WOO HOO, I’m on holiday, well almost, I will be this time tomorrow for a full two weeks, and boy do I have a long ‘to do’ list. It came as a bit of a surprise really and I’m certainly needing it, not a holiday as such that is but some time at home to catch up. Drains to clear, rushes to cut, house to paint, and that’s before I even start on the new house tasks of preparing the generator shed, building a ‘slow sand filter’ and moving the caravan from Tarbert.
It’s unlikely that I’ll get half of what I want done finished but it’ll be great to spend two full days in a row with wife, child, dog and some wine It will make a pleasant change from plying the Minch in the good ship MV Hebrides, though I have to say I’ll miss the ‘craic’. Not that I can understand that much of it anyway due to a combination of deafness on my part and the international dialects of the crew. Well from as far afield as Liverpool, South Shields, Grimsby and Lewis at least Added to that would be the fact that half the crew are less than half my age and speak a different language so all in all it’s a miracle I can communicate with them at all However they all seem to tolerate the ‘old greenhorn’ from the wee boats and keep me right when I cock things up
Anyways before the euphoria of being given a holiday, before I went to bed last night in fact, I went for a wee wander around Tarbert. It was after 21:30 when I wandered down the gangplank and headed westwards towards the setting sun and I guess the Atlantic ocean.
The Hebrides resting for the night with her mouth open to enable maintenance to be carried out.
I’m thinking this lovely stone building will be the primary school, I see that the Western Isles Council have the good sense to mount their wind turbines well away from the school.
The new school over the road has a very impressive 280 tube solar hot water array, that would I’m sure go a long way to supplying all their hot water between April and October. Well it would if it actually had any water in it, four of the tubes were broken and it looked like the system had been ‘drained down’. The Western Isles Council may have been savvy in mounting their wind turbines out of the way but the sanity of mounting all these shiny glass tubes a few feet off the ground and out of sight escapes me. They might as well have put a sign on saying ‘break me’.
Well, it was certainly worth the walk to West Loch Tarbert to see the sunset, not that the sun was actually visible from the head of the loch but it did look lovely.
A magnificent day greeted us this morning and had the entire crew out chipping and painting various parts of the vessel.
It also saw an abundance of ‘shades’ appear on the crew
Between the traffic and the painting the day flew by, no doubt assisted by the phone call informing me of two weeks holiday commencing on Monday. Though with weather like this everyone is on good form, work is a pleasure and the customers happy, so long may it continue.
The hour or so that we lie in Uig at 18:00 was utilized to do an FRC launch,
this time without shades
It’s a long way down.
The engine is fired up
and off she goes.
That was it really, I was on my rest period so wandered up to the ‘Old Girl’ with some of my belongings to lighten the load tomorrow and now we’re just about to berth at Lochmaddy.
Here’s one of Harry Lawson’s tankers, Volvo SP13BKN awaiting the ferry to North Uist,
and this will be the crew, or at least part of them, that will take it there and feed the driver, spot the Raasay man