Life at the end of the road

May 16, 2012

Like winter :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:02 pm

I know, my last effort must have seemed exceedingly dull to the majority of folks but it’s been the highlight of the year for me. Well that and the shed, after all one of the reasons I built the shed, or should I say one of the reasons I got Hooky, Lachie and Angus to build the shed was to put the inverter in 🙂 Though in all fairness to SMA the Windy Boy WB1200  and most of their products are IP65 rated which means you can ‘spray powerful jets of water’ at it as described below.

Powerful water jets
Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 100 litres per minute
Pressure: 100 kN/m² at distance of 3m

However three minutes at 100lts a minute from a distance of 3m may be all well and good but that’s nothing compared to the weather we get up here, and anyway it looks far too nice to be outside 🙂

Anyway, I’m getting ‘all boring’ again so I’ll rewind back to Monday which was full of other things apart from the Powerspout. It was just that I didn’t actually get in the house until 21:40 and was too whacked to get it down on here.

The bargain water tank that I’d picked up on eBay was filling nicely, I’ve not got time to do the maths but it took 13 seconds to put one cup of water into it from the well. The tank is 3600lts and a cup 300ml so I’ll let you work it out but it seemed well over two thirds full after two days. As the tank was going to be lower than the primary filter tank I wanted to fit a ball cock to it to shut the water off that was going into it. Having water pouring out of it would not affect it’s performance in anyway but I felt (rightly or wrongly) that it would be better to have the excess water pouring out of the primary tank before it went through the ‘slow sand filter’. The logic being that less water through the filter would mean less cleaning.

There was a ball cock in the tank but I didn’t realize that until I got home, by which time the bronze shaft holding the float had broken with the bumpy ride 😦

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It was far from ideal but all I had to repair it was a bit of aluminium that I’d found on the seabed off Scalpay in around 1986. I remember it well, I was diving for clams near the Red Rocks east of where I was living and came across this in the sand, freshly lost and probably important with a decidedly military look about it 🙂 I hacked a bit off it about ten years ago to repair something else, typical ‘siege mentality’ 🙂

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Anyway I drew around that bronze bit that had broken, cut drilled and filed it into some kind of shape

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then bolted it to the broken shaft with small brass bolts. It’s not going to last very long, the acidic peaty water and galvanic corrosion between the aluminium and bronze will see to that. Much understood by mariners since the seventeenth century this corrosion between dissimilar metals has led to the catastrophic failures of many things designed by ‘landlubbers’ from plumbing systems to the Statue of Liberty 😦 Samuel Pepys in his time at the Admiralty was aware of it, but at that time knew not why it happened.  

With that sorted to my satisfaction I set off on the quad to fix it, only to have one of the track rod ends fall off 😦

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Luckily I had a spare and sorted it, eventually fitting the ball cock and getting home just before 22:00.


An early start saw me off to my parents on Tuesday to go for the now obligatory march with my dad around Loch Duich, though I did manage to get the 83 year old to stop for a few minutes on the beach.

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I told him it was just so he could tell me the names of the hills but really it’s because I was worn out. I am by no means unfit but this old goat can walk a person half his age into the ground 🙂

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We had lunch, I did a few jobs around the house for my parents and he went for another walk with the dogs, me I went back to work for a rest 🙂

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Well, I really can’t get too enthusiastic about today

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for this is what greeted me and I’m sick of it, it’s half way through May for fecks sake and there’s been barely a day that the Cuilins have not had at least a dusting of white stuff 😦 OK, there’s no midge yet, or even bracken but my feet are still freezing and it’s almost June, I really need a little warmth 🙂

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We even saw a basking shark today, but what he was actually basking in I’m not sure 🙂

basking shark

That was it really, the first full day at work passed off peacefully with nothing more exciting than the weekly bunkering of 3500lts of MGO (marine gas oil)

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and a becalmed sailing boat 🙂

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Actually it wasn’t becalmed at all, even in the light air of a 4knot breeze the Raasay House sgoth ‘Oigh Niesach sauntered along peacefully in the gentle swell from the north.



  1. Yes, we could all do with a bit of warming up. Even down here it’s perishing and still a dusting of snow on Ben Ledi and hardly a bluebell in sight! Och, I’m away to put my heating on…

    Comment by Carolyn — May 17, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    • Morning Carolyn, strange that, it’s been exceptional here for bluebells and primroses, they came out just before the cold snap and probably wished they hadn’t 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 19, 2012 @ 5:15 am

  2. Hi Paul, just catching up again as I missed yesterdays instalment, (had a PC free day for a change!) It is great to see the shed has power and the effort to get it there was indeed epic and interesting and I am sure others will certainly benefit from your blog on how it all came together.
    What a great couple of pics of ‘Dad’ he is looking well and the backdrop of the picture just make it a great memory picture which I am sure will be cherished by the family.
    The cold, wet, and windy weather has played havoc with my repairs to the Thomson, I really do not want to split open the skin to replace the timber which I cannot access from inside until we have a few dry days to get it done and the weather forecast keeps us waiting! Wish we had a big shed like yours, lol!
    Love the old Sgoth, they certainly keep it looking great and ship shape!
    Well I had better get on, all the best, Graham

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — May 17, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    • A PC free day Graham, that’s just what I was planning until the Arnish egg came along 🙂 Definitely not the weather for pulling caravans apart unless you have a big shed 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 18, 2012 @ 5:03 am

      • Bad weather again today, looks like this project is going to take longer than I thought!

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — May 18, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

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