Life at the end of the road

July 13, 2011

The five hour tow :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, hydro, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:09 pm

A very productive day indeed just about sums up today’s effort and to say that I’m pleased with what’s been achieved would be a bit of an understatement. Not only that but it must have been the hottest and best day of the summer so far. I say must have been for I spent the vast majority of it sea so was spared the heat but when I was on land it was roasting 🙂

The task for the day was to go and pick up some feed blower pipe from a local fish farm for use on the planned hydro turbine that will eventually supply our new house. I probably already have enough but it’s all in six or seven meter lengths which would require joining, and as I need 500m that’s an awful lot of joints. In the past I’ve made joints myself but it requires 90mm internal diameter pipe, of which I’ve little left and is very labour intensive, OK for 20 joints but not for around 80. My other option would be to buy compression joints at around £15 each


fusion joints


at around £12 each and borrow a machine to fit them, or I could hire an MDPE pipe welder for around £300 per week which I seriously considered. However I’d lose two days going to Inverness and back to collect it. So when my good mate from Manitoba managed to source some 800m of 78mm internal diameter pipe a mere 15 miles away by sea I jumped at the chance. He only required 200m and needed 26m of 150mm pipe that I had so a deal was struck, I’d supply the boat and fuel and we’d drop his pipe off at Oskaig on the way back.

Today’s forecast was perfect for it, so after making our arrangements yesterday I set off from Arnish at 7:00 after feeding the pigs.

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At 7:15 I pointed the bow of the little Pioner west and headed for Manish,

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said goodbye to Torran

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and thirty minutes later passed Holoman island and arrived at Manitoba.

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The old ‘almshouse’ at Oskaig is about halfway but acquiring two strapping lads and Beau the collie slowed the wee boat down considerably and it took well over an hour to reach our destination up Loch Ainort.

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Still, with weather like this it was no great hardship 🙂

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Eventually we arrived at our jumble of pipes on the floating jetty there and set about sorting out which end of the 70 to 90m long pipes to pull first.

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We cut little ‘V’s in the ends with a saw and pulled them off one at a time joining the next one one before it went off the walkway. Even by splitting our load in two it still meant there was 500m trailing behind the wee boat 🙂 The job went smoother than we could dared have hoped for, and by 10:55 we were chuntering down Loch Ainort at around 3Knts 😦


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Still, I can think of worse things to do on a Wednesday and two and a half hours later I dropped my two mates off with two lengths of pipe in Holoman bay and continued north on my own.



Just check out the length of that pipe, it’s almost off the picture 🙂

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The slow journey hugging the shore to escape the worst of the south going flood tide gave me ample opportunity to see the many caves and arches that grace this bit of coastline north of Inver.

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You can always count on sheep to graze in daft places 🙂

sheep on ledge

With 200m less pipe and three less bodies I must have made almost half a knot on my top speed so arrived at Camasnagaul in Loch Arnish around 16:15.

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I’d phoned my two mates up as I’d cleared Manish point and they soon joined me by road to assist in getting the pipes ashore.

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Which, much to our surprise turned out to be the hardest part of the day,

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the ropes kept snapping, the cleggs (horse fly) kept biting and the evening sun was roasting.

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A far cry from what ‘normal’ people do in their spare time but after a couple of hours we had the pipe ashore the Pioner on its mooring and were in our kitchen enjoying cold meats, salad and boiled potatoes 🙂

With the 600 or so meters of 90mm pipe at the north end of Raasay it was time to prepare the two 13m lengths of 150mm for its trip south by road.

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I did come up with a novel solution but it did involve removing the front and rear screens from my neighbours Metro 🙂 Good job there are no Police on Raasay 🙂


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