Up at four am this morning unable to sleep I very nearly started to service the Land Rover, the only thing stopping me being the fear of breaking something and not being able to get to work. What could possibly go wrong doing an oil change you may ask, well plenty, believe me, I speak from long years of experience of repairing cars ‘at the end of the road’ and being stranded, more often than not through no fault of my own. It’s usually the wrong parts that have been supplied, or I pull something apart to find it’s terminally ill. This has left me extremely cautious in the stripping of anything crucial to my existence here at ‘the north end’, trying to make sure I have all the correct parts before I start a job and never starting anything that may require parts between Thursday and Monday. Even a simple oil change can and has turned into an epic because the sump plug has snapped off on me leaving the threads in the sump and the bolt head in my hand. And no I didn’t over tighten it, it was one of those plugs with a magnet built in and too much metal had been machined out of it making it extremely weak.
Getting the old bit out required a little ingenuity involving an allen key battered into the hole left by the magnet, but that wasn’t the end of it, it’s an odd thread, M14 I think so even finding a bolt wasn’t easy. Anyway, I digress, needless to say I skipped the DIY and plonked away on here for a couple of hours telling people who might be interested, how marvellous I was at fitting solar PV Seriously though I think I couldn’t sleep because I wanted to go outside and check out the ammeter in the generator shed to see how many watts my panels were producing at dawn, sad or what. Well the answer is P = I x V according to Ohms law so that’s 1 amp x 52 volts = 52 watts I know it doesn’t sound like much but it was very grey and the sun was barely over the horizon on the opposite side of the house. I tell you, I was very impressed, mind you I don’t think wifey shared my enthusiasm when I phoned her thirteen hours later to ask her to go outside and check the ammeter However she did it and the answer was 5 amps at 53 volts so 265w, again not ‘earth shattering’ but it was cloudy and by 18:00 two of the panels are shaded by a holly tree but I’m still chuffed. Not as exciting as wind or as constant as hydro but at least there are no moving parts to break or service.
Some three hours after getting up I eventually set off in the newly cleaned Land Rover, and despite leaving the house at 7:10 was almost late for the ferry as I was going so slow. A combination of admiring the sights and avoiding the puddles to keep the ‘Old Girl’ clean had me driving like a loon for the last couple of miles when I realised the time.
A tidy little tracked crane had appeared at Sconser over the weekend to fit the new fendering, at £1000 per day I reckon the big Liebherr that’s been sat there for nine months was probably a little OTT for this job.
The sailing I joined at Uig was the 9:40 for Lochmaddy and it was mobbed with HGV’s rather than cars, this nice old Foden 3000 being one of them.
Ninety minutes later we were entering Lochmaddy and that’s Maddadh Beag (little dog) in the distance, just to the right of Weavers Point,
or at least I think it is, I’ve not got a map or chart handy.
A few hours later we were passing the Ascrib islands on the way into Uig, and I hadn’t actually realized until last week that there was a house on there, though I do remember an article in the WHFP, AKA the Broadford Beano or West Highland Free Press that someone wanted to build an underground bunker there!!!!!
And you thought I was eccentric!
The next sailing out of Uig was interesting indeed, for it included three Bugattis, I don’t ever remember seeing one in the flesh and then three turn up on the same ferry.
Not just Bugattis but a Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alvis, Hotchkiss, Talbot and many more.
Perhaps to say that 3 EAC is ‘only a replica’ is a little unfair, for many of the parts including the axles and engine block are original items and it has obviously been built to an extremely high standard.
Here’s a picture from http://www.racecar.com/carsinternational/stock/bugatti55.htm who at one time must have owned/sold/brokered it.
Mr Bugatti was obviously a huge fan of aluminium long before it became trendy, the front axle, wheels and bumper end caps all looking decidedly aircraft like.
After the cars were loaded it was back to the painting up forward,
though I kept my feet firmly on the deck