Life at the end of the road

July 19, 2013

Fog bound :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:52 am

Well, I’m in a ‘right pickle’, sat here as I am in the blazing sunshine just three miles from Sconser. Having spent a good deal of the working week plying the fog bound Minch as one of the lookouts on the MV Hebrides, I thought I’d seen the last of it. Whilst  the rest of Britain has been ‘suffering’ a heat wave the west coast has been cool, damp, breezy and foggy. The constant standing on the bridge and associated tenseness brought about by hours of staring into the gloom had me resorting to the Tramadol for the first time in months yesterday. However a promise of good weather for the weekend with the chance of sunshine had me convinced that I’d seen the last of both fog and Tramadol for the foreseeable future. So when I was turfed out of my cabin to make way for extra crew aboard the ‘Heb’ I was pretty chuffed at having an extra night at home prior to my last day aboard.

Fat chance, that all went severely ‘pear shaped’ this morning as I headed south to catch the 7:55 to Sconser.


Whilst it was blue skies and sunshine on the hill at Glam, the valleys, troughs and sea were a think grey blanket of fog.



And I just knew that I wasn’t going anywhere for a while Sad smile





From where I’m sat now watching a circling eagle


somewhere north of Sligachan you’d hardly believe it


but sure enough, as I type this the good ship Loch Striven is crawling back to Raasay with extra lookouts and a late bag of mail!

So where was I

Well, I think I left you with a picture of the ‘Ailsa Craig’ in Lochmaddy on Monday night, well here she is leaving the pier on Tuesday morning


and a couple of days later


the ‘clam dredger’ Siarach III arriving as we departed on Thursday morning.

I left the ‘Heb’ in the afternoon after a morning on the bridge, which once more started with thick fog but then turned into a ‘pure peach’ of an afternoon and evening.


This being the Bealach Ruadh or ‘red pass’ at Raasay’s northern end, the red Torridonian sandstone screes being what gives it it’s name.


A mile or further where the sandstone and conglomerates give way to the much older and harder Lewisain gneiss is the ruins of Brochel castle and ‘The Robbers port’ but I’m not sure which one it is on the picture Sad smile

After a fine night at home with the family I headed to work and after sitting on the ferry for two hours I arrived at Sconser in a quandary. Not knowing what to do with myself for the next few hours, however an bit of ‘council lunacy’ soon had me sorted Smile 


As soon as I saw all the soil dumped on the rock armour in front of the beautiful new waiting room at Sconser I felt a ‘rant coming on’. First of all I thought it was the contractors being lazy and dumping spoil over the bonny ‘wall from Donegal’, something I found hard to believe being as they’d done such a fantastic job. It was the port assistant that enlightened me, the contractors had been told to dump soil there so that grass would grow!!!!! So lets get this straight, they spend a gazillion pounds on this wall then want grass to grow in front of it so you wont see it and for for dogs to shit on!!!!

Then I saw this

024 025

and all became clear, they are going to employ someone at Sconser to cut the grass, water the hanging baskets then collect their remains after the first gale. I despair, the world has gone mad!!!

There was more but my battery is about to die so I’ll just try and find a phone signal now to post this Smile



  1. ‘ands orf our baskets Paul! We have to look at the slightly less attractive side of the new terminal and we hate the new style lamp posts so this was supposed to be a way of smatening the place up – and yes it will be me doing the baskets but we have not been asked to cut the grass – my old man does the rest and he is not for taking on any more! By the way – can i pinch your smart picture of the proper view please for our soon to be uploaded site?

    Comment by Jude — July 19, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    • Hi Jude and welcome,

      good luck with the basket watering and website, when it’s live send me a link for the blog 🙂 and of course you can use the pictures.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 19, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

  2. When you are posted as a fog lookout, you could shout “We are Luddites!” at intervals and listen for your echo. That’s how bats navigate. Don’t they have machines for that? I thought you showed us some fancy Nav gear aboard the HEB… What good are sailors in crows nests if you have a control room full of electronics? If I weren’t a landlubber I’d probably know already.

    Comment by George Leddick — July 19, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

    • Morning George,

      it’s a long while since I’ve been up the ‘crows nest’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2013 @ 6:26 am

  3. Hi Paul! I spent my honeymoon on Skye yesterday and it turned out lovely! We did the tour and didnt stop at sconser! But had a great time following round a German U Boat! Im sorry Bus! We endid up at the 3 Chimney’s! It was okay but I would not rush back! It great to see Skye busy with the auld touristo! Next time I’m up will make it over to Raasay!

    Comment by niall sinclair — July 20, 2013 @ 12:45 am

  4. Hang onto that cool weather Paul. Ten to two AM and it’s 21 deg here. YUK!!

    Comment by Lloyd — July 20, 2013 @ 12:48 am

    • Glad you arrived home safely,

      it wasn’t that hot here at midday but I think it will be today 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2013 @ 6:22 am

  5. Your comments about the soil and basket made me smile.Our town has been treated to the attentions of our “streetscene” department recently.This has at one point left a pinch point on the one-way system due to the footpath being three slabs too wide in order to plant saplings etc.
    Two buses, side by side can now cause gridlock at certain times what with the pinch point located on a bend.The saplings were felled very quickly one night by local post pub gardeners.
    In the words of Spike Milligan “There is a lot of it about”

    Comment by Andy — July 20, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  6. Well Paul, whilst you where on fog watch I was sweltering 25miles or so from London in Hertford C&CC site where it was 37c in the shade, so glad I packed the wee air con unit in the caravan, a nice Scottish 17c. 😉

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 4, 2013 @ 2:06 am

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