Life at the end of the road

October 14, 2013

Smart my foot :-)

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:02 pm

Well, today I did catch the sunrise and what a peach it was, as my son said 10 years ago, “look dad the sky is on fire”.


It’s hard not to be inspired when your day starts like this


and inspired I was.


First off I began my daily routine of leading the five ‘wee boys’ off the croft and down the hill to where I’ve been feeding them near the old fish farm slip. After just three days the quintet of boars had it sussed and charged down the hill way ahead of me with foaming mouths and high pitched screams, they certainly are a vocal bunch.


A carpet of mist lying in the Arnish valley greeted me upon my return



and ‘mum in law’ was busy standing in for ‘the hen lady of Arnish’ Smile

Me, I turned my attention once more to the Yangzhou Shenzhou 200w 24v turbine that I’ve been tinkering with of late.



Today’s task being to fit the yaw bearings’ and mast top, then give it yet more coats of black Hammerite paint.

I’m on HOLIDAY Smile

By now it was after 9:00am so I phoned up the office to find out what ship I’d be joining on Wednesday, and as I was not required on the Hallaig I decided to take a holiday Smile Well, I’ve loads to take before the end of the year and the weather is lovely, so why not. Of course it wasn’t quite so straight forward because I was using a ‘smart phone’, which is so ‘smart’ that it’s actually useless as a phone. Now I’m a bit slow on the uptake of new technology and quite rightly so it would seem.

I’ve been with Vodafone from the year dot, since before my teenager was born and when I was a fisherman, where the phone was an essential tool at sea. I’ve had a dozen or so phones and can tell you to within a few inches where they do and don’t work. I’ve got roofs, trees, rocks that I climb and windows that I hang out of to get a signal. I am in short an expert on where you can use a Vodafone/dongle/ phone on Raasay, so when my son gave me his HTC Wildfire I was a little surprised that it was quite simply 5h1te at making and receiving calls. The first few weeks I put it down to weather, network problems and just bad luck, however it seems not, an OFCOM report says that ‘smart phones’ are actually pants at making phone calls!!! and it’s not just according to the Daily Fail. They are apparently that full of carp that there is no room for a decent antenna Sad smile

Now call me old fashioned but I’d say that making phone calls is the prime function of a phone, that’s why it’s called a PHONE. It’s so bad that I’ve had to revert to using the trusty Nokia on my week off!!!!


Where it was impossible to make a call without ‘dropping out’ with the ‘Wildfire’ the Nokia was crystal clear with 3 bars of signal, that’ll be ‘progress’ Smile

Once I’d established that there were over fourteen days of ‘leisure’ time ahead of me I slowed down and started to make up some ‘busbars’ for the 24v system in Harry’s shed.

017  018

Simple ones made from aluminium bar and M5 stainless countersunk screws but buying something similar would have been about £30 and taken a week to get here. Sadly I got distracted and forgot to take pictures of the finished effort with fuse in place Sad smile


012  013

I did however manage a shot or two of the little deflector that I’d fitted to Harry’s exhaust, it’s not really required as the exhaust slopes downwards thus ensuring any water runs out. However it’s ‘belt and braces’ and I may even angle it so that it points away from the house more if it makes a difference.



Not very often you see a yacht in Loch Arnish in the summer, let alone halfway through October, perhaps they’d come in to see all the porpoises that have been in there for the last week or two.


Probably as a result of all the fine weather of late and the October holidays it was very busy at the north end today. The ‘wee boys’ took advantage of it by lying in the sun and accosting tourists Smile Here they are having a rest but I saw them on more than one occasion ‘making new friends’ Smile



By late afternoon the sun had baked all the rushes nicely and my son was finally out of bed so we cut some bedding.


With two sows due to farrow in November it seemed like a good idea to get as much cut as possible whilst the weather was good.



That was it really, the sun went down and cast a golden glow on ‘Ravenscliff’, though I’ve not seen or heard one on it for years, I don’t even know what the correct Gaelic name is for this hill above our house but it was once the home of Ravens. Now it’s the haunt of roaring stags and pesky pigeons, dunno what happened to the ravens.


Hallaig and Striven

just found this on Davey’s site she’s VERY BIG Smile


  1. Fourteen leisure days, think I shall need some time off work to read your adventures as it sounds like you & therefore the blog will be busy. Enjoy the weather there is a big North South divide, since Friday had in excess of 7″ of rain. I kid you not.
    Not jealous of your weather a bit. Honest 😦
    I agree with you in the phone department I have a
    Does exactly what it says on the packet.

    Enjoy your ‘holiday’.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — October 15, 2013 @ 5:56 am

  2. Hi Paul.
    You must be pished off not being in the initial commissioning crew for Hallaig? Unless they’ve heard of your extermination skills. Any way I look forward to reading your holiday exploits. You’ll be tearing up the waters on Hallaig soon enough.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — October 15, 2013 @ 6:33 am

    • Hi Paul.
      You must be pished off not being in the initial commissioning crew for Hallaig?

      We’re ALL ‘pi55ed off’ Walter 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 15, 2013 @ 6:45 am

  3. It’s good to catch up with the pigs again now that you’re back to being a crofter who works on the ferry for relaxation instead of the other way round! A fine looking lot they are too.

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — October 15, 2013 @ 8:21 am

  4. Hi Paul
    ‘Hallaig’ looks as though she might be sitting ON the pier when one of these very high tides strike 🙂

    I came across this video on YouTube with an interview with Calum MacLeod on your croft (8 minutes in). You’ve probably seen it before but here is the link anyway.

    Comment by Derek — October 15, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  5. Yes, seems weird not getting you involved in the new ferry as early as possible.

    Sorry if this sucks eggs but you do know stainless is a lot less electrically conductive that copper or aluminium, don’t you? Cu and Al resistivities are 16.8 and 28.2 nΩ·m respectively whereas stainless is 690 (generic stainless according to Wikipedia) or 770 (314 according to the second link below) so some 30 to 40 times greater.

    I use stainless bolts and washers (A2) on my toy LiFePO₄ batteries but I make sure the tinned-copper lug on the lead is in direct contact with the battery terminal with the washer and bolt only providing mechanical connection and a secondary electrical path.

    I suspect that if you put enough current through your bus bar to need that much aluminium the bolts will cause a small but noticeable volt drop and might even run a bit warm.

    Click to access Alloy_314_Stainless_Steel_Alloy.pdf

    Comment by Ed Davies — October 15, 2013 @ 11:54 am

  6. Great Movie Clip, That’s the first time I have seen Callum ” Alive ” So you will be getting all the jobs done before winter now your on holiday Paul, I am coming up to see Grant Fraser in December when we are both back from our tin islands and I will look you up then is your home ; )

    Comment by v8mbov — October 15, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

    • that’s a powerful video … it does though make me wonder about the descendants of the people who were “cleared” who now get all misty eyed about clan chiefs and clan loyalty

      Comment by cazinatutu — October 15, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

  7. Yacht in Arnish Bay – I looked in there this summer with my boat, but found it all rather too deep for anchoring – nothing less than about 20m, even very close to the shore. Whereabouts did they end up?

    Comment by Tony H — October 15, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    • Hi Tony, I think they did the same as you, though there is good holding ground just below the schoolhouse and in Tarbert.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 15, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

  8. Good pic of the two ferries at the pier.Spot on comment with the phones,cannot help thinking smart-a*se phones a more app-t description.

    Comment by Andy — October 15, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

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