Life at the end of the road

April 24, 2013

Just like on the Striven :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:00 pm

A fine day it’s been here in the Minch, perhaps a tiny wee shower or two but not enough to spoil your day or even ruin a paint job. There’s still been a good hash of west wind but not enough to ‘rock the boat’ or even require extra mooring ropes. In short it’s been a lovely day to be at sea and I could think of far worse things to be doing, like being at college Sad smile 



The morning got off to a busy enough start with what I guess must be the largest marshalling of articulated lorries ever seen at 7:00am on a Harris car park. There were eight in all, seven from DSV, returning empty, having delivered a new football stadium to Back FC ,


though there’s no mention of it on their website but one of the drivers definitely said ‘Back FC’, perhaps its a secret stadium Smile

There was also the mobile cinema, ‘Screen Machine’ a regular visitor to the Highlands and islands. Finally the gas tanker and a dozen or so cars and vans, so all in all a pretty full load.

The sea seemed far less crowded today with just the odd warship and plane, though that could well have been because I only had one shot on the helm. A lovely sailing from Uig to Lochmaddy with the sun behind and the wind on the nose, a good 20 or so knots of westerly that had brilliant white horses scudding across an emerald coloured sea. Actually it was blue but emerald sounds better and the tide race off Waternish point was like a whole cavalry charge of stallions but I think I’m getting a little carried away now Smile Seriously though it was beautiful and I was confident enough at the helm now to actually enjoy it, something in evidence by the lack of sweaty palms on the knob. That will be the disappointingly small knob that you steer this 5000 ton lump of steel with.



Anyway in between the ports we managed to get a little painting done, something that I took to with great enthusiasm, it was just like being back on the good ship Loch Striven.



With scraper, chipping hammer, wire brush and paint roller we set about prepping and painting the hydraulic cabinets on the FRC’s (fast rescue craft). It’s almost eight months since I’ve whiffed the sweet smell of ‘Interprime’ 198, I was as happy as a pig in 5h1t Smile




Mind you, on a sunny day out here it’s hard to be anything but, there’s something about Harris that I really like, perhaps it’s all that rock. It is after all very similar to the north end of Raasay and the environs of my home, Arnish may be a little oasis of birch, hazel and rowan but all around is the ancient igneous gneiss  like this lump of Scalpay. That will be Scalpay off Harris with its red and white light, not my former home off Skye .



Yup, there’s something about this place that I love and I’ve barely set foot on it, well not for around twelve years anyway. This will be an Evance 5kW wind turbine on the island of Scotsay which is on your starboard side as you approach Tarbert. The owner of this small private island also used to own the Scalpay but gave it to the locals last year . In a typical contrary island fashion several of the locals didn’t actually want it, just wait until the ‘Department’ try and ‘give’ Raasay to the locals Smile Smile



That’s it on the chart, bottom right,



that orange hook is just dangling in front of it.


Dunno which warship this was but it’s the closet one that I saw today,



unlike this plane which was lumbering slowly overhead, I know it’s got no tail but I wasn’t expecting it and did well to catch so much of it.



And if you’ve ever wondered what one of the eight MAK cylinder heads look like, well here’s one sat on a pallet Smile



Here’s the ‘Heb’ tied alongside at Uig whilst we ‘bunker’ around 27 tons of heavy fuel (just a guess as I only saw one tanker leave).


Again, not a great picture but it’s the research vessel RV Corystes belonging to the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture and Rural Developement.

Slightly better picture from .

Anyway, that’s it, 22:00 now and time for bed.



  1. After sitting still for almost the entire day studying I’m a bit jealous of your job. To see all those beautiful views seems like such a great reward! Makes me question what i’m doing in life a bit…

    Comment by malinsdailypicture — April 24, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

  2. I’m with the above poster. I am so bored at work that I have serious envy, Paul!….Should have taken that village store on Rassay when you told me about it!

    Comment by Lloyd — April 24, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

    • well they are going to be advertising for staff pretty soon i think Lloyd 🙂

      Comment by finniedog — April 25, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

      • well they are going to be advertising for staff pretty soon i think Lloyd

        And I know of just the house for sale 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 25, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

  3. That is one heck of a cylinder head! I’m glad I don’t have to cut the seats and grind in those valves!

    Good luck!


    Comment by fingalextravaganza — April 24, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  4. Glad to see that you are safety conscious and even the cylinder head was wearing a hard hat. A shame you never have time to snap photos of your ports of call. I feel like I know South Shields far better than Harris, which is the opposite of my preference. But I understand your sore knee means you couldn’t get back to the ship in time. Is it feeling better?

    Comment by drgeo — April 24, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

  5. Is that a Hercules aircraft ?

    Comment by SOTW — April 25, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    • YES

      Comment by Roy cleary — April 25, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

    • Definitely not She.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 25, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  6. Sorry Roy, not a C-130, for the following reasons :- fuselage to tail “fillet” too curved, Herk has a straight line fillet.
    Herc is a shoulder winged design, not low as seen here.
    Herc engines under-slung, not over.
    Cockpit/nose defo not Herky enough, too sleek
    Dunno what … yet, maybe someone will come up with it!
    Paul, did you spot any markings which would I/D the A/f flying this beastie?

    Comment by caadfael — April 25, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  7. WOOHOO! Found it … had been looking in the worng type, cargo instead of maritime. Doh!!
    Here y’go!

    Comment by caadfael — April 25, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

    • WOOHOO! Found it … had been looking in the worng type, cargo instead of maritime. Doh!!
      Here y’go!

      Well done Mike, I gave up looking last night, I went through every four engined turbo prop plane the RAF ever used and it wasn’t there, obviously someone elses.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 25, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  8. love following all your news!!

    Comment by clunvachieBrenda Menzies — April 25, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

  9. Hi Paul, Ping me your email and i will send you pics of the DSVS i am on if you want : )

    Comment by v8mbo — April 26, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

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