Life at the end of the road

April 8, 2012

‘My’ Generator :-)

Filed under: boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:13 pm

Not such a good day today for the visitors on Raasay, well not such a good day for anyone really, apart from the beginning and the end the rest of it was pretty damp and breezy 😦 No weather data I’m afraid as the console has been packed away and I’m not sure where, this ‘decluttering’ has certainly left a few casualties ‘missing in action’ so to speak. Occasionally some alarm will go off somewhere in the house to indicate where we’ve put some gadget or another but it rarely lasts long enough to actually find it 🙂

It wasn’t too bad a start at the ‘north end’ and the first task of the day, to catch the  three Tamworth boars for Iain MacKay at 


went without a hitch.

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The boys were loaded into a crate on the back of the quad rather than risk the Land Rover getting ‘bogged’, then the crate was just slid across into the trailer with minimal effort.

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Molly the ‘wee dug’ as usual in the thick of things 🙂

The ‘Bin bag fairy’ season is here

The next job was to go ‘pig spotting’ as we’d lost Toots and Bramble, not that I was too worried as they’ll always come back eventually. However the fact that they’d not actually turned up for last nights dinner had me more cross than concerned. Cross because it probably indicated that the followers of the ‘Bin Bag Fairy’ had arrived. This cult and its disciples are hard to distinguish amongst the many tourists that visit. They are just as likely to be driving a Saab as paddling a canoe or riding a bike but they all do the same friggin things, they leave black bin liners full of shite for the Bin Bag Fairy to collect and leave the fecking gates open for her to shut.

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Sure enough Toots and Bramble were stuck at the other side of the Torran gate that some halfwit had left open and some responsible person had then closed. Looking none the worse for their night out in the rain I let them through and fed them before going on to Torran to deliver some fuel.

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Setting off for work nice and early so as not to bump the ‘three little piggy’s’ about too much i arrived at work at 9:20 to find the traffic piling up 🙂 Regular visitor, blog follower and beer enthusiast Green Van Man had had enough 🙂

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Servicing a Perkins 4.4TGM

After a packed Sailing, large breakfast, terrorist attack, fire on car deck and grounding (all drills apart from the first two) I got on with servicing ‘my generator’ 🙂

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I say ‘my generator’ because I’ve just noticed that apart from a couple of ‘belt checks’ I’ve done all the servicing and I’m guessing my ‘back to back’ has coincidently done all the work on the starboard one 🙂

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All was pretty straight forward in this ‘service schedule’, pretty much the only thing not covered is the valve clearances that are done every 1000h

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This is one of the daily jobs, cleaning the sea water strainer.

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Oil filter changed and 8lts of fresh Mobilgard 312 a ‘straight 30w’ in the sump.

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Back of the ‘Jabsco’ pump removed and checked for wear, this one is worn but will do another 500h at least. You can just turn them around if you’re really stuck but then that wears all the part numbers off 😦

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The impeller that circulates the seawater around the heat exchangers was then removed but that was replaced as cracks were just beginning to develop. Best not to take any chance with these, if they break up they can at best clog up your heat exchanger and at worst overheat your engine 😦

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Fuel and air filters followed by a check of the belts, hoses, clips and electrical connections just about finished it off. Then feeling quite satisfied I went ‘upstairs’ after a test run to be greeted by pishing rain and wind 😦 Which was a bit of a downer as my next job was to go and do some work on my caravan and that was outside 😦

Getting soaked whilst disconnecting the services, removing the chocks and greasing the jacks I returned to the ferry just as the sun came out 🙂

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Our last sailing coinciding with the return of the fish farmers in their landing craft Lady Gael which got quite a pasting as she came into Loch Sligachan with the wind against the tide.

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As you can see it’s very localised and she was soon expertly fastened to her mooring.

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The last trip done we managed to get caught in a ‘tying up shower’ before the sun came out once more, after all, it is April 🙂

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Taken from Cnoch nan Uan, ‘the hill of the lamb’ this picture does not do the fine view of the Brochel loch, rainbow and Torran hills justice.

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This one’s better but I was trying to catch the clearly visible (to the eye) ancient walls

old dyke

on the top picture, right of centre.

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Then it was up to the new house/barn site to see in daylight the area that Hooky had levelled for the caravan

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and the first bits of our barn on site 🙂

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Then after a dinner of ‘Eddy’s chops’ it was back outside to repair yet another puncture and go ‘pig spotting’ once more 😦

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The pigs were eventually found in their house so I can’t blame that on anyone 🙂 However it gave me a good excuse to check out one of secret gems of Arnish, this hidden cove with a little cascade amongst the aspen trees 🙂

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That was it really

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I took some pictures of our lovely garden (shameless plug) and called it a day 🙂

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Record numbers ??

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:04 am


Gosh it’s Easter already and it’s kind of crept up on me without noticing it. Long gone are the days when I had a ‘proper job’ in the city and used to count the days down from Christmas to Easter and the first proper holiday of the year. The vacation was always well planned in advance, usually around the start of the year and inevitably on an island, usually Mull. It would invariably involve diving and towing a boat at least 400 miles behind a Land Rover, or latterly the relative luxury of a Range Rover, though that was in the early eighties so not that ‘latterly

The trip would be meticulously planned with ‘slack water’ calculated for all the wrecks that we’d have lined up for ‘bashing’. Bashing being attacking anything and everything  on the seabed that looked like non ferrous metal 🙂 I think in those days we got between £800 and £900 a ton for copper and brass with lead fetching a measly £40 so not worth lifting and we rarely bothered with it. Now it’s ten times that to the detriment of many a church roof and railway signal cable 😦

Nowadays Easter just arrives, still very welcome but no where near as eagerly awaited, probably because I consider a great deal of my life a holiday :-) 

The weather might not have been up to much but that certainly didn’t stop people visiting Raasay,

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or, as in the case of ‘Green van man’ revisiting Raasay 🙂

For yesterday on Good Friday we had 106 cars, 2 mini busses and three commercial vehicles, though I’m sure a few of them will be leaving with punctures and suspension damage 😦 I know the roads are atrocious on Raasay but some of these Audis, Volkswagens, Volvos and Fords are so low to start with they don’t stand a chance when full of families and luggage. Many of them struggle getting on the ferry, let alone up Calum’s road.

Apart from loading and unloading cars not a great deal was achieved really, my fairlead project being abandoned due to wind and rain. With the sudden drop in temperatures this last week or so, the last thing I expected to see on my way home from work was a flowering rhododendron bush.

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The weather certainly has gone barmy, if not balmy, we’ve barely had any frost this winter and I saw one of these still in flower in October once.

image OK, it past its best but this is the west coast of Scotland not Devon 🙂

After that it was straight home to bed, well, after a chat with ‘Green Van Man’ who kindly gave me a bottle of which I’m going to sample when I get home 🙂


This morning started off with a huge tide that had just stepping straight onto the boat at deck level.

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The equally impressive low tide enabling us to give the tide gauge a good clean.

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The tide actually being around 100mm below ‘chart datum’, but me thinks that Balfour Beatty’s ‘chart datum’ is actually higher than the real one 🙂

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During my lunch break I went to look at our new home 😦


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It’s going to take some getting used to 🙂 Still I’m sure I’ll keep you all well entertained when I tow it to Arnish behind the Land Rover 🙂

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I did manage a little more work on the ‘fairlead rollers’ and some seals on the pressure washer

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but the pressure washer pump had a cracked ceramic piston

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so that was only 99% successful 😦

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Still, all I have to do is phone Bruce at in Cumbria and a new one will soon be in the post. The pressure washer on the good ship Loch Striven certainly gets well used and the Ehrle one that we have hard wired and plumbed into the ‘forward voith space’ is a bit like the ten year old broom that has had three heads and two handles 🙂

Having said said most off the damage has been caused by abuse rather than poor quality of the Italian pump and Polish motor, which brings me onto Bruce. Whilst the German made is a fine bit of kit the spares cost an arm and a leg. A W140 pump bought from them will cost you around £500 whereas buying one from Bruce who purchases them direct from the Italian manufacturer will cost you half that. Same goes for the motor, £400 from Ehrle, £200 from Bruce. Not only that but he’s on the end of the phone for advice and really knows his stuff.

I know, it’s a bit boring and lame but it’s 7:00am now on Easter Sunday and I’ve to go and ‘roll a pig’ 🙂 well more a case of catch three and put them in a crate. Then I have to go and look at our new shed/house site that Lachie and Hooky have been working on 🙂

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