far in the repellent stakes, only problem is it does sting your eyes if you sweat. What I use whenever possible is a hood and smock like this actually it’s not like that at all but I’m struggling to find one online. That’s just a hood mines a smock that covers your arms and goes right down to the waist. It also has a zip around the face then you can eat, Donald at sells them and I’m sure he’d post you one out, 01599 511407 mine was just short of £30 if I recall and worth every penny.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 24, 2011 @ 5:53 am

  3. Paul, try EBay for a midge smock. Have a look at item 250720850945 as an example.



    Comment by Ian J — April 24, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    • Morning Ian J,

      I did look on eBay but saw nothing under either ‘midge hood’ or ‘midge smock’ which struck me as a little strange, perhaps I was looking in the Land Rover section 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 24, 2011 @ 9:21 am

      • Hi Paul,

        I found item 250720850945 by looking under midge net. Funnily enough the seller is in Scotland too. The midges must be vicious up there!



        Comment by Ian J — April 25, 2011 @ 7:22 am

      • Hi Ian, thanks for that, what you’ve never experienced the dreaded Scottish midge !!!!! luck you 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 26, 2011 @ 5:12 am

  4. Interesting to learn of SsS for midges. In Sweden, we were plagued every summer by huge numbers of Mozzies, gnats & huge horseflies, to which I have a minor allergy! I relied on ‘Jungle Formula’, a bog-standard UK product, easily found everywhere. There was also a fowl-smelling, thick, treacley Swede goo called ‘djurolja’ (animal oil) that the locals swore by. I hated it but it seemed to be efective!

    Comment by Iain — April 24, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    • Morning Iain,

      I left some ‘jungle formula’ on a window ledge once and it lifted the paint 😦 It’s also about 10 times the price of SSS

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 24, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  5. The U.S. Marines use SSS, any soldier not smelling correctly of it is Busted. Works a treat

    Comment by Dave — May 29, 2011 @ 2:30 am

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