Life at the end of the road

July 2, 2013

The Dude is back :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, The daily pothole, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:25 pm

Almost 22:00 and that’s me just woke up, well about an hour ago really but I’m showered now, have had a sandwich and just spoken to my boy. The hen lady having disturbed my unscheduled slumber around 20:45 with the news that he’s back, our son that is. OK, not actually back on Raasay, but a mere 200 miles away in Barrhead after just returning from China with the school!!!!! China, we went to Blackpool, though I could have gone to France if I’d wanted, how exciting is that Smile Mind you when I was at school China was still halfway through the cultural revolution so hardly on the list of ‘approved places’ for school trips.

File:Cultural Revolution poster.jpg

Can’t wait for him to get back home proper, see his pictures and borrow some money off him, he brought £100 back!!!!! How on earth does a fourteen year old go halfway around the world and come back home with a hundred quid?? our son is certainly exceptional Smile

Anyways, whilst  he was enjoying proper Chinese food, seeing the ‘Great Wall’ and sweltering in temperatures that at times hit 50 degrees I was starting my working week with a rainbow Smile


The first of July getting off to a promising start as I trundled south down ‘Calum’s road’ to catch the 7:55 ferry.


Though the word ‘down’ doesn’t actually spring to mind whilst labouring up the near 25% incline out of Tarbert, who’s name escapes me right now but has something to do with a house and loch. The ‘pot of gold’ however is definitely on the ‘Hill of the Hind, and I really must start a section on this blog for Raasay ‘north end’ place names before they all become distant memories. The names of every rock, hill, islet, burn, well, bay and ruin at the north end of Raasay are now only known by a handful of people so it would be good to have them written down somewhere accessible.


This will be the fish farm supply boat Fame heading north through the Raasay Narrows at around 7:30 heading for the Portree fish farm.

An hour or so later I was back aboard the MV Hebrides, though only for a trip to North Uist and back as I had an ‘eye appointment’ in Portree at 15:00. Just as well for it enabled me to go to Dunvagen for more ammunition for the friggin pigeons that are costing the wife a fortune in hen feed and me in shotgun cartridges. I kid you not, I think every pigeon from the Portree Square has moved to Arnish and they seem to be exceptionally dim creatures. I shoot one crow and that’s me seen the back of the ‘hoodies’ for a couple of weeks at least. I blast two of the flying rats out of the sky at 6:30 as they struggle to fly off, stuffed as they are with hen feed and there’s half a dozen  more take their place an hour later. I really have lost count of how many I’ve exterminated but I have gone through 75 rounds of ‘number 5’s’ in two weeks, which is almost £24. More in fact than the food they could have eaten, however, if left unchecked there would be hundreds more appear followed by sea gulls and then crows Sad smile



Moored just out from ‘Highland Ordnance’ in the shelter of the upper reaches of Loch Dunvegan was this rather splendid RIB ‘Integrity’ belonging to of Craobh Haven near Oban. Powered by two 285HP diesels she’s supposed to be running day trips to St Kilda from Skye, a 230 mile round journey from Dunvegan !!!!!!

Twin Yamaha 285hp inboard engines
· Comfortable cabin seating for 10
· Sleeping accommodation for 4
· Toilet and shower compartment
· Galley including stove, microwave, sink and h/c water
· 240v power
· Garmin’s flagship 7015 GPS/ Chartplotter / AIS transponder
· Garmin Autopilot
· ipod sound system
· Dinghy with outboard (on request)

A little different to this journey much of which is filmed on the SS Hebrides who’s namesake I’m now on board and who’s bell resides in the observation lounge.

 002 S.s. Hebrides in her early years, possibly as early as 1898.jpg

After my trip to the opticians it was back to Uig to re join the ‘Heb’


who was just doing one of her ‘handbrake turns’ at the hands of her master on the starboard bridge wing.


Looks like Murdo, Alistair and Kenny up forward too Smile

Today, Tuesday was exceptional in it’s miserableness, and yes there really is such a word. Yes Tuesday the second of July was pretty grim with work confined to cleaning the car deck, mopping stairs, and of course lashing down HGV’s due to the strong southerly wind and its accompanying swell. Not really a great deal more I can, or will say about today, for it’s well after 23:00 and my bed time, so I’ll leave you with Thunderbird 4 Smile


010 011


Well that’s what this ‘road assessment vehicle’ reminded me of, you’ve gotta laugh really, ‘road assessment vehicle’, don’t the council know that we all drive or ride those and don’t need a gazillion pound laser and satellite guided, computer controlled Transit van to tell us that the roads are needing repaired!!!  I’m not joking, they’ve even sent one of these over to Raasay, for heavens sake you could repair a mile of road for what something like this costs to hire. You can always tell the council are being ripped off when the vehicles they hire have personal registrations Smile


  1. Hi There,
    We have been following your Blog for some time now,(we live on Stronsay) but , seriously, when does a boat become a RIB, or when does a RIB become a boat?

    Comment by Chris — July 2, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

    • Good morning Chris and welcome, a favourite part of the world you live in 🙂 a RIB is a rigid inflatable boat so I guess it needs to have some blowy up bits to be one of those 🙂 So I suppose all RIBs are boats but not all boats are RIBs 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 3, 2013 @ 4:11 am

  2. Glad the Dude has returned safe! Hope he doesn’t lose his hundred quid in a pub before he reaches home— darts is a risky business. And with money left over, I guess you get no jade throne for the new house?

    Comment by drgeo — July 3, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    • Morning DrG, be interesting to see just what he has brought back 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 3, 2013 @ 4:12 am

  3. St Kilda and back in a day! took me 2 days there and one day back from Oban in the 80s. A friend was out there more recently water looks pretty clean

    Comment by ron — July 3, 2013 @ 6:52 am

    • Uist Outdoor Centre do day trips to Kilda on their RIB. “We provide you with thermal float suits, eye protection and life jackets.” I think one of their adverts had the tag line, “You can get there faster, but you’ll have to fly.” They can also take kayaks out on a boat rack.

      Comment by Phil Cook — July 3, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  4. A road assessment van was sent to Raasay. I bet all the measuring gear is undergoing therapy now and not allowed to leave a flat surface for the next 6 months 🙂

    Comment by Andy — July 3, 2013 @ 7:38 am

  5. I wonder what the Dude had to eat? Interested to find out whether school trips are mostly served genuine Chinese cuisine or what non-Westerners think is our national diet: burger, chips and coke. Guess you’ll tell from his waistline! Still, a school trip to China is fairly exotic – I think our options were camping somewhere wet (Wales?) or day-trips to London museums. T’was a long time ago though.

    Comment by Carrie — July 3, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    • Chinese food only Carrie and he loved it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 3, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

  6. Mmh, a rather expensive trip to St. Kilda for a day, but the ruling ’20 miles from a safe haven’ is pushing it a bit. Is Lewis really only 20 miles from St. Kilda. .Great dude back from China, it’s an experience he will never forget, but, will he want to work out there in the future …..?

    Comment by SOTW — July 3, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

    • St kilda counts as a ‘safe haven’ too She.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 3, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  7. Glad to hear the lad is safely back and I will be interested to hear what he thought of the food. We were in China in 2001 and the food was terrible! Of course they are more into tourism now. Ask Rebecca if you want to know about Raasay place names. Anne

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — July 3, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    • The only people who know the north end place names in any detail are the people who lived there Anne and there’s precious few of them left.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 3, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

      • I know, but Rebecca has a fund of names got from her mother who lived on Eilean Tigh and then at Tigh an Achaidh. I think Rebecca has a book in the offing about Raasay place names and place names are a special interest of hers. Of course, Calum Don will know a lot of them too.

        Comment by Anne Macdonald — July 3, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

      • I wasn’t really talking about the obvious ones Ann, I’ve already been down the Calum Don route, it’s the lumps of rock, inlets, skerries and headlands only seen by fishermen and shepherds who walked the hills and sailed the seas.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 4, 2013 @ 5:08 am

  8. Hello , the hard work of all those who work at Applecross Historical Society has meant we now have
    the website was launched recently – it’s incredibly interesting. You have a record of many Raasay place names on your blog Paul. Like you say this information disappears scarily fast.

    Comment by Marion Gilroy — July 3, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

  9. “Road Assessment Vehicle”?! Proof that the world has finally gone bonkers!

    Comment by confidential rick — July 3, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

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