Life at the end of the road

May 19, 2013

Halfway there :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, The daily pothole, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:50 pm

A combination of no enthusiasm and several early nights has seen no activity on the blogging front for a few days I’m afraid. Poor weather at the start of the week followed by the odd burst of sunshine had me too glum to post through lack of sunshine and heat at first. Then too miserable to post because I’d rather be at home in the sun, well I’m halfway through my sixty days on the Hebrides, so the end is in sight, some time mid August should see ‘normality restored’. Not that there’s anything wrong with being on here, quite the contrary, the food is great, the accommodation first class and the ‘craic’ priceless, well it was until ‘Geordie Dave’ left, now it’s just good Smile  The thing is I’m just not cut out for this being away from home lark, at least not five days out of every seven Sad smile

Anyway, now I’ve got that off my chest I feel a whole lot better so I’ll just try and recall, in pictures at least the last few days events.

Ten hours later

So much for that!!!! I gave up last night and went to bed, just can’t seem to find the enthusiasm, however it’s 5:30am now, I’ve been up an hour and have an hour to kill so I’ll have another go Smile





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Several days on

So much for that then, it’s Sunday now, a full four days since my first feeble attempt and three since the pictures of Harris and Scalpay in our wake. Anyway much has happened but I’ll probably forget most of it and get the rest out of order, but with the aid of some pictures here goes.


Well that will be the Seatruck Pace a Ro Ro freight ferry normally sailing between Rosyth and Zeebrugge but on Wednesday she was just west of Skye heading south.



It must have been Wednesday because we took on fuel in Uig, some twenty eight tons of it I guess, black gooey stuff that will last until Sunday and I thought filling up the Land Rover was expensive.


A nice Daf XF belonging to Ironsides returning to Skye after delivering hay or straw from the east coast to Harris or the Uists.


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As we steam  to North Uist, the cargo ship Arklow Fern heads north west and the live fish carrier Gerda Saele south west. The circle left of centre on the radar screen is the Heb and the yellow blob the Waternish  peninsula on Skye.




Well it certainly got off to a good start in Lochmaddy and as far as I can remember it stayed that way all day.




The first proper sunshine for long enough even managed to tempt the sea pinks into bloom


Very difficult to spot in my picture of them on Sgeir Eilean mor, even when enlarged, so I lifted another off the web Smile Sometimes known as ‘sea thrift’ these beautiful carnation like flowers seem to grow from solid rock right down to the high water mark.

And I’m really showing my age now because I remember them on the old ‘thrupenny  bit’ though until today I never knew what they were Smile



All the way from South Wales, probably having just delivered one of their fine agricultural sheds was Shufflebottom’s   Mercedes Actros Z545.





A fine Friday morning had me waking up in Tarbert with the cargo ship Vestborg tucked in behind Scalpay belonging to Skretting I’m guessing she’d be delivering fish feed to the nearby salmon farm.

It also had me heading home at last to see how the new arrivals were doing, the ones that the swineherd and Molly helped deliver on Thursday night that is. Twelve little Tamworths from Ellie had been born alive, one of which needed help and two still born but a good result for her second litter. However she (and the wife) had a long hard time of it and Ellie was pure shattered, wifey’s timely intervention saving a few from being squashed under a very tired sow.


Well, as you can see, the weather has at last improved, though a bitter north wind raged throughout the day



As soon as I landed on Raasay I hitched up the trailer that I’d left in the car park on Monday and set off for some pigs.

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These three fine ‘spotty’ girls would be accompanying our four to Munro’s tomorrow and it seemed sensible to introduce them beforehand to save any hassle at 6:00am on Monday.




It was great to see some fresh tarmac on the dreadful Raasay roads, not enough by a long way but a noticeable improvement.



The twelve piglets were down to ten by Friday morning, two more having been squashed but with any luck they’re now big enough and quick enough to get out of the way.

Honda fourtrax carb problems

My next job after unloading pigs and checking on piglets was an unscheduled one,

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petrol spewing out of the carburettor overflow pipe indicated a stuck needle valve and had to be sorted right away. Taking the carb off completely on a Honda 350 quad is a little fiddly but if you’re canny you can actually get it off and turn it upside down to work on without disconnecting the throttle and choke cables. Once inverted it’s quite easy to remove the float bowl and get to the jets and needle valve. as soon as I did the problem leapt out at me, a large lump of gunge sitting under the float and jamming it. Quite how it got in there is a mystery but once cleaned out and rebuilt the trusty old Honda ran sweet as a nut.



My friend the stags antlers were coming on nicely, no doubt assisted by the grass that was at last growing.


Well Sunday will have to wait, it’s almost 23:00 and I’ve seven pigs and a teenager to deal with at 6:00am tomorrow Smile

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