Life at the end of the road

June 30, 2012

Southerly wind Northerly swell :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:16 pm

It’s Friday evening now and there’s little chance of me finishing this but I’ll make a start anyway, last night saw me in bed at 21:00 and tonight I think it will be even earlier for we’re both shattered. Wifey through shifting furniture and looking after children and me from… well I’m not sure what exactly because I’ve not really done a great deal. A little painting today on what was supposed to be a poor day,

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a spell in the wheelhouse,

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and the usual routine checks in the engine room. However that’s it, I’m off to bed 🙂

A pretty grim Saturday almost behind me I’ll try and recall what happened during the rest of the week 🙂


I really think that we’ve been getting the best of the weather for months now. Even though the real west coast summer has finally arrived, that’ll be the damp humid miserable one that we’re all so fond of 🙂 Even though it seems to be here, we do, once again seem to be getting the best of it judging by the media. Torrential rain, railways closed, landslips and chaos for commuters, all that seems to have passed us by to the south and even the gloom that was forecast wasn’t half as bad as they said.

The second full day aboard the good ship Loch Striven began just as forecast however but that didn’t stop the ‘Beetleman’ hitching a lift south at 6:30am 😦

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You think I’m eccentric 🙂 how does charging about Glame in the mist and rain for twelve hours looking for beetles ‘grab you’ 🙂 After Forty years and 770 beetles he’s still at it despite publishing a book on the subject . Essential reading for anyone interested in Raasay coleopterans, it is I think now available in the alongside the wife’s ‘Arnish eggs’ 🙂



Leaving Mr Moore opposite Portree with his pitfalls and butterfly net I sped south

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to try and catch a glimpse of two sleek looking warships that had cleared Manish point fifteen minutes later. They must have been doing around 18knts for already they were slowing to negotiate the Raasay narrows.

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Pushing 40mph in the ‘Old Girl’ on the straights I caught the last one just before it disappeared round Rubh na Cloiche.

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A sleek modern craft with what looked like a low radar signature it showed up on the AIS ShipAIS  as the Royal Dutch Navy fast patrol vessel P841 Zeeland . Her slightly newer sister the Friesland having rounded the point before I arrived. I say newer but the Zeeland was only commissioned in October of last year and the Friesland in April of this

Offshore patrol vessel

approx. 3,750 tons full load

108.4 metres

16 metres

4.55 metres

2x MAN 12V28/33D diesel engines (5460KW each)

21.5 kts

5000 nm @ 15 kts

Boats and landing
craft carried:

  • 1 x Fast Rescue Boat (FRB)
  • 2x Fast Raiding Interception and Special Forces Craft (FRISC)

50 (+ additional space for 40)

Sensors and
processing systems:

Thales Sensor Integrated Mast,SeaMaster 400 air warning radar

SeaWatcher 100 active phased array surface detection and tracking radar. RNLN Combat system Guardion and Rohde & Schwarz / / EID‘s communication systems where on-board users have access to internal and/or external communication channels and integrated remote control of communications equipment.


Aircraft carried:
1 x NH90 helicopter[1]

Aviation facilities:
fully equipped hangar for one medium-sized helicopter

File:Holland class P 840 Holland (1).jpg


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Our day on the ferry was not too bad with ethereal mists creeping down the sound from Staffin to the north, the odd shower but nothing too severe. Wifey on the other hand reported constant pishing rain and mist at Arnish ten miles north until she left at 14:45 to catch the 15:30 ferry.

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Just as well for had she caught the earlier one it would have been rather noisy 🙂 An exuberant bunch from Portobello high school in Edinburgh making an enthusiastic exit from Raasay after a spell of activities at 

Another visitor to these parts that I’ve not seen before was this ex fishing boat with a distinctive Danish bow,

white horse

showing up on the AIS as the MV Orlik she is in fact the diving charter vessel White Horse and has been for quite a few years.

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One thing about this unpredictable weather it certainly provides atmospheric material, here’s the Aird at Braes, Ben Tianavaig and the Storr all looking like they’re on top of each other when they’re actually over ten miles apart 🙂


That was me home and then pretty much straight to bed, then straight back out of it at 5:50am to go to work at 6:30, or at least that’s what it felt like. This particular morning however it was just me and the ‘wee dug’, the Beetleman staying north but no amount of persuasion could prevent Molly coming.

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I really don’t why she bothers, she hates the ferry and only reluctantly lets you lift her on board, she then cowers for half an hour until we cast off and gets put in the Land Rover. At lunchtime she’ll get a wee walk or get dumped on Jessie Nicolson until I finish work at 19:15. All this instead of a day with wifey on the croft or in front of the fire. I dunno whether she’s extremely loyal or extremely dim 🙂

The arrival at our lovely pier was notable for the tension of the bow rope, the mooring line that faces the prevailing weather has been slack for weeks now if not months on account of all the north wind we’ve had of late. This change of direction not only bringing with it milder air but also more rain, though not half as much as everyone else got landed with. It was all around us, even at Arnish but I even managed a spot of painting.

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Pretty grim to the west and north but here on Raasay it was ‘just peachy’

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the only ‘landslips’ being man made ones 🙂 with not an oil skin or wellington in to be seen 🙂

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Another fresh sight was the tiny overfalls in the Raasay Narrows caused by the south wind meeting the flood, for long enough it’s been the ebb doing battle with the north wind as they push each other up and down the sound 🙂

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South the wind may have been but there was still no getting away from the northerly swell that had built up over weeks. Not obvious in this shot of the Golden Dawn punching north to Portree after a days fishing.

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A different story at our slipway however

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especially if you wanted to keep your feet dry 🙂

That was it really for Friday, our son finished school so we went to bed early and left him to shut the hens in 🙂


Well the less said about today the better for it has on the whole been pure miserable, typical July weather, wet, midge infested and cold 🙂 Not one single picture taken today, though I missed a cracker of a rare glimpse of sunshine on the ‘Golden cliff’ this morning. The Golden cliff being a sandstone cliff off Portree that faces east it catches the morning sun and the yellow stone turns gold, well it does if you have a good imagination 🙂 The normally quite day was alive with children and parents, two groups coming over from Skye for the day, probably 60 in all. Despite the weather they all seemed to be smiling and looked like they’d had a good day.


The monthly newsletter came out today full of lots of local interest and events.


   Raasay community news letter

electronic copies of which can be had from Joan or Lloyd our two development officers.

Here’s a small selection  

INVERARISH 1912 – 2012 (100 YEARS)

Friday the 13th July, 2012 has now been confirmed as the date on which the Community are to celebrate 100 years of Inverarish. A street party is to be held in the middle section of Inverarish Terrace from 3:00 to 5:00pm and it is hoped that as many people connected with Inverarish over the past century will come along and share photographs, stories, memories. Tables will be staged down the centre of the street and everyone is invited to bring and share some food. If on the day the weather is wet and wild, we shall decant into the Community Hall. A Photographer will be at the Street Party and photographs can be viewed the same evening at the Hall where orders can be taken.

Next briefing meeting for the street party is Thursday 5th July in Raasay Hall at 7:00pm.

There was news of ‘100 years of Inverarish’ and plans to celebrate with a street party

Another New Business Venture on Raasay

Barbara Camilli from Arnish has recently established herself as an official Egg Producer. Arnish Eggs is a means of supplying Raasay Stores with fresher, local eggs to replace the ones bought in from elsewhere. Barbara had decided to get hens for her own family croft and to supply themselves with fresh eggs, but after chatting to Caroline of Raasay Stores soon realised there was a market for supplying the local shop. Barbara continues….

.… “Anyone can sell eggs at the ‘farm gate’ but as I am selling to the shop I had to register with the Poultry Unit in Edinburgh. I am now officially an Egg Producer and Packing Station! Following an inspection by Malcolm Paris who is the Marketing Officer for this area, I can officially label the eggs as free range. That is what the codes are for on the labels. 1-UK-923-SCO is the production site code and UK-7-048 is the packing centre code.

The hens keenly supervised his visit!!

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I decided to get Calder Ranger hens which we’ve had before. They are a hybrid breed – otherwise known as ISA Browns which are very hardy and great layers, even throughout the winter season. Initially they were kept in an enclosed area, although a handful have been out free ranging since they arrived! Now that they’ve been here a couple of months and are really settled, the gate is left open. Although there are no real predators here, I close them in their houses at night. In the morning when they come out one or two at a time is the only time I can count them to see if they’re all there! as we have plenty space here a few extra wee chooks wouldn’t make much difference”.

Not only did Barbara thoroughly research what was required to set up her new venture, she kindly invited the local Primary school children to get involved and they designed the logos for the egg box labels. A competition was set, but the standard of their work was so high it was impossible to choose just one, so there are 12 different labels to collect!

Barbara would like to take this opportunity and say a Big THANKS to all at the school for their time and hard work. Also to Jane for her first ‘proper’ hen house, Sarah and Dave Bulmer from Skye Harvest for her second hen house and all the advice. Paul, Ross and Robert for all the help working on them, Donnie for the candling torch, Brian Wells (a Portree fisherman) for saving the lovely grit, Jessie for sharing her knowledge, all who have given egg boxes and who have bought eggs – especially Caroline! And a final thanks to Donald ‘the hen’ for supplying the chooks and doing all the sums.

An article by the ‘hen lady’ 🙂

and a calendar of events for the summer


Kids Treasure Hunt – Saturday, 30th June – time to be confirmed

Raasay Big Day Out! – Saturday, 7th July – 10am to 6pmFun for all! Taster sessions on all activities at Raasay Outdoor Centre. Try mountain biking, archery, kayaking, abseiling and much more. BBQ & Bouncy Castle.

Buy two get one free on selected activities throughout the summer

Kayaking session – Thursday, 19th July

Climbing & Abseiling – Thursday, 9th August


INVERARISH STREET PARTY – Friday, 13th July, 2012.



  1. The Dutch Naval vessel is certainly a stunning vessel, and one must assume most certainly up to the job. At least any pirates roaming close-by should get short shrift, unlike in some other areas of the globe.

    Comment by Richard — June 30, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    • Morning Richard, just wish I’d have set off for work ten minutes earlier to get some better pictures of the pair of them.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 1, 2012 @ 6:48 am

  2. I could not get a copy of the ‘ Beetle ‘ book from Amazon they said it was out of print – not true; so I got a signed copy from the author ! It is a superb reference book – and the intro to Raasay is fascinating.
    Hope the weather improves for you. Keep up the good work maintaining the Blog.

    Comment by SOTW — June 30, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

    • How did you manage that, mine’s not signed 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 1, 2012 @ 6:49 am

  3. ” I dunno whether she’s extremely loyal or extremely dim.”
    Do these have to be mutually exclusive ?

    Comment by drgeo — June 30, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    • Morning DrG,
      Do these have to be mutually exclusive ?

      probably not, 🙂 it’s 7:50 now wet windy and miserable, she’s curled up in bed with one eye open just waiting for me to make a move to the front door 🙂 If it were me I’d stay in bed 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 1, 2012 @ 6:52 am

  4. Hi Paul,
    That’s a great article for your Arnish Chooks, glad it’s working out well
    We’re off for some walking in Garfagnana, so not too far from your childhood home.
    Brilliant area as Mr Angelo thought when he was knocking out a David of the local hard stuff.
    Hope you all have a good week

    Comment by chrisbbbbb — July 1, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    • Morning Chris, is that in the Carrara mountains ??? beautiful spot if you can get away from the quarries and dust, how I’d love some of that in the new house. Cheap as chips in Carrara but a little expensive on delivery 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 5, 2012 @ 6:51 am

  5. i love the newsletter, hope you will blog the street party, and look fwd to mrs. LATEOTR’s egg blog. i love those chickens, man, they’re the healthiest chickens i’ve ever seen.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — July 2, 2012 @ 12:12 am

    • Morning Jeannette,

      had someonelses eggs the other day at work 😦 I’ve been spoilt 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 5, 2012 @ 6:53 am

  6. Great pictures, Paul – do you ever think of putting them into the BBC Children in Need calendar? They’e looking for ‘on the wild side’ shots this year and your picture of the Aird and Tianavaig and the Storr is a cracker!

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — July 3, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    • Glad you like the pictures Anne, everything has looked so photogenic of late with all this good weather 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 5, 2012 @ 6:57 am

  7. Hi Paul.
    Been away from my computer for a couple of days, iPhone getting fixed, so i’m just catching up with your blog. Glad to hear you’ve had a mention in your local mag, as good news always travels well. Maybe if wife’y talks to the chucky’s about it they’ll increase production. Hope the weather calms down and your able to start that big build soon, remember keep the Movalat for the back aches close to hand.

    Comment by politescouser — July 4, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

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