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

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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

July 15, 2013

What would I do without a camera?

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:32 pm

It’s all a bit of a blur really, a combination of old age and far too much red wine has left the weekend behind me like a ‘bank of fog astern’. Fortunately I have a camera so after downloading the pictures I can at least recall some of its events which started on the way home with this.


The water lilies on Loch na Bronn


that appeared during my four nights absence .

That was late Friday morning on my way home from a week on the MV Hebrides on what was, if my memory serves me correctly, the best day of the week. Or at least the best day I’d seen, having spent quite a lot of it wrapped in the cloak of the Minch’s fog. Although the Hebrides managed to keep pretty much to timetable many of the west coast ferry routes were delayed and some cancelled. Though you’d have hardly believed it ‘on land’ where the temperatures got perilously close to twenty degrees Smile Which, to be perfectly honest is just fine by me, fencing and tree felling are sweaty enough at eighteen degrees, never mind the thirty or so experienced down sowf.



For that was what was on for the afternoon, a fence realignment and some wood cutting to clear a path up behind the old Arnish net shed, something that I should have done twenty years ago.


It’s a bonny spot up there and it will make access to the rear of the croft much easier.


It will also help fuel the wood burner in the winter, one thing about birch, it burns lovely and grows like a weed up here.


I am not the only one who finds twenty degrees quite hot enough thank you, Ellie managed to find a nice wallow just over the burn from where we were working. I say ‘we’ because my son has returned from China and is in ‘help dad mode’, something that is very unusual in fourteen year old boys Smile

After some ‘bonding’ in the work department with the Dude we went wandering the Arnish hill in the evening sun, unusually I forgot my camera and after a late dinner I ‘turned in’ early.


Now this is when it started to get messy, not initially though, no at first we all went south to collect beach stones for wifey’s garden and collect bottled gas from Simon at Raasay Engineering .



Charlie the ‘daft wee dug’ seems to have a bit of a stone obsession though and wouldn’t part with any of the ones he collected Smile



Pirates seem to have landed on Goat Island too in my time away from Raasay.


The rest of the day was spent under the Land Rover, moving caravans and collecting the odd ‘shroom.

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These being the first chanterelle mushrooms that I’ve seen this year, though I suspect that is more to do with my lack of time at home than any lateness on their behalf.


The weekend then proceeded to go ‘pear shaped’ when friends from Bristol arrived for dinner with much wine. The day after was very ‘vacant’ indeed though eventually I did manage to help my son do some work Smile Yup, he had much grass cutting to catch up on at Torran so I went along to give him a hand.



He than assisted me in the ‘pigeon slaying’ department Smile


Well, with a far clearer head than twenty four hours previously I set off for work


and as you can see from this picture of Holloman house, we aren’t suffering a heat wave here Smile


Give me a grey morning commute to work past Manitoba to a weekend in a hot city any day Smile


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Just over an hour later I caught my place of work arriving at Uig as she executed one of her ‘handbrake turns’ Smile


And twelve hours later we’re alongside Lochmaddy pier with Marine Harvest’s catamaran ‘Ailsa Craig’ ‘next door’.

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