Life at the end of the road

September 8, 2013

Soaked once more :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:23 pm

Seven thirty in the evening and once more I’m shivering after a good soaking on the bike, only this time I managed to get a little further along the Clyde. Had I known it was going to rain I’d have stayed put, but all the weather forecasts lied and told me it wouldn’t precipitate, so, after a good day at Ferguson’s I set forth on me bike. OK, not my bike but my mates, and it’s now sitting at the end of my bed having been cleaned, dried and wheeled through the kitchen. Living in a flat must be hard work if you’ve acquired as much carp as I have, I can just see me carrying the odd piglet up here to warm in front of the fire. Only there is no fire, or generator and the gas comes from a pipe and not out of a bottle, not only that but the water in the toilet is ‘see through’ ours has a brownish tinge even before you use it Smile

Still, give me ‘life in the sticks’ anytime, much as I like being able to get anchovies on demand, a good selection of salamis, Weston’s cloudy cider and cheap petrol. Even a ‘Srewfix’ around the corner and two Lidl’s within six miles couldn’t persuade me to move to civilization Smile

This morning, no doubt assisted by that good dram of ‘Superstition’ last night I managed to stay in bed until 7:00am before doing my morning ablutions, having the usual muesli and banana then heading for the yard.

 001

As is usual for the weekend, I go through the main gate and workshop on my way to Hallaig, passing this humongous rolling machine on the way. I know nothing about it but guess it’s for bending sheet metal like that piece in the foreground. No doubt when this short six mile length of the river employed 15,000 plus workers in the many yards then ‘Hugh Smith’ machines were a common sight, now I guess it’s the last one on the river, probably the last working one in the country.

 

 002

This will be the mast for ‘yard number 726’ the MV Lochinvar, our sister ship, I have to confess that I thought it a strange choice for a name, but it would seem not. The hybrid Lochinvar is not the first Macbrayne vessel to bear that name.

Here is the first one off Oban, probably around WWII http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=8563 later on in her long career she acquired different engines and a proper funnel

mv LOCHINVAR

Once on board I busied myself with running up some of the pumps and transferring the contents of the sludge tank to the car deck.

 

  009

Of course it was clean fresh water for probably the last time in its life but it was good practice for the future when it will be dirty oil.

011 012

Of course it’s now all controlled, alarmed and monitored from a screen so far easier and safer than on the Striven.

Whilst I was doing this the Ticon chaps were busy with the never ending job of insulating

 

005

both inside

003

and out.

I’m really amazed at the skill of these chaps, with all the intricate profiles and confined spaces they work in they really do do an excellent job.

Super safe

A good deal of the rest of my day was spent studying and familiarizing myself once more with the multitude of fire prevention and fire fighting systems on this vessel. Of course the acres of insulation is an integral part of it but the number of fire pumps, alarms, drencher systems, suppression devices, and extinguishers on this ship is staggering.

006

The battery rooms have their own special system who’s name I forget (on account of Weston’s cider) but it’s very expensive and used in ‘server environments’ a lot.

007

This will be a nitrogen propelled system with its own dedicated tank that will work even with total electrical failure.

008

This is a pumped mist system solely for the three main ‘DG’s’ (diesel generators) known as the ‘local application’.

 013

These two pumps a similar system (with back up) for the accommodation, mess room and bridge.

 

014

And this MONSTER a ‘drencher pump’ for the car deck, as well as all this there are two pumps that can be used for both fire and bilge plus a dedicated bilge pump. Add to that a multitude of detection systems, alarms, extinguishers and hoses and you are sailing on an extremely safe ship Smile

The MV Lochinvar

With the yard being quiet I took the opportunity to go and have a look at our younger sister ‘yard number 726’ the MV Lochinvar

017

I still can’t get over this welding steel to aluminium carry on,

016

just look at that, all the brown bits are steel and the grey bits aluminium. It’s done with with a strip of the two dissimilar metals that are ‘explosively welded’ together http://www.dynamicmaterials.com/innovations-technology/explosion-welding-process.html. The amalgamated strip is then effectively steel on one side and aluminium on the other so can be conventionally welded with a little care and training.

 

015

This will be the mess room on Lochinvar Smile

Back on the bike

Anyway, after all that, and having been assured by both Radio 4 and http://www.xcweather.co.uk/forecast/PA19 that it wasn’t going to rain I headed back to Gourock and my bike. OK, not my bike but my mates bike, and I happily cruised eastwards along the cycle path that is the http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-75 .

019 020

I glided past several old dry docks and fitting out berths that once employed thousands with the intention of reaching as far as Ferguson’s, then perhaps buying a fish supper or even curry on the way back. I’ve not had any hotel, ship or junk food for weeks so quite fancied a change, however, just past the Beacon http://www.beaconartscentre.co.uk/ arts centre in Greenock the heavens opened and I got soaked. I was friggin furious especially as it was starting to get so interesting along the sea front. I soldiered on as far as Clydeport’s dock and then turned around to aim for the clearer skies of Gourock.

 

021

What delayed me and really staggered me was the sight of mackerel feeding on white bait or tiny sprats in the dock there. There’s not been one single mackerel caught in Loch Arnish this year and the Clyde seems full of them!!!! I’ve seen plenty off the Hallaig too, both this shift and the last one Sad smile

Apologies to ‘Buckie’

After sheltering in the disused fire exit of the seedy ‘Port and Harbour’ hotel I jumped on my steed and headed west during in a lull, managing to get as far as ‘Buckfast corner’ at the back of the  http://greenock.westcoastcinemas.co.uk/  , as  ‘Jake’ and his teenage pelters https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/on-the-bike/ weren’t there I took the opportunity to shelter amongst the pile of broken bottles.

 022

Much to my surprise I discovered that I’d been ‘bad mouthing’ the old ‘Buckie’

A lad polishes off a bottle of Buckfast tonic wine (Photo: PA)

out of turn

 

023

for it would appear that ‘Jake’ had in fact been drinking Lidl’s finest ‘Nobleman Fortified Wine’ yesterday and not the catholic monks ‘loony juice’ http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/buckfast-crimewave-revealed-police-figures-1868308 . Not that I would actually believe anything in the Record Smile

 

BUCKFAST has been linked to almost 7000 crimes in Scotland over the last three years, police figures have revealed.

The tonic wine is mentioned six times a day in crime reports compiled by officers across the country.

Offences involving the drink made by Benedictine monks in Devon include attempted murder, assaults with weapons and sexual attacks.

Buckfast distributors J Chandler & Co have denied the product is to blame for thugs’ actions.

The new figures show that in the old Strathclyde Police area, Buckfast was mentioned in 6496 reports over the last three years.

Not knowing anything about ‘Nobleman’ I ‘Googled’ it Smile Smile Smile

http://www.bumwine.com/guestbook6b/guestbook.php?show=9

and was intrigued to find that there is a whole website dedicated to ‘bum wine’, as in alcohol to get you ‘hammered’ as cheaply as possible.

I was overjoyed to read tell of Noblemans down there. I am a student at Bangor University, North Wales, although born and bred in London, and I regularly get through 2 bottles of the stuff. In my local Lidl (a dangerously convenient 30 second walk from my front door) we in fact have THREE varieties, Pale and Full cream as stated, and Medium Cream, which as far as I can tell is a 50/50 mixture of the two. I am a Full Cream man myself.

You really couldn’t make this up, get me back to Raasay ASAP Smile 

 

024

I gotta say though, the graffiti had me ‘in stiches’ ‘northern downpour’ Smile

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11 Comments »

  1. Do all Lidl’s sell this awful stuff, and can I get it locally?

    Comment by Dave Grundy — September 8, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

  2. Have you had any insulation ideas for the shed, house or the Dudes room seeing the Ticon boys in action?
    Amazing to see what is behind the scenes on the new ship & then glance at the Lochinvar and see what Hallaig once was.
    Remind me for my next visit to bring you up some anchovies so you have a supply 🙂

    Michael

    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — September 9, 2013 @ 5:18 am

  3. Would be interesting to hear the comments about the wine at a typical Buckfast corner wine tasting evening.The aftermath sounds pretty dire though.Could do with a few gallons of “see through water” to swig between tastings.

    Comment by Andy — September 9, 2013 @ 8:26 am

  4. Thats one SERIOUS set of rolls there Paul, about 3″/75mm at a guess … heaviest I’ve ever used was 1″/25mm capacity!
    Wouldnt be much problem shifting to sub-contract work for tidal generators should the need/spare capacity ever arise.
    Looks like you’ll be in for an easy ride with all that automation!

    Comment by caadfael — September 9, 2013 @ 8:50 am

  5. How much does this new ship cost?! With all that super hi-tech and safety stuff it must’ve cost the earth…the owners must hope it’ll last for decades
    to get a return on it? Isn’t it all a bit too sophisticated for what is essentially a ferry?

    Comment by confidential rick — September 9, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    • How much does this new ship cost?! With all that super hi-tech and safety stuff it must’ve cost the earth…the owners must hope it’ll last for decades
      to get a return on it? Isn’t it all a bit too sophisticated for what is essentially a ferry?

      An absolute ‘arm and a leg Rick’ but they should be good for thirty years. Yes you’re right it is ‘essentially a ferry’ but so was the ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Herald_of_Free_Enterprise and the ‘Estonia’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Estonia

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 11, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

  6. Hi Paul, Just going slightly off track, you will have to watch “Blackout” on Channel 4!!! I thought about you all through it as the Country descended into chaos ’cause there was no National Grid!!!! Although maybe some of your Raasay neighbours might have raided Arnish for “Harry” lol

    Comment by Doug Miller — September 10, 2013 @ 8:20 am

  7. Re Hugh Smith Bending machine – they are still making these kind of machines : http://www.hughsmith.co.uk

    Comment by Ian — September 10, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    • Well I never Ian, and they’re based in Glasgow!!!!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 11, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

  8. Hey Paul, I ran across this and thought you might like it: http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2013/09/huge-semi-submersible-ships.html
    Huge Semi-Submersible Ships

    Comment by George Leddick — September 10, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    • Wow George, that’s some link, the only picture I’d seen before was the one of the USS Cole aboard one.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 11, 2013 @ 4:49 pm


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