Friday already and I started this post on Wednesday but got distracted, Thursday was out because we were partying so I’m going to give it a shot just now.
The last time I ‘put pen to paper’ was from sunny Gourock on what would be me last stint at Ferguson’s shipyard aboard the MV Hallaig, she was almost finished and due to sail north on Friday. It won’t be my last trip away from home I’m sure but it certainly felt like it and I left Port Glasgow at 13:00 in great spirits. Arriving at Sconser five and a half hours later after a nice leisurely drive north through the greens and browns of early autumn, the ratio of darker hues increasing noticeably over Rannoch moor and into Glen Coe.
The last ferry had me arriving on Raasay at dusk and home in the dark to an audio assault of three roaring stags bellowing across the Arnish valley at each other. A haunting a surreal noise on a still night miles from civilization, if you’ve never heard it and don’t know what it is I guarantee it would put the fear of God in you.
That clip is just of one and was taken three years ago out of the front door, I can hear two of them tonight through the double glazing and above the TV in the living room. Beats the carp out of traffic, police sirens and drunken neds on a Friday night
A home cooked meal ready for me on my arrival, a mountain of mail dealt with, a glass of wine then bed, I’d a busy day ahead of me Or should I say ‘we’d’ a busy day ahead of us.
The day arrived clear and bright so we wasted no time in getting on with stuff, or at least trying to. The normally super reliable Honda 350 quad refused to start so I tried the Yamaha and that too was having an ‘off day’. The Honda had managed to empty the contents of its petrol tank into the sump and air cleaner due to a sticking carburettor needle valve. Coming out in sympathy the equally dependable Yamaha had refused to offer even a click from its starter motor let alone an attempt to turn over the 350cc single cylinder engine. Believe it or not, of this I was quite glad, the 350 Bruin has had this intermittent fault for a while, but never when I’ve had tools or test equipment at hand.
Testing with a multimeter indicated either a bad connection or faulty starter solenoid so I pulled it all apart, cleaned the terminals and fitted one new connector. Rebuilding it seemed to indicate it had been sorted so I sent ‘Lightning MacLennan’ off to collect the bins.
After which we set about the Honda
draining off a watery mixture of oil and petrol from the sump and around a litre out of the air filter.
Having spent far more time than I would have liked on the two workhorses I left the Honda on charge and we all went up to the new house site to do some work on Harry.
The insulators at Ferguson’s had kindly given me some ‘off cuts’ and we spent the morning piecing them together with aluminium tape to lag the exhaust.
The stuff wasn’t quite the right size but we managed to do a very respectable job with what was essentially stuff from the skip, I was well chuffed
The ‘dunny’ arrives
It was in the midst of all this that we heard a noise,
Lachie had arrived with his ‘dunny’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunny . A sure sign that work is about to restart on our house
A fine construction it wouldn’t look out of place amongst its Australian counterparts
Whilst there were no end of rainbows on Wednesday I don’t actually recall any rain, here’s one off Manish point.
After lunch the boys and I swept up all the loose chips and stones from the end of the drive and used them to patch up some potholes, it’s been almost a year since I’ve done any road repairs thanks to being away so much.
By 16:00 though it was time for me to ‘hit the road’ once more, this time to get to Oban some 160 miles away for 9:00am on Thursday. Yup, it was yet another course, this time on the company’s planned maintenance and purchasing system. Choosing to stay the night with my parents rather than in an Oban hotel, OK, it would be a 6:00am start but I’m usually up by then anyway.
Sgier Cnapach by Osgaig bathed in the early evening suns rays.
Another rainbow at the mouth of Loch Sligachan
and the first snow I’ve seen this year, a light dusting on the ‘Five Sisters of Kintail’.
A beautiful drive down to Oban from Kintail, a very interesting course, a nice lunch and catching the last ferry home sums up Thursday. It was a great day for photographs but I was just too rushed to stop and break out the camera.
Back on Raasay just after 19:00 it was off up to the village hall for a ceilidh, which I believe was still ‘kicking’ to Daimh http://www.daimh.net/ in the ‘wee small hours’ me I was in my bed before midnight sober
Shame really because it was a great night by all accounts, but a 300 mile drive and six hours in front computer had wrecked me
This morning started with some fresh honey on my porridge,
so fresh that it still had the bee in it Luckily the wife managed to keep it in the carrier bag and return it to the hive ten miles away at Oscaig. It was another beautiful and I started off by overhauling the starter on the Honda (again).
I dare say it would have gone another month or two but I had the carburettor off to clean it anyway and the starter just sits below it. Far easier to do it when the carb and air cleaner are off than wait for it to fail then repair it. The brushes are a bit of a weakness on the Honda and seem to wear out every eighteen moths or so, however they’re easy enough to change and I keep a set in stock. Coincidently they’re exactly the same as on the Yamaha 350 Bruin yet they last about ten years !!!! must be something to do with its position on the machine.
With that sorted and the carburettor all cleaned out the Honda was staring just great but pishing fuel out of the float bowl. As the needle valve looked to be clean and the float sound I ordered up another valve and used the Yamaha to take some batteries up for Harry.
Twelve forklift truck batteries are probably a little OTT for starting a two cylinder diesel engine but they’ve been sat doing nothing for a couple of years and its better than scrapping them. With two weak cells they’re not much use for powering a house but will be just fine for starting Harry the HR2 Lister, especially with a Navitron 235w solar panel on the roof of the shed to keep them ‘topped up’
She’s on her way
The good ship Hallaig, the worlds first hybrid sea going Ro Ro ferry left Ferguson’s shipyard today around 11:30 bound for Campbeltown on the first leg of her journey here.
Oban tomorrow night then, with a bit of luck Raasay