Life at the end of the road

December 29, 2011

Throttled :-(

Filed under: daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:29 pm

Now this is my best excuse ever for not posting of late, I’ve been ‘throttled’ 😦 The recent storm force winds took out my satellite TV dish but left the larger broadband dish unscathed. Probably the loss of a television picture is akin to a death in the family in some households, not here, I hate the thing and seldom watch it. In all fairness had wifey and I not completely different tastes I probably would watch the odd documentary or bizarre film that gets aired in the early hours.

The upside of the loss of all the usual drivel that permeates through the house, for there is no getting away from the sound of it in our tiny dwelling. The upside is that we’ve all started talking to each other 🙂 the downside is that they’ve been watching loads of cr4p on YouTube and iPlayer during the day and I’ve been ‘throttled’, for the first time in three and a half years as I’ve exceeded my 8Gb monthly limit with my ISP The upshot of which is that my download and upload speeds have been slashed to 128Kbps 😦 Far better than the 28Kbps that I started ‘blogging’ on four years ago but not very good for high definition pictures and impossible for video.

So instead of spending hours last night telling you all about my extremely dull day I did some ‘bonding’ with the family, OK half the time my son was buried in his new iPod but it was most enjoyable 🙂

An early finish

The first full day back at work was a disaster from the word go, lashing rain, howling winds and no Petzl head torch got me off to a wet start at 6:30am. A defunct heater on the Land Rover turned it into a cold start and the ‘all in one’ suit that I’d had to wear for most of the day kept the rain out and the sweat in 😦

The 7:55am sailing was cancelled as the winds hovered around the force 9 level from the south west but as daylight arrived we managed next four crossings without drama 🙂

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Well apart from the usual blasts that seem to howl down Loch Sligachan every time the ferry arrives 🙂

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Squalls that had us leaving early, not through choice but because the engines would not keep us on the slipway 😦

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The 13:00 sailing became the 12:57 sailing and we headed for the safety of our beautiful new harbour.

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Had we still been operating from Suisnish we’d not have sailed the whole day, as it was we managed to keep going until lunchtime, when most other sailings up and down the west coast had been cancelled.

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I even managed to get a little painting done before we called it a day.

Extra crew

Even though yesterdays maximum wind speed was only 65mph compared to the violent storm  75mph+ of Boxing day it was far worse a day. The south, south west wind has us sheltered somewhat by the mass of Raasay, the westerly and north westerly offer us no such protection and we receive its full wrath. It blasts straight over the Storr, screams across the Sound of Raasay, over Loch Arnish and hits us square on the front door 😦 Of course the good thing is it hits the wind turbine first

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and our Proven 2.5Kw has been belting out 2.4Kw for days now. Perhaps a new set of their carbon fibre blades would improve things but this will be its 6th winter with nothing other than routine maintenance so I can hardly complain.

As I said a little family time kept me off here, an early night had me up today fresh and ready for action :-)  Well that and the fact that I’d managed to get home a little early 🙂

The ‘wee dug’ had obviously sensed my enthusiasm for the day and was not letting me out of the house without her. In truth she was probably missing the company of all the dogs that had invaded the house over Christmas so I decided to take her to work.

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Well, not so much to work because she hates the boat, does not have the correct paperwork, medical and has not been ‘inducted’ on the Loch Linnhe 🙂 It was more a case of taking her down to visit Jessie Nicolson at School Park. The ‘wee dug’ loves Jessie (as we all do) and she’d not seen her since before Christmas, so after a few hours of keeping my ‘red neck’ hillbilly jacket warm (reluctantly) I deposited her there 🙂

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Molly was not the only extra crew member that we had

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and we made good use of him 🙂 Not a patch on the Loch Striven’s bilges but far cleaner now than they were 🙂


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We fuelled up at 12:30 with 3500lts of ‘MGO’ marine gas oil before getting stuck into finishing the monthly ‘PM’ or planned maintenance. This amounted to checking all of the smoke, heat  and flame detectors on board and checking  all the bilge pumps on one of the seven spaces.

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Just like her sister the Loch Striven the Loch Linnhe has two large electric pumps and one diesel that can be switched between fire and bilge pumping duties. Part of the monthly checks is to make sure that each pump can be operated in each mode on one space.

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This is the Lister LV1 pump that is in the space that we filled with fresh water, number 3 void, just forward of the aft peak.

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This is the pump that is normally set up for bilge pumping

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and this the one for fire fighting.

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A little more painting

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and some spectacular views of the Cuilins just about finished the day off at work.


And with Orion to greet me as I arrived home at 19:30 🙂




OK, one of his feet was missing but there was a hill in the way 🙂

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