Life at the end of the road

March 10, 2012

Linnhe’s away :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:16 pm

Well she was actually away at 8:40 or so yesterday, but I was, once more in my bed before 21:00 so hadn’t got the mind to write about it 🙂 Though it started off a little grey and damp the day turned into a ‘pure peach’, not that you’d have thought that at 4:00am when the force 9 that was forecast for 3:00am arrived with a bang. Well more of a cascade than a bang really as the west facing bedroom Velux was assaulted by what sounded like a power washer. ‘Disrupted sailing’ thought I and turned over for another hour or so of sleep.

Even when I did arise at 5:30 I thought there was little chance of an 8:20 landing at Sconser with the ‘spud leg’ barge plonked next to the slip. Probably just fine as the tide ebbed but not around high water, which it would be. Leaving the house an hour later I still figured it would be iffy, but by the time I’d reached Brochel  less than two miles away there was barely a breath and the sea had little ‘attitude’.

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Half an hour later as I approached the three ‘loch class’ ferries safely lashed to our lovely pier it was almost calm, still damp and not giving any clue to the blue skies ahead but not in the least windy 🙂

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A larger and much more powerful vessel than her smaller sisters this would be the Loch Bhursda’s second visit to Raasay.

She was chartered by Balfour Beatty a couple of years ago to take away the 180 ton Kobelco crawler crane that became such a familiar landmark here.


Ferry Specification

MV Loch Bhrusda

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Caledonian MacBrayne

Port of registry:

McTay Marine, Bromborough

Yard number:

March 1996

May 1996

In service:
8 June 1996

IMO number: 9129483[1]

Callsign: MVFP9

MMSI Number: 232002598

in service

General characteristics

Class and type:
ro-ro vehicle ferry

246 GRT; DWT[2]

35.4 m (116.1 ft)[3]

10.8 m (35.4 ft)[3]

1.4 m

Installed power:
Cummins Diesels

Schottel Pump Jet propulsion system

8 knots

150 passengers and 18 cars


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This is one section reversing onto the ferry on Raasay

Tony'sPhone Pictures 009 (Medium)

and driving off at Sconser 30 minutes later (picture by Angela 🙂 )

This time she was just here for a few nights whilst the passage crew took the Linnhe down to Oban

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and sure enough, just as we returned from Sconser after the first sailing off she went

rainbow linnhe

with a rainbow to send her on her way 🙂


Arriving at Tobermory late in the afternoon.

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We had been quite busy on the ferry but that was nothing compared to the load that Sandy had to deal with, anybody would think that it was Christmas 🙂 Still, as usual he kept smiling, despite having a full van load of mail 🙂

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The low tides brought on by Thursday’s full moon had the harbourmaster over cleaning the slipway of weed, it also saw Buster, one of his dogs getting fed up and wanting a ride in a Land Rover.

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Actually I think he was looking for Molly, whom he’d become acquainted with just over a year ago 🙂

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And here’s the result 🙂

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That was it really for Friday, the day got better and we spent the afternoon adjusting the ramp ‘finger flaps’.


Today actually got off to a more promising start but failed to live up to expectations on the weather front, it was certainly much lighter as I left the house this morning but pretty damp throughout the day. As we arrived at Sconser the tug SD Kyle of Lochalsh was seen approaching to remove the drilling barge that had caused us so much grief of late.


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Vessel’s Details

Ship Type: Tug
Length x Breadth: 24 m X 8 m
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 11.7 / 10.6 knots
Flag: United Kingdom [UK]
Call Sign: MXQX4
IMO: 0, MMSI: 235003636


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Here she is an hour later just abreast of the Sconser quarry with the barge and Hannah B in tow 🙂


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The high pressure caused an even lower tide than anticipated


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with a good six inches of the concrete plinth that the harbour sits on being visible. The plinth was cast at ‘chart datum’ with the one metre high interlocking blocks sat on top of it and it’s a rare occasion indeed when so much of it is visible.

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Here it is during one of the few times it was visible during construction, normally that power washing would have been done by divers. That jet out of the back being being designed to keep a diver in position whilst using it, not so handy on the surface 🙂 Andy is that you in front of the graffiti ???

Late on in the afternoon the passage crew arrived via road to be ready for tomorrows journey south so I took the opportunity to accompany a ‘proper engineer’ on ‘start up’ 🙂

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Here being one of her two V12 Cummins main engines,

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This is one of the two ‘Schottle’ units (water jets) that drive her


and this is a rather small engineer consulting his phone before topping up the oil 🙂

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And that’s about it for now, it’s almost 20:15 and time to fire up the Loch Striven for the last run, though I can do it without a phone 🙂 🙂



  1. I knew Cummins made 18-wheeler truck engines in Columbus, Indiana, but didn’t realize they made marine engines too! Tim Solso was a year ahead of me at school; I think he retired from Cummins last December.

    Comment by drgeo — March 11, 2012 @ 3:25 am

    • Morning DrG,
      they also make engines for gensets and trains but sadly mainly in China and India now 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 11, 2012 @ 7:08 am

  2. ‘… returned from Sconser’ photo (5 down) … optical allusion or what ? looks like you are going to hit rocks ? (or Nessie ?) … how do you miss these at night ? no light ???

    Comment by Deoch'nDorus — March 11, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    • Morning Deoch n D that’ll just be a ‘raft’ of seaweed lifted off the shore by the big tides 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  3. Good pics Paul.Think that maybe myself about to get my waterproofs tested by the hose 🙂 Could not help thinking Moses had paid us a visit that day when the tide kept going out and the in-situ concrete appeared!


    Comment by Andy — March 12, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    • Morning Andy,

      shame about the heat haze from the Striven’s exhausts on the right of that picture, that was taken in February, what a day it was.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2012 @ 6:30 am

      • Oh, is that what it is. I thought it was one of those trendy “blurred to look like a model” shots. 🙂

        Comment by Phil Cook — March 13, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

  4. Hi Paul, what I want to know is whether the Bhrusda is as noisy as they say she is. I was once woken from my slumbers in a tent by the Alainn plying across the Sound of Barra.

    Comment by Phil Cook — March 12, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    • Morning Phil, every but as noisy as you’ve heard and more but what a sweet sound those V12 Cummins make, pure music to the ears 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2012 @ 6:26 am

  5. Great to see the old photos Paul – brings back lots of memories. Like Andy I think I am lurking in the background of one of the photos – you would not believe the amount of head scratching required to dismantle that crane on the pier and get it off the island.

    Mr Tait – is that you with the levelling staff trying to work out if we got our levels wrong!! I remember a bit of a panic that day.

    Comment by Iain MacP — March 12, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

    • Morning Iain, happy days hey, don’t miss the old berth at all, or our ‘head scratching’ at how to pack all the cars on the ferry on Sunday night, Monday morning or Friday afternoon 🙂 You all did a fine job 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2012 @ 6:29 am

      • Thank you Paul.Hi Iain.Mother nature was testing us through the medium of calm,fine high pressure weather conditions for a change 🙂

        Comment by Andy — March 13, 2012 @ 9:51 am

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