Life at the end of the road

February 19, 2013

Incommunicado :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:13 pm

One of the few good things to come out of all this training came to light in a recent trip home, wifey says to me “I’ve never spoken to you as much since you went away” Smile  Sad but true, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ as they say and I’ve certainly been hammering the phone allot since September. So much so that I had a ‘pure flakey’ when my first phone bill came in, some £185 no less !!!!!! Sad smile Now that may be no big deal for some folk but I’ve had a 600min contract for less than a tenner a month since ‘Adam was a lad’ and I’ve never exceeded it. That was until I went to South Shields when I did it twice, spectacularly Sad smile

Anyways after a word with a nice man called Rajeev at Vodafone they did knock me £15 off and I’ve not done it since, and one thing for sure, I’ll not be doing it this month. Despite making out a list and carefully packing my bag before filling myself full of lager, I have somehow managed to forget my phone charger Sad smile Nay problem thinks I, I can charge it via the USB port on my laptop, not a chance, despite my phone telling me that it’s ‘charging’ whilst plugged in, it isn’t Sad smile In fact it’s gone from being a little charged to being dead flat and I’ve tried it on two computers Sad smile Not only that but nobody seems to have a charger that will fit it Sad smile Looks like I’ll have to start emailing the wife instead Smile

Pure peachy

Well, if yesterday was spectacular then today was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious   seriously, I cannot believe this weather, or the fact that I’ve not seen any smoke or smelt burning heather. It is the kind of spell that all good pyromaniacs dream of, and believe me there are hoards of them up here Smile Right from first light just after 7:00am, when the fish farmers set off for work it was beautiful.



The ‘Jodie Anne’ set off first with her container of hydrogen peroxide, closely followed by the ‘Tie Venture’ who would no doubt be assisting in the delousing. Shortly afterwards we departed for Uig and around four hours later were back across the Minch in Tarbert on Harris, where these two charter boats were lying peacefully at their moorings in East Loch Tarbert.


Map picture



This  ‘Wildcat 53’ belonging to looks a very seaworthy and stable craft and can be chartered for trips, expeditions, logistical support or visits to St Kilda.,_Scotland


Another fine craft ready for St Kilda charters is Sea Harris’s Enchanted isle an ‘Interceptor 42’ built by Safehaven Marine in Ireland.

In between spells down below I popped up now and then to look at the Minch and some of it’s many islands.


The Shiants I think Smile 



Not sure what this is



Trodday an Fladda Chuinn, maybe Smile

It must have been a spectacular day on dry land as it was warm on the sea,



so sunny in fact that the shell plating on the black part of the hull reached an unbelievable 37 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, that will be were the hull is black on the outside Smile Funnily enough on the inside of the hull you could tell where ‘Caledonian MacBrayne’ was painted on the outside in white, as it was around 10 degrees cooler, still a respectable 26 or 27 though. I know, I know, I can’t have much to do if I’m wandering around with a thermometer your thinking, well I just happened to be passing with one in my hand Smile 



The hills of Harris from Skye, or at least quite close to it.


The Ascrib Islands and the Snizort peninsula as we approached Uig



and of course the Cuilins, from the same spot around 17:40, magic Smile



  1. I am hoping to be on one of those lovely boats in September in St Kilda, can’t wait to finally visit. Hopefully they won’t need my island spring skills 😉

    I am on Skye tomorrow, if you emerge from your hole and see a black Nissan note with a roof box say hello. I might even bring you a phone charger 🙂

    Comment by simon — February 19, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

    • I went a couple of years ago with Seamus (Sea Harris). Magical experience! Until the islands appeared out of the mist, I couldn’t help feeling I was going somewhere that only existed in fiction.

      Comment by Nick Bennett — February 20, 2013 @ 12:15 am

      • Hi Nick, I should really visit myself, I’ve been just about everywhere else.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

    • Hi Simon, you certainly have picked a great week for it, I’ll keep the periscope on lookout 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  2. Why not Skype your videophone call?

    Comment by Drgeo — February 19, 2013 @ 11:40 pm

    • He hasn’t got much allowance on the satellite Internet connection – it will cost him an arm and a leg if he goes over the limit.

      Comment by Nick Bennett — February 20, 2013 @ 12:10 am

      • You can use skype to make calls to landlines… cheap too.

        Comment by patrick — February 20, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

      • Hi Patrick, it’s my data allowance that’s a killer 😦 Only 8Gb for £50 a month, I’m cheaper using the phone which is actually free for many calls.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

    • Why not Skype your videophone call?

      I should be so lucky DrG 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

  3. I thought that title was a Marillion reference at first….. keep the photos coming stunning sight for the eyes.

    Comment by mike — February 20, 2013 @ 12:59 am

  4. Thats the thing with those infra red thermometers, once you pick them up you can’t help pointing them at everything you can find!

    Comment by Kev — February 20, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    • Hi Kev,

      once you pick them up you can’t help pointing them at everything you can find!

      you’re right there, everything from the fire to the dog 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

  5. Hi Paul, some years ago we swore we could see Palm Trees on Rona from Ashaig Sands on Skye – turned out just to be the heat haze playing havoc with the horizon and our minds!
    And, no, no whisky involved!

    The weather on Skye has been great too, except early in the morning when the Litter is still frozen to the ground.

    Comment by Alasdair Munro (Kyleakin Environmental Group) — February 20, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    • Hi Alasdair and welcome aboard 🙂 I wouldn’t surprised if there were palm trees on Rona 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

  6. Hi Paul, I was on the Finlaggan LMA-UIG in December and she’s more like a cruise ship than a ferry! As for these islands, the first lot are indeed the Shiants, left to right Eilean Taighe (House Island), Eilean Garbh (Rugged Island) and Eilean Mhuire (Mary’s island).

    The ones below are first Lord Macdonald’s Table (the oblong shaped one) and then in the last photo, the wedge shaped one on the right is Gaelivore but I don’t know what the wee one on the left is – the chart on my wall doesn’t give it a name. It’s not Trodday or Fladda Chuainn, though.

    Comment by Neil King — February 20, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    • What one is known as the Dutchmans Cap ?

      Comment by SOTW — February 20, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

      • Dutchman’s Cap (or Bac Mor in gaelic) is in the Treshnish Islands off the west coast of Mull.

        Comment by Neil King — February 20, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    • Cheers for that Neil, I really must go up to the bridge more 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

  7. Great photos, makes me feel hebrides-sick (as in home-sick but they’re not my home so can’t call it home-sick), according to the weather forecast on the tv, Paul, the NW of Scotland seems to be having the best of the weather at the moment. would love to go to St Kilda! will have to try and do it sometime when I’m up in the area. My suggestion for the islands in the pictures (after the one of the Shiants) is first pic Gaeilavore Island, and the second one Gearran Island on the left and Lord Macdonald’s Table on the right, but I might be wrong! I’m looking at my North Skye OS map.

    Comment by Frances — February 20, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

    • Hi Frances, think your right, Neil’s a bit of an anorak (expert) 🙂 🙂 🙂 no ‘fence Neil

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

      • None taken Paul but it sent me to root out a series of photos of these islands I took in the 80s when I sailed very close to them (probably much closer than is recommended in the Admiralty Sailing Directions). Also, I checked on the large scale OS map on,865755&st=4&mapp=idld.srf&searchp=s.srf&dn=680&ax=91500&ay=868500&lm=0

        The island with the oblong profile you captioned “Not sure what this is” (first one under the Shiants), is in fact two islands divided by a slice a bit like a cake. You can see this on Google Earth. The one nearest you (the westmost which obsures the other) is called Gearran and the one behind (east-most) is Lord Macdonald’s Table. However, from most angles, you can’t see the slice and would never know they were, in fact, two islands which is why I’ve always regarded them as one by the very appropriate name of “Table”.

        In the same photo, the land on the left in the middle distance is Trodday and the mountain on the right in the distance is Slioch (on the east side of Loch Maree).

        In the next photo, which you captioned “Trodday and Fladda Chuinn, maybe”, the wedge shaped one on the right is Gaelavore (very recognisable from the 45 degree angle) and the OS 25k map reveals the one on the right to be called Thon Eilean which I never knew before. The mountains in the background are on the east side of Loch Maree. I don’t know their names but they’re a profile which is recognisable as you’re driving down Slattadale from Gairloch.

        I’ve always just known these islands as the Table and Gaelivore, the one with the 45 degree wedge so it’s interesting to delve in to the detail. Also round here is Comet Rock, and the Fisherman. Years since I sailed round there but brings back memories of beating wind over tide.

        Comment by Neil King — February 21, 2013 @ 11:29 pm

  8. hi paul can you get a orange signal (good job the mods are not about) the supermarkets do a no contract monthly 600 mins for £12 not certain of network I get 300 min for £7. 50 or 600 for £10 with Utility Warehouse

    a have you finished at school in SS ?
    Pest wishes Patrick (bxman)

    Comment by Patrick Allfrey — February 20, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    • Hi Patrick and welcome, Vodafone is the best network for calls here and 3 the only one that gives 3g internet, back down in South Shields on the 11th March if you want me to take those batteries.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

      • That would be great how long are you there for?

        Comment by Patrick Allfrey — February 21, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

      • Hi Patrick, just down there for two weeks, though I am hoping to meet up with knighty who lives nearby as I have a battery charger for him.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

  9. no edit I see UW is on the orange (EE) mins are same for LL or mobile.

    Comment by Patrick Allfrey — February 20, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  10. Funny you mentioned the lack of burning. There was a large patch of the hillside over the loch from Sconser alight at lunch time, and another patch over the East side of Raasay. Sconser is a real mess at the moment, works related cars parked up in the middle of the road is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Comment by Simon — February 20, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

    • Hi Simon,

      I’ve a Raasay man here with a box of matches ‘burning a hole in his pocket’ 🙂 🙂 keep an eye out for more smoke to the north 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

  11. Dear Mr Adams,
    A while back I was having trouble with my internet provider Q-Sat and wrote to them complaining they offer low prices to newbies but higher prices for less service to existing customers. Just to emphasize my point, I copied my email to every Sinn Féin MP in Ireland. Apparently Q Sat has never heard of your organization because I never had the courtesy of a reply. Perhaps if you took out adverts on Q-Sat?

    Comment by drgeo — February 21, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    • Hi DrG, by a bizarre coincidence (or not) Q-sat just phone the house today 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

  12. Hi, thinking of moving to Unst. Whats your views on the island?
    PS: Were the trucks off to Benbecula?

    Comment by monitoringmatterspat — February 22, 2013 @ 12:09 am

    • Good morning Pat, and welcome.

      do you mean Unst in Shetland or Uist in the Outer Hebrides ??? there’s a big difference and I’ve never been to the former.

      My only experience of Uist has been a few days diving and a spell of repairing some outboard motors there about twelve years ago. All I really remember was that there was an awful lot of lochs and not very many trees. There were some lovely places and some wild windswept places, the locals were very friendly and the clam diving excellent 🙂 Far nicer here though 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:46 am

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