Life at the end of the road

January 10, 2013

I have a complaint :-)

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:51 am

A lovely fresh day it’s been here on ‘the triangle’,

route map

though these days it only actually does the full ‘triangle’ of Tarbert, Lochmaddy, Uig on Sunday, the rest of the week it alternates between the two throughout the day. Though don’t quote me on this, most of my time is spent in the Control room below the waterline viewing the outside world through two TV screens in air conditioned ambivalence to the elements Smile Best check here for more reliable info Smile

Whilst most of my day was spent in the engine room, control room and various other machinery spaces I did manage a few glimpses of the outside world.



This being somewhere off the south of Harris as we approached Tarbert, no we’re not that close to the shore, it’s at 32x zoom Smile


And I could do with a little help on this one taken a few miles out of Uig and looking north or north west, again a long way off but methinks its Trodday and Fladdah Chuinn none of which I can confirm or spell. For it is now 13:00, I’m on my lunch break and have no internet somewhere half an hour out of Uig. Me having started writing this post at 20:00 last night in Tarbert Harris and given up about an hour later because my eyes were killing me Smile 

I thwacked my eye on Sunday with a twig and it’s been kind of sore but I don’t think the air conditioning helps because both eyes were sore, as soon as I step outside it’s fine but staring at a computer screen was doing me no favours.


So I gave up the luxury of the MV Finlaggan’s ‘Quiet lounge’


at just after 21:00 and went to my bed. It may well be quiet at sea but in harbour with the engines shut down and just the crew on board it’s far from silent it with a constant whirr of the air conditioning Smile Hardly a major gripe, as it’s the only complaint I have about this excellent ship Smile





Kilmuir in the north of Skye where Rocky our boar visited on a couple of occasions to go and service some sows, as you can see not much in the way of the trees he was used to Smile


Can’t remember the name of this lump on the way into Uig but its quite something.



Here we have Uig pier



and the rest of the ferry terminal.

Thursday 6:45am

Well I never finished the post (yet again) and it’s been sitting here on my hard drive  for 36 fours, so you might as well see it Smile Sorry it’s a bit lame but there’s a lot going on just now.


  1. Hi Paul,

    Have i missed something in the past posts or have you jumped ship,Lol.

    Loving the new posts on another ship and scenery but really looking forward to you working in your new shed now the floors sealed, “go get it dirty”

    Ps,,,, hope you will follow the new house build with plenty pics/info on the build.

    Take care mate


    Comment by willie — January 10, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    • Morning Willie,

      Just ‘clocking up’ up ‘sea time’ on the good ship Finlaggan, and apart from being away from home I’m actually really enjoying it 🙂 Concrete slab poured yesterday, pics to follow soon.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 12, 2013 @ 8:44 am

  2. thanks for the memories, Paul … when I was up last year I did a trip (as a foot passenger) from Uig to Tarbert and back as a foot passenger just for fun … next time (if there is a next time) I must take the car over and explore Harris

    Comment by cazinatutu — January 10, 2013 @ 8:03 am

    • Did an amazing summer trip via CalMac. Uig to Tarbert, a bus tour to Lochmaddy, then the ferry back to Uig. Good value for money,and a taster of the west side of Harris. Remember the sarnies and juice tho !

      Comment by SOTW — January 10, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  3. Hi – love to read your blog 🙂
    Just a thing that makes me wonder – when Islay was having the new ferry they spent millions of pounds on all three terminals. How come Finlaggan then can be used at other routes without changes to the terminals? Are these terminals more cleverly designed?

    Comment by Karl Ejnar Christensen — January 10, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    • Good morning Karl and welcome aboard,

      when Islay was having the new ferry they spent millions of pounds on all three terminals. How come Finlaggan then can be used at other routes without changes to the terminals? Are these terminals more cleverly designed?

      I dunno, I’ll find out.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 12, 2013 @ 8:41 am

      • The Bin Waggon is smaller than the Twins. Meaning that Finlaggan will fit wherever Clansman and Hebrides will. It is a is a bit bigger than the previous Islay boats so the berths needed sorting out, they may have had to put in new linkspans too.

        Comment by Phil Cook — January 12, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

      • Cheers for that little nugget Phil, i was asking around today but found out nothing.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 12, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

  4. Hi Paul

    Those islands are the Shiants, Eilean Mhuire on the right and Eilean na Taighe on the left. There is a wonderful book “Sea Room” by the ex-owner of the islands. Well worth a read if you havent seen it before. It is one of the islands I keep meaning to visit but havent made it yet. I just need someone with a boat who lives near by 😉

    Comment by Simon — January 10, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    • I don’t think those are the Shiants. If Paul was a few miles out from Uig they must be Gaeilavore Island on the left and Gearran Island with Lord Macdonald’s Table on the right and The Cleats between them.

      Tell you what Paul, nip up to the bridge next time you are passing and have a shuftie at the chart.

      Comment by Phil Cook — January 10, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

  5. Paul,

    At this rate with all your travels you will be eligible for a council tax rebate.

    Thought I recognised the Shiants, closest I came was a rib ride from Gairloch on a whale dolphin watching trip. All we saw was water and the odd gull and were no closer than a mile or so. Just had a look at a section of their site:

    Sounds like an adventure and some, not sure I would fancy being there in a tent though.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — January 10, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  6. Hi Paul, The group of islands are almost certainly “fladda chuain” which includes Lord MacDonalds’ Table etc ( a group of seven small islands I think). The other impressive rock “guarding” Uig would be “Stack Scuddiburgh” or maybe even “Scuddiburgh Stack” I miss Skye but its’ good to be away from the “blasted heath” called Kilmuir. Anyway, cheers, and all the best from Morayshire.

    Comment by arthur — January 10, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

    • Which is the blasted heath 🙂 ? Dunvegan, Uig …?

      Comment by San — January 11, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

      • That will be Kilmuir San, not a tree in sight and basted by wind from all directions 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 12, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    • Morning and Happy New Year Arthur, was hoping you’d chip in as I was certain you’d know 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 12, 2013 @ 8:34 am

      • > That will be Kilmuir San, not a tree in sight and basted by wind from all directions 🙂

        What I was wondering was, “Which Kilmuir?” :). The one by Dunvegan, or by Uig? I expect it’s really obvious 🙂

        Comment by San — January 12, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

  7. I stand corrected on my terrible geography skills. I still need someone with a boat to take me to the Shiants one day though 😉

    Comment by Simon — January 11, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

  8. Hi Paul,
    I’ve got the book “Sea Room” quoted above, was given it as a Christmas present 2011. I managed to read most of it but found it a bit heavy going, so gave up. Will post it to you if you would like to read it. It was written by Adam Nicholson about 10 years ago, I think he was planning to give the islands to his son when the son reached 21, as had happened with his father and him. I think Adam is related to the Victorian? gardener/writer Vita Sackville West, and is married to the current-day gardener Sarah Raven. I met him last summer when I attended an open day at her garden in Sussex. Could see the Shiants as we approached Rhenigidale on Harris last October on our way to working party at the hostel there

    Comment by francesp — January 12, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    • Hi Frances, I have a copy thanks and yes it now belongs to his son who visits the north end of Raasay regularly.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 12, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

  9. “there’s a lot going on just now.”
    What’s afoot?

    Comment by drgeo — January 12, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

  10. Hey Paul make sure you sell a lot of my books to the folk on board. There were rakes of them in the coffee shop last time I was on board

    Comment by Across the Minch — January 19, 2013 @ 12:19 am

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