Life at the end of the road

November 30, 2011

Mull of Kintyre, here we come :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:17 pm

Well I made it, after a night at my parents and a 6:00am start I’m finally back aboard the MV Loch Striven for the first time in three weeks. The weather is cr4p, the internet connection worse and I’m about to turn in as we’ve an early start tomorrow 🙂

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I’ve had to reduce the file size to try and post these 😦

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It’s a busy little port here with both the MV Isle of Mull and MV Eigg making regular visits.

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Here’s the old ‘Island class’ Eigg arriving at the slip on the second of her four sailings a day to the small island of Lismore in Loch Linnhe.

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The clam dredger ‘Star of Jura’ discharging scallops by the ice factory just ahead of us

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and the MV Pole Star at the Northern Lighthouse Boards pier nearby.

The day was spent doing routine stuff, finishing the monthly maintenance and getting ready for tomorrow’s date with the Mull of Kintyre.



Though, unlike Paul McCartney most mariners are glad to see the back of it 🙂 Apologies if the video is carp but I can’t watch it on this connection 🙂 It may look lovely but it’s strong tides and exposed location mean it needs treating with respect.

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Anyway after a ‘hard day at the office’ the rest of the crew went to Tesco for store and I wandered along the high street to get us all an excellent Indian takeaway from the ‘Taj Mahal’ on George St and I can wholeheartedly agree that it is the best in Oban 🙂

November 29, 2011

Oban bound :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, pigs, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:57 pm

That’s it, the holiday’s over, three weeks gone by like a flash, probably not most folks idea of a break but I’ve really enjoyed it and got plenty done 🙂 It started off with some phenomenal weather and ended with a week of rain, gales and ferry disruptions.

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I started my vacation with rough heather, bog and peat on the way to our new barn site and finished it with a road 🙂

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However work on the croft, or at least my part of it is now on hold, for I’m heading south, not for the ‘Jewel of the Clyde’ Bute, but Oban. For the good ship Loch Striven has been stuck there for a few days with the weather.


The Loch Striven and her twin sister Loch Linnhe swapped places on Raasay over a week ago but adverse weather has prevented her reaching on schedule.


Here’s the pair of them at ‘changeover’ last week courtesy of ‘The Purser’ 🙂

Of course being up to my eyeballs in pig sh1t, mud and rock I’ve been oblivious to all this until Sue Mason from Cornwall mentioned it 🙂

“Just noticed that the good ship Loch Striven has still only made it as far as Oban – that won’t help with the tight schedule !”


Well, at least I wouldn’t have as far to drive to join her 🙂

Anyway, it’s been a bit hectic here the last couple of days finishing everything off and getting everything ‘shipshape’ back at the house for my absence. There is always some disaster befalls wifey when I’m away at dock, once a year I leave home for a week and it’s inevitable that something will go ‘tits up’. Last year the road was blocked for a week, wife and child were stranded and the water frozen. When eventually it did thaw and outside tap burst and emptied the water tank :-(  Another time, Ginger our 250Kg boar got stuck in a ditch and nearly drowned and one year the oil stove failed leaving both house and water cold.

Yesterday I did a little work on my hydro turbine and helped my good mate Hugh MacKay of ‘Grumpy Digger Driver’ fame finish off at the barn site.


It was only a couple of hours work but that was him leaving the north end after an epic bit of road building and site clearance. Well I say ‘couple of hours’, that was me on the dumper, he was at it until dark 🙂

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wee dug in truck

The pishing rain was however no place for a ‘wee dug’ so I left her guarding the truck that would have to try and negotiate the decrepit cattle grid with a 7ton digger on the back 😦

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I really can’t remember what else happened on Monday as my head is ‘full of mince’ at the moment. The Swineherd has the 26 year old Land Rover, which is bound to break down with three ‘not so little’ pigs in the trailer on Sunday. That is of course if the road is not blocked by snow or the ferry cancelled due to weather 😦

This morning had us both up early, feeding and then worming the pigs,

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stuffed apples and banana being the delivery method of choice 🙂

After that wifey went to work and I went through the long list of stuff on my list of things to pack for the working week, topped up the oil tank, lashed down everything that was loose did a spot of path repairs by the feed store.

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Though I had to do it by hand now the digger had gone 😦

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That was about it really,

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I fed the pigs, packed the car and headed off on he last ferry. I’m now on the mainland watching two pine martens eating peanuts at my parents house 🙂

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