Life at the end of the road

July 26, 2011

The ‘hundred yard dash’ :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, hydro, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:28 pm

That’s it then, the holiday is officially over and I’m not long back in the house after doing my first stint on the Loch Striven. Only one run to Sconser and back to let my ‘back to back’ away, but working nonetheless, no more wine or pipe epics for a whole week at least but at least it will give my muscles (and liver) a well earned rest 🙂

A trip to my parents on the mainland yesterday and guests for dinner made a welcome change from the more physical side of my ‘holiday’ and the most strenuous thing that I did all day was trim a hedge.

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Not my own I hasten to add, for I prefer the more ‘rustic’ look and I’ve never even picked up a hedge trimmer in my life, let alone used one. Still it made someone very happy and I was rewarded by a fine plate of pasta 🙂

The evening at ‘the end of the road’ was a very civilised affair with eight around the table eating the finest sea food that Loch Arnish could provide followed by chicken breasts wrapped in bacon with a haggis on the side. We usually stuff the breasts with the haggis but the fine Scottish offering is not to everyone’s liking. As it turned out there was not a scrap of it left on the eight clean plates so it could have gone in anyway 🙂

A full hundred meters 🙂

Me, I bailed out early and was in my bed for 22:30 leaving wifey with the ‘hardcore party people’ around the kitchen table with several bottles of claret and the boys on the Xbox. They would pay for it in the morning 🙂 me I wanted to be fresh 🙂

The relentless north wind that has kept the midge away, dried out the croft and kept temperatures at respectable level for ‘hard labour’ has also built up quite a sea. Over the last couple of days it has eased somewhat but not enough to poke the Pioner Maxi’s nose out of the loch. As is also quite common with this wind is for it to fall away overnight then pick up again around 11:00am.

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It may not look like much on the graph, indeed from any other direction 10mph would barely cause a ripple. However with nothing between the Sound of Raasay and Iceland, and a lazy ground swell from a week in that quarter it’s no place for a 12’ boat.

If there was one thing that I just had to do before going back to work it was salvage some more ‘feed blower’ pipe for my hydro scheme, and I’d been reliably informed there was some west of Fladda. It was going nowhere on the neap tides just now, but who knows where it would end up on the springs with a change of wind direction.

Arising early to a bombsite of a kitchen and a dying wind I fed the pigs, cleared the wreckage of the previous evening, mixed up fuel and dragged the boys out of their pit 🙂 At shortly after 8:30 we were in the ‘rock proof’ Pioner and heading west toward the Camas Bahn on Fladda.

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Portree’s Cygnus Cyclone 26, the Marie Bhan was in the shallows searching for lobster

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and the Green Isle was in the muddy depths of Loch Arnish hunting prawns.

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Ten minutes later we were at the Camas Bhan on Fladda with our quarry in sight.

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Leaving the ‘idiot proof’ boat taking no harm from the rocky shore we set foot on land to check out the best approach to removing it. As it happened the other end was in the sea so we just got back in the boat, motored around the point, tied it on and dragged it off, it was VERY long 🙂

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A far cry from the five hour tow from Loch Ainort with the last batch we had this one, or at least half of it ashore in twenty minutes.

A quick trip to lift one of our creels that hadn’t been lifted for a week, a spell at home for breakfast and then back down with the Land Rover to drag it out of the sea and measure it.

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That’s the ‘Old Girl’ in that clump of trees up the hill, and with my newly recalibrated legs I reckon that to be a full hundred meters 🙂


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We towed the pipe onto the heather before hitching it up to the quad, only this time I’d the good sense not to get ‘bogged’

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The boys, that’s them on the horizon, took it as far as the old peat cutting,

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after which I took over,

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as it gets a little tricky 🙂

Wee Millie

Just before I took the helm the boys spotted a man and his dog walking across the heather towards us, probably not an uncommon sight in other parts of the country but a rarity here. This chap was obviously heading our way so we went to investigate.

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It turned out to be wee Millie, Molly’s seven month old pup who was on holiday from Perthshire for a few days

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and what a little character she’s turned out to be 🙂

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The views up here are stunning, that’s Aird Torran in the foreground, Fladda is the large mass behind it and the Camas Bahn is that bay on its left hand edge between the breaking reef and the small island.

We got the pipe more or less in position, but whilst it was a full uninterrupted 100m long it did have five kinks in it, four of which had punctured the tube. Not the end of the world and easily repairable but that will have to wait for another day, as will the rest of the ‘days doings’. It’s almost 22:30 now and I’ve work tomorrow so I’ll save them for another day 🙂


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