Life at the end of the road

August 11, 2013

A lot to take in

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:07 pm

Sunday evening now it’s a good deal cooler, greyer and damper than yesterday, consequently my chilled German beer, or is it beir or bier doesn’t taste half as good. Still it’s been a good day at the yard and I picked my work so as to be ‘down below’ during the occasional shower. I also left my camera down below every time a ship went by so have little in the way of pictures today on that front. That was despite a large cruise ship just departing Greenock Ocean Terminal just a few moments ago.

Royal Caribbean’s ‘Vision of the Seas’ just sailed past my window on her way to Dublin



And whilst checking out the AIS for the cruise liner I spotted Lizzie, a 6m long ‘high speed craft’ doing 21.4knts along Drumfrochar road Smile Smile Smile Methinks some clown has left his AIS switched on and is heading home with is boat on the back of his car Smile He’s now down the A78 heading for Inverkip at 25knts Smile

The general cargo ship Veerseborg sailed up the Clyde towards Glasgow with what looked like wind turbine towers on deck,


Meanwhile on the Hallaig

My day was once more spent trying to digest the many different systems aboard the MV Hallaig, concentrating today on the many fuel valves both manual and remotely operated. As well as visiting some of the spaces that would normally only be opened in dry dock



or monthly maintenance.


This being one of the two forward ‘dry tanks’ and a section of the double bottom, with one of the two fresh water tanks, with all these sealed compartments the Hallaig is a very safe ship.



Something I’ll need to familiarize myself with more are the two anchor windlass’s and capstans that are a completely different design to what I’m used to. This is the forward one, and unlike the Striven, both are on the same side, this being the port side which is only accessible to the crew, hence the ordinary railings. The starboard side and all open deck railings accessible to the public have ‘idiot proof’ ones, a good move if not a little unsightly and of course much heavier. Many is the time I’ve stopped unsupervised (and supervised) children trying to climb over our through horizontal ones Sad smile

The technicians from Tecsource the main contractor for making everything work on the electrical side were busy today.

009 013

And in between working on fuel flow sensors took time to explain the networking system and some of the UPS systems, of which there are many. This vessel has more ‘Uninterrupted  Power Supplies’ than you can ‘shake a stick at’ Smile


They also ran up the aft generator


but now I have to go out for dinner Smile

011  012



  1. I have just had a fantastic stay in Raasay with lovely eggs from Arnish. I am however truly shocked at the prices charged by the council. I guess this all ups the prices and the fares for the Hallaig will be increased too. It is an expensive trip for the distance travelled. I won’t say it’s not worth it but feel the council and Cal Mac are both benefiting.

    Comment by Allison — August 11, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

    • Prices are ‘set in stone’ Allison and the size of the boat makes no difference to what you pay. If the HRC weren’t so greedy it would be quite cheap, the HRC dues are the most expensive in the entire CalMac network and the entire revenue generated by the Raasay ferry doesn’t even pay them 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 12, 2013 @ 5:48 am

      • Do Highand Council charge the same rate of pier dues per car at Sconser and Raasay slipways as they do at Ardgour and Nether Lochaber slipways which they also own. If not why not?

        Comment by Iain — August 12, 2013 @ 8:11 am

      • If it is the case that Highland Council do not charge pier dues on cars on their slipways at Ardgour and Nether Lochaber, at Raasay and Sconser slipways they do, except on multi journey tickets. If this is the case it is unfair on people wishing to travel to Raasay, if pier dues were not charged on ordinary return car tickets how many more tourists would visit the island ?. this loss of potential tourist custom is a loss for the economy of the island. With a new larger capacity ferry due to come into service soon, is this something for the MSP and the councillors representing the island to look into ?.

        Comment by Iain — August 12, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

    • OK, well I hope the HRC spend the revenue earned repairing the youth hostel road which is in an atrocious state. There is lots going on in Raasay at the moment with new businesses and lots of potential. It seems that the high ferry prices could put people off, I hope they don’t as it would be a shame.

      Comment by Allison — August 12, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

  2. Fascinating stuff mate! I really envy you having all that tchnology to play with! Looking around there seem to be a lot of deck areas that need another coat of paint – do Fergusons do that, or do you have to put in the hours with the roller one you get up North?

    Good luck!


    Comment by fingalextravaganza — August 11, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    • Should be all nicely done when we finally get our hands on it Mark.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 12, 2013 @ 5:44 am

  3. I know this is a bit of a strange question, but I was wondering – do new ships have a distinctive smell – like new cars do?!

    Comment by patrick — August 12, 2013 @ 8:25 am

  4. Unless I was ‘sleeping at the back of the class’ Paul, I don’t think you’ve ever actually explained why you’ve just had to spend the best part of a year, billeted out in various parts of the country, undergoing a variety of nautical training. After all you have been doing a similar job for the last 10 years! Is it that the new, larger vessel, requires that its crew have a different ticket or is the training outstanding/overdue? It’s clearly been demanding, at times arduous, and definitely anti-social (not to mention expensive for Calmac) for an extended period of time, so there will doubtless be a good reason(s) for it all.


    Comment by Jonathan — August 12, 2013 @ 9:19 am

  5. Perhaps the Lizzie was being,’road’ home :-).

    Comment by Andy — August 12, 2013 @ 9:41 am

  6. Well, you showed us the sealed bilge and the fresh water tanks, but where is the wine cellar?

    Comment by drgeo — August 13, 2013 @ 1:09 am

  7. How will the full load draught of the Hallaig compare with that of the Loch Striven? Seems a big ship to manoeuver especially at spring/neap tides into the slipways and the sand bar.

    Comment by SOTW — August 13, 2013 @ 6:33 am

    • Oops did not mean drive into the sand bar!

      Comment by SOTW — August 16, 2013 @ 4:23 am

  8. I travelled about 600 miles on the train to the RUNRIG concert, it was GRRRREATTT!!

    Comment by Frances — August 13, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    • haha frances, stop trying to make poor Paul jealous !!

      Comment by cazinatutu — August 13, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

  9. My comment was mainly in response to drgeo’s comment on Aug 8th post, I assume he is a Runrig fan to know they were doing a gig on 10th aug, I believe he lives in the US so was probably unable to get over here, although there were people there from the US, Canada, New Zealand, and many European countries! We had 3 hours of Runrig, and former band members Donnie and Pete also appeared – Donnie and Bruce singing together too!

    Comment by Frances — August 15, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

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