Life at the end of the road

April 11, 2013

Awaiting sunrise

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 4:59 am

Well this has certainly been an interesting trip Smile My introduction to the third boat in the CalMac fleet to bare the name Hebrides has been anything but dull. Straight into an overnight shift on Monday to guard the ramp and now a proper six hour shift to clear traffic stranded by our sister the MV Isle of Lewis   that suffered a breakdown today. Consequently I was once more sent to my bed in the late afternoon for a kip, something I really enjoyed after the roast beef dinner, once again nodding off with absolutely no problem due to the Minch’s roll and the engines purr.

Raised at 23:45 to get ready for the arrival at Tarbert with its mooring operations and then a spell on watch in the bridge as we plied south westwards toward our berth in Lochmaddy on North Uist.


Now I’m just about to go to bed after spending the last coupe of hours in the cafeteria keeping an eye on the forward mooring ropes, releasing the brake every hour or so as the tide rises and watching the sky brighten in the east.



Yesterday was a pure peach of a day and Thursday looks like more of the same, though I’ve no idea when I’m likely to get back online, my berth is calling and I’m really looking forward to it Smile



This will be entering Tarbert with the island of Scalpay in the distance,



same place but a different angle, this time looking towards Harris.



This is us just arriving at Tarbert in Hebrides III


And this will be Hebrides II some time before 1985, just look how much the monkey puzzle has grown Smile

One of the tasks for today was to check the twenty ELSA EEBA’s ‘emergency escape breathing apparatus’ and refill one.


Well if there’s one thing that I can do it’s fill BA cylinders, having spent some thirty or so years diving and most of them for a living Smile



  1. Funny hours for both of us then.. Mine was 13:00 to 01:30 this morning. Your weather is looking like last year all over again Paul, it’s dry here but grey and no warmth in that sun yet. The trees are still hanging on to patches of snow aswell..

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — April 11, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  2. Will the Isle of Lewis German built replacement be powered like the Hallaig ? or is that still secret. Wonder why it is not being built on the Clyde to keep the shipyards in work, after all they built the QE 2 ! so they must have some knowledge of shipbuilding, and they did build parts of our new aircraft carrier prior to its being shipped to the east coast to be joined up/welded.

    Comment by SOTW — April 11, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    • Morning She from a wet and windy Arnish X The ship is well out of the league of any UK shipbuilder I’m afraid 😦 Judging by how long the Hallaig is taking a ship the size of the Loch Seaforth wouldn’t be ready this side of the next decade 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 14, 2013 @ 9:17 am

  3. Spending your night in the cafeteria watching the tide rise sounds like fun, if the baker was also busy making fresh cinnamon buns! At least there was plenty of coffee.

    Comment by drgeo — April 11, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

  4. Hi Paul, seeing the pics of Tarbert brought back memories from around 10 years ago. I took an agency shift delivering jar sweets to all of the stores on the island. My sailing from Ullapool was cancelled due to severe weather, and when i got a slot, the crossing wasnt much smoother! The ferry(lord of the isles i think ) spent most of the journey with its bow submersed in the minch, lunging like a see saw! and i with my head down a toilet, while some hardy Mckaskill drivers knocked back pints LOL . mind you it had been around 12 years since id been on a ‘big’ ferry so my sea legs were very ‘green’!
    Stunning scenery as usual from your daily grind!.

    Comment by Gordon — April 13, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    • Hi Gordon, glad it ‘brought up’ some memories for you 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 14, 2013 @ 9:01 am

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