Life at the end of the road

October 15, 2013

Like summer, only better :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings, New hybrid ferry, stonework, wind turbine — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:13 pm

Another pure peach of a day right from the start, a little sharper than a summers morning, but not much, and by the time the sun rose above the eastern hills it was pure summer.

Once more I was up early, not exceedingly so, but before daybreak and full of enthusiasm for the rest of this mid October morn, I’ve not felt like this in months Smile I think spending some time with wifey last night planning a short holiday helped too, it’ll only be three nights away but I can’t wait. Mum in law will be watching the croft with the assistance of the Dude and Molly. I’ve been told that I mustn’t pack any overalls or CalMac Tee shirts and we’re going to be eating out not living off ‘festival food’, which is usually vodka and orange for breakfast and Pot Noodles for lunch. The ferry is booked and the luxurious B&B organized , OK, the weather is supposed to go ‘pear shaped’ tomorrow but who cares, we can spend three days watching wind turbines spinning round in the pishing rain Smile

Anyway, where was I before I went ‘off on one’ there, well out in the garden at 8:00am listening to the sound of autumn, which up here is a pair of bellowing stags and rustling leaves under foot. Well that and the torrential rain, howling gale and crashing waves, which have fortunately been absent of late.




I missed the stag as he’d just vanished behind Meall Dearg Arnish but his three hinds were still on the ridge.


Here’s the ‘competition’ though on the other side of the valley doing his best to attract the attention of the ladies.

After feeding everyone and adding another dead pigeon to the three that my boy had shot I went up to Harry’s shed and did some more work on the wiring there.


I mounted my home made bridge rectifier, wired up the ammeter and added a dual pole switch.



It’s an AC one but as the maximum current will only be 10 amps it should be just fine, I think it’s rated at 40amps AC, DC current makes a far larger spark so needs heavier switch gear. Anyway it’s more for isolation than actually disconnecting under load, wind turbines like this Chinese piece of carp need to be kept under load or they self destruct.


I also surveyed the old wind turbine mast that I put up some 15 or more years ago, it’s in a great spot but not ideal for this 24v model as it’s 60m away from the shed. The distance means that at full power, around 8amps I really need a 10mm square three core cable and I haven’t got anything that long in three core Sad smile Still I do have plenty of 2.5mm square so could double it up to make 5mm square, at least then I could try it out Smile If I remember rightly from Hugh Piggott’s book he does suggest under sizing cable on battery charging systems to prevent the turbine picking up speed so quickly. I’ve got to try it haven’t I Smile

However, if I do I’ll have to use the Chinese ‘Mickey Mouse’ controller and not my bridge rectifier as I’ve no diversion load controller yet. So, with this in mind I made a shelf for it and connected it to the battery, at least I can use its voltmeter then.

019  022

Even Chinese wind turbine enthusiasts admit that these grey boxes are total carp and fry in the first gale, however it’s just a temporary state of affairs until I get another TriStar.

Having ditched the ‘smart phone’ in favour of the old Nokia I also spent some time making bookings, catching up and arranging stuff



from one of the several places at Arnish that you actually get a good signal. I tried from here yesterday with the HTC Wildfire and it was impossible, same conditions, same spot, same time.


The loch was even full of the same porpoises Smile

It wasn’t just me that was enjoying the sun, the five ‘wee boys’ had found themselves a nice sunny spot in the car park and were flaked out there soaking it up.


015 016

At least they were until they found some visitors to go and pester, dunno if they realized that the folks were barbecuing some of there relatives though Smile


020 021

Having just watched the video that Derek posted of Calum being interviewed on ‘The Blood is Strong’ I got all fired up for road building.


Great shots of North Arnish, Donald Eyre’s barn, the old Post Office and even a glimpse of our house and Torran in the distance.

I did do more but it’s 22:00 now, my eyes are sore and I need a bath, so I’ll just leave you with some of George Rankine’s excellent shots of the two ferries.

Hallaig 5

She really is very big!!!

Hallaig 6

And now for something completely different

Eyre otter1

an otter charging across George’s lawn this evening

 Eyre otter 2  (1)

and a far better picture of the moon

Moon from Eyre

than the one I took earlier


Smile Cheers, George.



  1. Once a gain Paul you do your blog proud,
    Your link to Calum’s film The Blood is Strong, puts a lot in perspective to what happened to the crofters in Scotland in the bad days, but have people learned from it?

    Comment by Polite Scouser — October 16, 2013 @ 8:55 am

  2. Hi Paul

    When is the Hallaig starting the route. I am up there in a couple of weeks time and need to try out the new smooth ride 🙂

    Comment by Simon — October 16, 2013 @ 11:01 am

  3. Wonderful blog, Paul! You continue to delight us all with your photos and videos and timely comments. I really appreciate the old colour film featuring Calum McLeod still living at Arnish, hadn’t seen it before. The Hallaig is enormous! Will it be used exclusively on the Raasay run, or other crossings as well? Thank you for such an interesting and informative blog. I do read most of it, but must say that I skim over the technical bits! Best wishes, Carolyn.

    Comment by Carolyn — October 16, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

  4. Paul did I hear you right your take the wife away for a few days, you old romantic you. No I enjoy yourselves you deserve it after the past year of gadding about you’ve done. So when does Hallaig starting earning her keep?

    Comment by Stan — October 16, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

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