Life at the end of the road

March 27, 2012

Will they ever learn ?? :-(

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:51 pm

It’s late news I know, in fact it’s over a week old but I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with painting and sleeping this past week 🙂 Painting the walls, painting the roof, painting the ship then going to bed early, so this little nugget passed me by. Radio 4 being somewhat obsessed with the budget and me not actually reading the ‘Broadford Beano’ until tonight. Here’s the ‘Beeb’s’ take on it



image from



You would have thought that after the HMS Astute debacle in October 2010 which was closely followed by the coaster Red Duchess.

The Red Duchess in trouble

010910 003

As I write this the Red Duchess, seen above in September loading timber at Raasay should be being rescued by the Coastguard tug Anglian Prince.

“The ‘Red Duchess’, a coal carrying merchant vessel, broke down off the coast of the Isle of Rum.

The vessel is a UK flag small coaster of 76m length.  Its cargo of coal, 27 cubic metres of diesel oil and 400 litres of lube oil is Stornoway-bound.

An engine failure is thought to be the cause of the problem but electrical power has been retained and is able to anchor if required.  The prevailing weather is poor, with south westerly winds of force 7 – 8.

Worries are being raised about the drifting into waters which are around 20 metres deep at least half a mile off-shore, which will make anchoring practical even though the bottom is rocky.

The Mallaig lifeboat has now been launched and has got a line on board in an attempt to arrest the ships drift.

The Coastguard ETV ‘Anglian Prince’ normally based at Stornoway has been sent to the area, but is still five hours steaming away from the location

The Coastguard rescue helicopter is moving to Rum if required for any possible evacuation of crew from the vessel.”


The Red Duchess loaded with a cargo of coal for Stornoway lost power this afternoon south west of Rum in a force 8 south westerly and was in danger of going ashore. The Mallaig lifeboat managed to get a tow onto her but is barley making headway against the atrocious seas.

170209 001


The above extract from

You would think that after having a nuclear submarine run aground under the Skye bridge and a coaster almost aground on Rhum the government would have reconsidered its decision to withdraw the four ETV’s stationed around our vulnerable coasts, not a chance 😦


And unlike many people who used this image, I actually got permission from Martin Some unscrupulous people tried to pass it off as their own work and sell it to foreign media organizations 😦

Anyway I’m in far too good a mood to go ‘off on one’ so I’ll just try and recap the last couple of days with the aid of some pictures.

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Monday saw both myself and the ‘postie’ on the ferry, only she was only there briefly 🙂

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Me, I was once more out with the paint roller enjoying the sun 🙂

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The extra hour gained my moving the clocks saw me driving home well before sunset one of last years fine deer calves and a rather scabby looking young stag.

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This is Meall Dearg Arnish, which I think means something like ‘the red hill of Arnish’, pretty apt I’d say. Taken from our front door you can just see Donald Eyre’s barn and some of the ruins of North Arnish just along the tree line.


Donald's barn   ruin

Donald’s barn                                         small ruin


It was early to bed last night once more and then awake bright and early to ‘meet the day’ this morning, which, despite being a little dark at 5:50 soon ‘lit up’ to a fine morning.

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With wifey being on the post the ‘wee dug’ has been accompanying me to work, or least as far as the pier where she makes a nest in the land Rover until I take her to Jessie’s at lunchtime.

 270312 003

Not sure which one of the ‘Black Cuillin’s’ still had a trace of snow but I’m sure Simon will enlighten us 🙂

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The morning saw one of A Ross’s immaculate Volvo’s arriving with a good heavy load for someone on Raasay. It also had me going berserk once more with the paint roller in a desperate effort to get as much done as possible before handing over to my ‘back to back’ 🙂


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Not only were we blessed with good weather, a few tourists and the first wave of campervans on Skye but the MV Spindrift made its first visit of the year, or at least the first one I’ve seen 🙂

   270312 011

That was it really, my ‘back to back’ let me away early, I called at Manitoba on the way home and watched a couple of sea eagles doing the mating thing.

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sea eagle 2     sea eagle 1



  1. Come on Paul, even you know by now that one is Sgurr Nan Gillean. One day i will get you to come up there with me. If i plant a nice bottle of whisky, i am sure that might tempt you 😉
    Great pictures of those sea eagles, i got very close (200m ish) to one off the Treshnish last year but my camera battery was dead 😦

    Comment by simon — March 27, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

  2. Well Paul
    In a world of expansion, increase of all sorts of traffic air,sea,land people still make decisions that put the health and safety of the people and business’s that rely on support at times of potential difficulty or loss of life. Why they feel that they are required to make some sort of cost cuts regardless to the outcome is beyond me. Maybe that when they’ve got enough data on the accident data base some one might go ka-ching look at these figures we’ll have to do something about it, but its to late then the damage or loss of life has happened . Keep Our Coastline SAFE now and for the future.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — March 27, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

    • I could not agree with your comments more Scouser, it is indeed a sad state of affairs in light of the recent groundings and ferry disasters at sea. If there was to be a major incident involving one of the many larger ferries that coast through British waters how on earth are they going to justify this absolute dreadful decision. At the end of the day I have to agree with the man who once said all Politicians are fools! It seems once they get elected to office all common sense goes out the window.
      we need these vital services to keep our coastline safe and its high time the powers that be put health and safety first. Accidents at sea happen, not always anyones fault but due to the very nature of the beast a broken down vessel cannot just pull up and wait till things get better.
      Just another of the many things that are really getting my rag just now!

      Comment by Thomson Caravans — March 28, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  3. To say I am jealous of the wonderful sights you get to see on a Daily basis might be a bit of an understatement Paul. It must have been amazing to watch the eagles at their mating ritual and to see the fine deer calves and a rather scabby looking young stag, I remember stopping on a wee run out from Acharacle a few years ago when we stopped to watch the deers and stags playing on a hillside, as always the pictures I took where just as one moved away or turned round the other way leaving me with the countryside or a deers rear end! I hate the time delay on some of the digital cameras, which often ruins what could have been a great shot! For you it always seems as they pose for the camera, you’ll have to tell me your secret. lol!
    I won’t get started on what this government has done in the last two budgets but suffice to say I doubt they will ever manage me to vote for them! Robbing the poor to pay the rich is certainly not the answer!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — March 28, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    • Graham, it’s not only that Paul lives in a part of the world where there are sights like this to see, but mainly it’s that he SEES it … most of us go around with our eyes closed to all the things happening around us

      Comment by Carina — March 28, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

      • How very true Carina, I myself don’t get out much due to my disabilitys but when I do I tend to see more than those with me. Being able to see through Paul’s pages does help keep my eyes open too and with such stunning scenery it never gets old!

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — April 1, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

      • Hi Carina, I would agree with you for most people do tend to rush around with their eyes closed these days. In my case it is more a case of not getting out much as I have disability’s that make getting up the hills and mountains very difficult. We are however very lucky in that we have a 31 year old Thomson caravan, which is how we got to know Paul, this allows us to get away now and again and be able to see some of the wonderful areas we have been to and hope to get to. A trip to Raasey is one we do plan on doing as soon as we have repaired the caravan.
        In my younger days I used to love to jump on the motorbike or get into the car and go for a drive up through the mountains and glens and have very many fond memories of some of the great places we have been to in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
        All the best

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — May 11, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  4. Hope the swineherd doesn’t find out about your beautiful postmistress!

    Comment by drgeo — March 28, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  5. Lovely eagle pics Paul. Now get on with painting back at Arnish!

    Comment by Lloyd — March 28, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  6. I think you should take Molly with you on the ship and let her steer the vessel like the guy on that other ship that you posted a picture of a few days ago!
    Counting down ’til my time on Raasay – just over 4 months to go!!

    Comment by francesp — March 29, 2012 @ 11:05 am

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