Life at the end of the road

November 5, 2011

Preparing for dock

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:09 am

Well after the early start this morning I’m not going to be on here for long that’s for sure, actually perhaps I should stay up until I drop. Then at least I might stay in bed until 5:45, the time that my phone is set at, not that I hear it very often. Why does everything these days have to play some inane tune when you turn it on or off, I know when I’ve turned my Nokia on, I don’t need to hear along with 1.8 billion others every time I press the friggin button.

Anyway, as is usual when I get up hours before work, I was late, well not actually late, but late for me. The more time I have before setting off down ‘Calum’s road’ the more I get distracted, and today was typical. After six cups of strong coffee, two hours on here I start pottering about outside in the dark, checking the hydro turbine inlet, looking for pipe fittings and finally checking the output on the Land Rover’s alternator. It is that time of year when it starts to work very hard, powering my huge array of lights, heater, stereo and of course the ever busy windscreen wipers. Not that it was actually raining but there’s so much friggin water on Calum’s road that it might as well have been 😦

The last shift

As this is my last shift before ‘dry dock’, that yearly trip ‘doon the watter’ to I’ve started getting stuff ready. The Loch Striven is not actually due in until the end of the month but I’ll be on holiday for three weeks so the next time I’m aboard her with my motorman’s hat on will be in the yard. The annual visit to the dock on Bute is like the ships major service and MOT but much of the preparation work is done before hand.


Well, that’s as far as I got last night on the writing front, though I did mange to stay awake until after 21:00 and in bed until 4:45 🙂


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They day was not very encouraging to start with and the Radio 4 man said rain so I headed down below, though not before taking some pictures of my old home. That’s Scalpay in the background and the Moll to the front.

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That will be our old pier and the Jackal Rock buoy with Strollamus in the distance.

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And that will be the emergency battery charger getting its annual service 🙂

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This little Lister LV1 screamer is directly coupled to a CAV 24v 85amp alternator, it probably only runs 10 hours a year but gets serviced anyway 🙂

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During one of my frequent visits to the car deck to clean the engine room floor plates I came across a dead buzzard 😦 Probably a young daft one that had flown into some scaffolding on the back  of a pickup. The customer had been driving towards Kyle when it flew in front of his vehicle, he thought he’d missed it but later found it in the back 😦

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Even in death it looked handsome, noble and proud with a menacing beak and tallons.

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The scaffolder was on his way to Raasay House and was one of the many contractors left owed thousands when ROK went ‘tits up’ a year ago on Tuesday. Luckily his scaffolding was still in one piece and he’d been able to sub contract to Mansell.

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As you can see it turned out a lovely day so I had a wander up there at lunchtime,

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it all looked much tidier than the last time I visited 🙂

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Though the cows thought that I’d come to feed them 🙂

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It was far too nice a day for working down below and I wished I’d never started cleaning the floor plates 🙂



  1. Hi Paul

    Reading about the new green ferry for the shorter island routes reminded me that Accrington, beloved to your memory, has a new ‘green; railway station. It has a wind turbine, photovoltaic solar panels and recycles rainwater for loos etc. Not bad, eh?

    So glad that work is proceeding on Raasay House, and hope that it will be water-tight for the winter.



    Comment by Sue — November 6, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    • Morning Sue,

      when I was a child the railway station in Accrington was huge with sidings, warehouses, engine sheds and lovely Victorian waiting rooms. The place was a hive of activity with loads of these three wheeled tractors milling about the place. Last time I was there it was just an unmanned bus shelter 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 8, 2011 @ 6:30 am

      • Morning, Paul

        It has now been completely re-built to more than a bus-shelter but lacks the essential ingredients that you mention and that I associate with my early years of trainspotting.


        Comment by Sue — November 8, 2011 @ 9:16 am

      • Morning Sue, aye those were the days hey, did a spot of trainspotting myself 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 9, 2011 @ 6:40 am

      • Hi Paul and Sue,
        I worked for Hyndburn Council in the building at the end of Cannon St opposite the lovely station in the seventies. I just had a look on google street and how different it looks, what a shame, at least the lovely building I worked in is still there but I hardly recognise the town at all. 😦

        Comment by Carole and Finnie — November 9, 2011 @ 7:56 am

      • Morning Carole,

        Accrington certainly has changed, but then I suppose that’s ‘progress’ 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 10, 2011 @ 5:30 am

      • On the other hand, both Rawtenstal and Ramsbottom have their nearly original stations, as part of the East Lancs rainlway that runs steam trains regularly. The only quibble I have is that the Rawtenstall station has a ‘Cafe’ rather than Refrenshment Rooms!



        Comment by Sue — November 9, 2011 @ 9:09 am

      • Rawtenstall, and Ramsbottom, good Lancashire names if ever there were 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 10, 2011 @ 5:31 am

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