Life at the end of the road

July 17, 2012

Wullie’s on the ball :-)

Filed under: boats, New hybrid ferry, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:26 pm

I never really got finished on the posting front last night, didn’t really do Sunday’s epic justice, let alone have time to witter on about Monday. As it was heading up for midnight when I finished scribbling last night and the previous night it had been almost 1:00am when I turned in, I thought I’d just ‘call it a day’.

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Monday morning blues is certainly something I never suffer from, it being my last full day at work I’m usually off early and full of enthusiasm. Hard as some people may find it to believe I still really enjoy my eleven mile drive to the ferry terminal. I like the solitude, the view and the wildlife, and few days fail to turn up something of interest. This fine young stag with antlers still covered in velvet being Monday mornings highlight.

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A busy day both on the ferry and on the sea, fine weather and much painting made it fly by, my spell in the wheelhouse coinciding with the passage of Marine Harvest’s NabCat Ailsa Craig.


A fine Croatian built catamaran that joins the Estonian Bradhan Mor one that they already have.

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She was also in the vicinity but not close enough for a picture so here’s one from last year, I think she’s steel whilst the Ailsa Craig is aluminium. Be interesting to see how they fare in a few years time, much as I love aluminium boats for their lightness and lack of rust they can be prone to severe corrosion in bizarre places due to electrolysis. Steel is certainly far more ‘idiot proof’ a major plus point in any work boat 🙂

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And speaking of idiots

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the whole of the car park and slipway to park on yet two canoeists park right next to the BIG YELLOW signs saying ‘ferry traffic queue here’ and discharge the contents of their car on the slipway and pier. Of course they failed to mention that they weren’t actually in the queue to any of the customers that parked behind them. OK, I know it’s no big deal buy why??? is it any wonder that the people of Sconser do not want a larger car park here if it encourages fools like this to take it over, I despair.

I really don’t have a problem with kayakers as they prefer to be called, I was a ‘hobby diver’ for years and guilty of much worse. Taking over car parks, baring my ar5e whilst getting changed, jamming up slipways with my gear and of course going out in bad weather and getting rescued 😦 Yes I’ve done it all but it’s not until you are on the other side of the fence that you realize what a prick you’ve been. So in the unlikely event that any of the people I’ve offended or have rescued me are reading this, ‘I’m sorry’ 🙂

Honest guys (for it is always the boys) no one is impressed by all your RIBs, diving gear, expensive kayaks or jet ski’s, they just think that your an inconsiderate jerk for cluttering up harbours, slipways and car parks 🙂 Not that the sedentary sea kayak should be ever compared to the ‘loathsome tool’ but any inconsiderate weekend hobby type always makes me think of this.

Ode To A Jet-Ski Person was written by Michael Leunig and comes from Poems 1972-2002, published by Viking.

Ode To A Jet-Ski Person

Jet-ski person, selfish fink,

May your silly jet-ski sink,

May you hit a pile of rocks,

Oh Hoonish, summer, coastal pox.

Noisy, smoking, dickhead fool

On your loathsome leisure tool,

Give us all a jolly lark

And sink beside a hungry shark.

Scream as in its fangs you go,

Your last attention-seeking show,

While on the beach we all join in

With ‘Three cheers for the dorsal fin!’

After leaving Sconser for Raasay another craft hove into view,

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the 80’ long converted ex fishing boat Glen Massan that tours the west coast along with her sister the Glen Tarsan for Majestic line cruises.

Not the prettiest of boats with their rather ungainly superstructure but certainly converted to a very high standard and perfect for what they do.

 Deck cabin

Bird watching

Not really my cup of tea but I can certainly see the attraction of cruising right up some of Scotland’s remoter sea lochs where larger boats dare not go and smaller ones would be ‘roughing it’ 🙂

Naming the new ferry

From CMAL’s website yesterday,


Voting opens on the shortlist to name the world’s first sea going hybrid ferry

It has been whittled down to just four names

  • Corbett class                   Glamaig     (one of the Red Hills on Skye)
  • Scottish Fort class           Dun Caan    (the highest hill on Raasay)
  • Scottish Literary class     Hallaig         (a poem named after a place in Raasay)
  • Scottish Seabird class      Fulmar
  • Scottish Inventor class    James Watt    (Scottish inventor of the steam engine)

and the winner will get to see the launch 🙂 so you’ve got until the 31st of August to vote online.

With both crews, all six of us scheduled for months of training and working on larger boats, talk at work has been of little else. Most of us have to do engine room and navigational watch keeping, the skippers must go for masters tickets and us ‘motormen’ on electrical courses.

For a short while at least the eyes of the whole world will be on Raasay which can be no bad thing. Extra crew jobs will hopefully go to local people , or at least folk who will stay here and breed 🙂 There should be a good deal more traffic generated by interest in the ferry and Raasay House will at last be finished. I can’t think of a better place for a holiday 🙂 For this time next year a rare photo opportunity should exist.

The worlds oldest sea going passenger carrying paddle steamer,

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and the worlds first sea going RoRo hybrid ferry alongside our beautiful new pier 🙂 A ‘steamer dreamers’ well dream 🙂


Yet another great day whilst the rest of the country suffers and myself once more in an annoyingly good mood, despite spending much of it repairing toilets. It’s always the ladies 🙂 though to be fair, no sooner had I fixed the starboard side ladies cistern when the port gents ball cock got clogged with a lump of bladderwrack .

Aptly named, for those little hollow floats on the fronds have a habit of wracking the ball cock and preventing the contents of your bladder getting flushed down the loo 🙂

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Earlier than booked, and doing a roaring trade on Raasay just now was Willie’s


Volvo with a load of blocks for one of the construction projects at Clachan.

Seeing that Willie was over anyway I half jokingly asked about a delivery to Arnish and before I knew it Lachie had taken him up Calum’s road in his pickup to survey the route 🙂

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Willie certainly is ‘on the ball’ for he said he’d have a go 🙂 Quite what I’m going to do if he only gets half was is something that I’ll deal with later 🙂

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Duncan from Eyre Plant’s  been up to Arnish with his eight wheeler, Colin from Robinson’s with his artic, the bin lorry comes up, the coal lorry comes up but the friggin oil tanker won’t 😦

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Speaking of which, there it goes on the back of Fraser’s Scania at 15:00, looks like Fraser has had a paint job to match the ‘eight wheeler’ 🙂

Raasay’s oldest resident 🙂

Not only did the Inverarish centenary get a mention in the WHFP but it was also on the BBC news yesterday, of course I never saw it because I can’t work the telly but I found it ‘on line’ and had to laugh when I watched the video. No offence Anne but typical media reporting and out by several years 🙂

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  1. Hi Paul,

    Loved the Leunig poem, it’s one of my favourites. Michael Leunig lives here in Victoria and really knows how to prick our national conscience at times with his cartoons and poems. I like the name Dun Caan for your new ferry.

    Comment by Iain-Down under — July 17, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

    • Morning Iain down under, wondered where you were, not heard from you in ages. Dun Caan is my favourite too, though I would have preferred the ‘Loch Arnish’ or ‘Loch a Sgurr’

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  2. Trust the BBC to get it wrong…Shame the real oldest islander did not get a mention..but she is well loved and a respected nonagenarian by all who know her. BBC your loss.
    Re the canoeists at Sconser – hope they paid their dues ? Saw a caravan there hooked to the gents loo tap or at least to the plumbing under the tap, so no water for hand washing!
    The young stag looks magnificent.
    Don’t fret if bricks get could build an extra ‘halfway house’..soreeee! x

    Comment by SOTW — July 18, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    • Hi She,

      half way house indeed 🙂 not sure which cave you mean though 😦 perhaps you could enlighten me when next you’re up 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  3. That was certainly a fine young stag you encountered.Mind you, that is the first one I have seen with it’s own warning sign attached to its antlers :-). Congratulations Inverarish on your 100th birthday.

    Comment by Andy — July 18, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

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