After 21:30 now and I’m almost ready for bed, my penultimate sleep in Gourock, for Hallaig should be heading north next week and the next time I see her will be at my adopted home I’m rather fed up of all this travelling, I’m 57 and too old for it, my son is getting taller, my dog fatter and my darling wife greyer. All the while I’m commuting the length and breadth of Scotland, sleeping in strange beds and missing precious time with my family It’s been over a year now and having once more listened to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03c2417 Colin Macdonald’s play ‘Calum’s road’ on BBC iPlayer I’m an emotional wreck.
For almost fifteen years as a fisherman/crofter, Arnish, the sea and shore around it sustained me and my family . The last last eleven years I’ve commuted almost daily down that fine road that Calum built in my current job with http://www.calmac.co.uk/ . OK, not actually ‘daily’ as I’ve been away for the best part of a year and only work ‘week on, week off’ anyway but I still enjoy the drive after almost a quarter of a century.
Summer or winter, dark or light, I’d rather be travelling ‘Calum’s road’ to work than wrestling with the traffic in Greenock
Anyway, before I get all weepy and homesick again I’m going to bed, hic
Well, ‘praise the Lord’ that I didn’t post that last night and have had chance to remove all the swearing It had been a busy weekend aboard the Hallaig and I’d decided to relax with some cider. Lidl’s finest Woodgate at £1.99 for two litres has to be ‘Jakey’s’ drink of choice in the absence of Buckfast, MD 20 20, or Nobleman fortified wine https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/soaked-once-more/ . Gosh, is that really a month ago!!!!! Anyway, not actually having my glasses with me and not having had a drink all week I failed to notice the ‘dry cider with sugar and added sweetener’ on the label until today Och well, it was good while it lasted and I was in bed early enough to awake ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ this morning. So, I’ll stop waffling and try and get the last few days in order.
Saturday on the Hallaig saw the yard busy painting and ourselves going through various scenarios with the very comprehensive fire detection equipment.
It was very realistic, for the welders kept setting off the fire alarms so we got much practice at isolating the various detectors Just check out the new helmsman’s seat, probably a months wages
It was a busy day on the river too with Svitzers Anglegarth and
Ayton Cross putting in an appearance
to assist the 27,000t bulk carrier Bosphorus King as she steamed down the Clyde empty.
That sure is a long way out of the water!
As she was heading ‘doon the water’ our very own MV Isle of Lewis was heading up to dry dock.
I believe that CalMac’s largest vessel has had to be ‘dry docked’ at great expense due to fouling some inappropriately laid fishing gear.
Here she is being escorted into James Watt dock by Clyde Marine’s tug Bruiser.
Another commuter on the Clyde was Serco’s Northern River heading up river on Saturday afternoon.
Our new ship the MV Hallaig is certainly ‘getting there’ and should be heading north before the week is out Much as I’m sick of being away from home I’d love to be aboard her for the journey, but don’t tell the wife
Actually, now I come to think about it, I seem to have lost a day, methinks all this traffic happened on Sunday, for here is the MV Isle of Lewis in the dry dock yesterday.
The ‘Sound of Seil’ and FPV Minna also berthing nearby.
Anyway it’s Monday evening now, almost 23:00 and time for bed, I know it’s been a lame effort but the phone has been red hot and I’ve been a little distracted, so I’ll leave you with the French frigate La Motte – Picquet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_La_Motte-Picquet_%28D645%29 and the Royal Navy’s HMS Northumberland.