Life at the end of the road

April 26, 2011

Proper ‘broadband’

Filed under: boats, daily doings, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:23 pm

It’s been a fantastic day here on Raasay, especially after the disastrous Sunday with its fire in the Land Rover and self dismantling shotgun 🙂 The weather was the star of the day but finishing work at 15:00 helped. I set off early for work to try and get my latest painting project finished on the good ship Loch Striven before handing over to my ‘back to back’.

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The ‘commute’ to work was, unusually, devoid of deer and today I was too slow with the camera to catch Mr Buzzard 🙂


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Before starting the painting though I gave the seawater strainers on the generators a good cleaning with the power washer. The new growth and big tides of last week meaning they need a regular checking.

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Then it was out in the sunshine and up on the top deck to soak it all up, it’s a hard life 🙂

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Raasay House is still lying dormant and awaiting contractors to finish off the work that ROK started 😦

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Before I knew it however it was 14:30, we were sailing for Sconser and my ‘week off’ had begun, I handed over to the other motorman and headed to Portree for feed and Dunvegan with my broken shotgun.

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The open road and spectacular Cuilin’s being great compensation for the 3 gallons of very expensive diesel that it cost me to drive almost 90 miles.

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I’m sure Simon will be along shortly to name these magnificent mountains 🙂

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By 18:00 I was back on Raasay and twenty minutes later the ruins of Brochel castle, the seat of the MacLeod’s of Raasay before they built Raasay House.

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I couldn’t wait to get home to try out our new satellite broadband that had been installed today. We’ve had satellite broadband courtesy of now for two years and it’s been ‘pants’. However last November ( a year behind schedule) they finally launched there own dedicated ‘HYLAS’ satellite promising better speeds and a more reliable service The service was so poor that I was considering terminating the £50 a month contract which was little better than good ‘dial up’. Prior to today we’ve had a 900cm dish and using a satellite that Avanti rent, however a nice man from Sleat came and ‘migrated’ us to Hylas 1 this morning and installed this much smaller dish and a new modem.

It took him all morning and a good part of the afternoon but for the first time I’ve been able to stream stuff and even watch YouTube without drama 🙂



  1. i’m interested in your broadband struggles as i’m involved with this project:

    …which kind of depends on peoples’ access to computers and broadband. which they don’t have.

    i’m thrilled to think you’re hooked up properly with reasonable speeds.

    Comment by purejuice — April 26, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

    • Hi Jeannette,

      mines heavily subsidized by the Scottish government, even so it costs an arm and a leg 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 27, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

  2. That will be Sgurr nan Gillean you have in the centre of the photo. I can go one better than naming it, here is picture of me stood on the very pointy summit!!!

    Comment by Simon — April 27, 2011 @ 8:47 am

  3. Hmmm, you had a 900cm dish – what are you, Jodrell Bank of the North?

    Comment by Andy Poulton — April 27, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  4. Hi Paul,

    Hope your new super broadband is a marked mprovement for you and lives up to your expectations. In Sweden, we had dreadful 3G broadband, cos that was all that was available. The daft Swedes constantly witter on about how great they are on the hi-tech, comms field – tis all cr4p!. Outside Stockholm. Gothenburg & Malmo, it really is, forget it! Totally useless and incredibly unreliable and expensive!

    Comment by Iain — April 27, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    • Hi Paul, really enjoying following life at the end of the road. Was wondering how you were getting on with your new Avanti system now it has been in for a few days? The man from Avanti came and installed our new dish upgraded on Wednesday, but it keeps crashing/freezing. Have to keep unplugging it and starting again. Would be great to hear if you have had any problems with yours? best wishes from sunny but windy Isle of Mull

      Comment by treshnish — April 30, 2011 @ 9:32 am

      • Good morning Treshnish,

        it’s many a year since I stayed at Haunn and I see your taking good care of it 🙂 Sorry you’re having problems with your broadband, mine’s not perfect by a long way but it is ten times better than it used to be. Sometimes I keep getting ‘page not found’ or ‘DNS hookup’ error when opening a new page but it soon sorts itself out.

        The new service obviously does not use compression on the images as the picture quality has improved no end. There was also an annoying issue of my blog not updating unless I ran the ‘C cleaner’ but everything updates in ‘real time’ now.

        Hope you get it sorted, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  5. Yep, Sgurr nan Gillean indeed, but what you have is a fine shot of Pinnacle Ridge in profile. A bit of a scary route which I’m not good enough for, but I’ve certainly stood on the top a few times. Lovely.

    Impressed by your camera – what is it you use?

    Comment by Alan MacDonald — April 27, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    • Hi Alan

      Pinnacle Ridge is indeed a fine route. Knights Peak is actually more straight forward that most people think. If you approach it from the tourist route on Sgurr Nan Gillean, cross the scree heading before you hit the SE ridge proper and head for the gully between KP and the summit. From there it is only a scramble, exposed but not bad in clear weather. Trouble is you cant then continue to the summit without a rope (and someone to hold the other end!)

      Comment by simon — April 27, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

  6. Enjoy your broadband. My other half would like to know if Donnie (builder?)still lives on raasay? he gave him a lift on the quad a couple of years ago to the repair the range in the old school house. if so please tell him we said hello

    Comment by Alex & Lesley — April 27, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  7. Hi again
    That is great news about your broadband. Now yoou join us in the rest of the world watching stupid videos like this..

    Comment by simon — April 27, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

  8. I just have to know, How hot was the “heat wave” that allowed you to break out the shorts?
    Great entry today oops well it’s still today here in the West.

    Have a great week off

    Comment by Tony — April 28, 2011 @ 2:25 am

    • Hi Tony,

      it was a good 15 degrees here in the sun 🙂 that’s almost 60 in F 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 29, 2011 @ 7:18 am

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