18:30 now on Saturday and I’m just shivering back to life after getting soaked to the skin whilst out on my mates bike. Having shared his spare bedroom with two bikes the last three weeks I’ve been down here it seemed only appropriate that I should get to know one of them a little better
Back to Hallaig
It’s been a pretty quiet day on the good ship Hallaig today with progress confined to the good works of Ticon insulation http://www.ti-insulationgroup.com/p7,ticon-insulation-ltd
A holiday weekend down here on the Clyde so there’s just been myself in and a couple of yard workers plus half a dozen or so guys finishing off the fire retardant thermal covering around the vessels superstructure. It’s a far cry from the hive of activity throughout the week when the ship is crawling with workers and the air full of noise from compressors, welders, grinders and the roar of the mobile crane. The weekend is a far more peaceful affair giving me the opportunity to roam about freely without fear of touching wet paint or disturbing busy shipwrights, carpenters, platers or pipe fitters.
It was a pretty wet and miserable start to the day and unfortunately my first task, which was removing a door due to a faulty lock had me getting soaked. Fortunately the rest of the day was spent in the engine room, which, due to its acres of insulation stays lovely and warm from the day before
I think that will be a rainbow landing on Helensburgh at the mouth of the Gareloch
and this Serco’s Northern River, that has on occasions visited us up on Raasay.
‘Like riding a bike’
That’s better, I’ve just snaffled a good measure of this nice peaty number from Jura http://www.jurawhisky.com/our-whiskies/superstition
and it’s given me a good glow inside and out.
So, after work, a Greek salad and some pastrami I went out on my mates bike on part of the NCN75 cycle route which runs through Gourock. The route is some 114 miles long and goes from Portavadie in the west to Leith on the east coast http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-75 . Having not ridden a bike in years and being terrified of traffic a nice easy sojourn along the coast from Gourock to Port Glasgow seemed in order. As most of it is along dedicated cycle paths, pavements or the quiet esplanade I figured I’d be pretty safe. So, after blowing up the tyres and lowering the seat I took to the road so to speak, a little gingerly at first but with great enthusiasm once I’d managed to cross the main road
Cruising along the ‘Esplanade’ by all the fine sandstone villas that must at one time have belonged to wealthy folk in the shipbuilding and sugar trade I came across this.
It is the first ever illuminated buoy on the Clyde
Powered by gas it Illuminated the ‘Roseneath Patch’
A little further on I met a dogfish
I couldn’t believe it, someone had actually caught a fish from the shore I dunno how many people I’ve actually observed over the years fishing from the shore but I’ve never actually met anyone who’s caught a fish whilst I’ve been watching. OK, I’ve seen plenty of mackerel lifted from piers but even those have been scarce of late, this dude and his partner seemed just as surprised as me
A little further along the sea front in ‘twentieth gear’ or whatever it is, I arrived at ‘Ocean terminal Greenock’ where containers were being discharged from a ship.
Only a ‘stones throw’ east I came to two strikingly different buildings, the very 1960’s looking ‘Clydeport’ building on the left and the red brick edifice on the right. Not sure what it was, sugar refinery, rope works, or warehouse, who knows but I’m sure it’ll be luxury flats soon
Anyway, shortly after that the heavens opened and I got soaked, I did try and shelter behind the Waterfront Cinema http://greenock.westcoastcinemas.co.uk/ but ‘Jake’ was there with a bottle of ‘Buckie’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfast_Tonic_Wine and some teenage pelters. You have to laugh, this ‘Coatbridge table wine’, wife beater, loony juice with 15% ABV and seven times more caffeine than Coca Cola is made by ‘Christian’ monks at Buckfast Abbey
Anyways, with water seeping right through to my boxers I headed home past the old MCA/Navy building and had a hot shower before settling down to Radio 4 extra, continental food and various alcoholic beverages