Life at the end of the road

October 16, 2013

Harris here we come :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, life off grid, New hybrid ferry, wind turbine — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:50 pm

I dunno why I’m getting so excited about this trip, I spent a good part of the last nine months plying the Minch and I’m certainly no stranger to Harris. Whatever the reason, I’ll not be spending much time on here tonight for I have to pack my bag, I know I’ve been ‘packing my bag’ for a year now but this time I’m going to have to pack it properly and not just seven CalMac Tee shirts, seven pairs of socks and seven pairs of boxers, no this time I’m going to have to pack some proper clothes and skip the overalls Smile 

So, before I do that and start scanning the internet for the tourist hotspots of Harris and Lewis I’d better get the ‘days doings’ out of the way.


A day that started well before 6:00am then I could get some stuff done before departing at 7:15 to catch the first ferry. Reluctantly I had to go to Portree to stock up with pig and hen feed prior to our wee holiday. It was great of ‘mum in law’ to watch the croft, dog and boy so I could hardly expect her to take the Land Rover into Portree for half a ton of feed too.



Calum’s cairn at the beginning of his road and the Applecross peninsula looked marvellous at the break of day and I was loath to leave the ‘north end’ behind on such a good day.


Faith, Hope and Charity, the three Evance wind turbines at the Raasay water treatment plant were all facing the rising sun in a gentle south easterly breeze. I do like these graceful turbines Smile


Red sky in the morning, sailors warning, or so they say, well it may herald a change in the weather but it was hardly dramatic, and I’ve just noticed that someone has removed the only rope on the boat. A trick question asked of many landlubbers by seamen is ‘how many ropes are there on a ship, yacht or whatever’, the answer of course is one, and that is the ‘bell rope’. All the others are lines, springs, sheets or wires, anyway the Loch Striven’s has vanished Sad smile hopefully to find its way onto the Hallaig Smile



The next couple of hours was spent in Portree ‘rushing around like a blue ar5ed fly’



getting feed, fuel, food and a 19mm sheet of OSB for the base of my battery shelf in Harry’s shed.


Back on Raasay around midday I bumped into the ‘post lady’ at and saw


the Hallaig at Sconser with her ramp down. This is really going to confuse the customers having two ferries plying the route, especially as only one can carry passengers Smile

After unloading all the feed I took my new battery shelf up to the barn and cut it to size


making it deliberately short then I could run the heavy cables underneath.



Having tried it for size I then set about getting some primer onto it, fibre glass would probably have been better but as I plan to fit these special caps they shouldn’t need topping up very much. At something like £300 for enough caps for the 16 Rolls S530 batteries they’re not cheap but these Rolls batteries are quite thirsty. This may not be an issue if you live on the mainland where distilled water is cheap but I use about 50lts a year here and the delivery costs ‘an arm and a leg’, water is very heavy Sad smile 


Once I’d cut the shelf to size, spent an hour or so filling in potholes by the new barn and given the wood a coat of primer I turned my attention to the Yangzhou Shenzhou wind turbine.


I bolted a pipe clamp to my bench and then wired it up, fitted the cowl and painted the tailfin


022 021 

This model has no ‘slip rings’ and I had to split the cowl to remove it, some insulation tape, silicon and cut up inner tube had it back together in such a way that it was water proof and easy to disassemble. The lack of slip rings mean that the cable will need to be periodically untwisted so I’m thinking of fitting a pair of these at the bottom of the tower.

The current is only 8amps, they’re reasonably weather proof and easily parted to untwist the cable, unlike the Proven, this is not a ‘fit and forget’ turbine but it was cheap, the low wind performance is great and i can’t wait to see it ‘fly’ Smile



  1. ‘how many ropes are there on a ship, yacht or whatever’ – same answer as: How many lakes in the Lake District?


    Comment by Roy Bun — October 16, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

    • ‘how many ropes are there on a ship, yacht or whatever’ – same answer as: How many lakes in the Lake District?

      Thanks and welcome Roy 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 21, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

  2. In case you happen to be looking – the only place on Harris we could find for a cup of coffee on a Sunday was at the far end of Taobh Tuath (Northton) down in the south west. It’s ‘Wee Free’ country so everything is closed. Enjoy your well deserved holiday.
    We saw Hallaig in Oban last Saturday night, where she’d stopped on her way north – unfortunately it was too dark to see much of her.

    Comment by Irena Krasinska-Lobban — October 16, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

    • Last time I was there Irena even the toilets in Stornoway closed on Sunday, good to see that they are now open on the Sabbath 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 21, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  3. St Clements at Rodel is a must, and can you find the shielamagig (not sure of the spelling) it evaded my camera, and there was no guide to direct me, but it is/should be on an outside wall. Enjoy the trip. Shops shut Sunday like Germany, Raasay etc.

    Comment by SOTW — October 16, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

  4. A clever Scot once took his wife on a mini break, to a place where there were no stores…

    Comment by George Leddick — October 17, 2013 @ 2:28 am

  5. I hope you and your wife enjoy your well earned break … it’ll be lovely to have some time off together

    Comment by cazinatutu — October 17, 2013 @ 2:47 am

  6. did miss molly load all that pig food herself?

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — October 17, 2013 @ 6:28 am

  7. Wind turbines on Raasay! The water treatment plant was being re-done last time I was on the island but these have sprung up as a surprise – they look good. I can see some from my window here in Bacup looking over to Scout Moor (when it’s not misty or raining) and they, too, look good, though not everyone is a fan.


    Comment by Sue — October 17, 2013 @ 8:13 am

  8. We left Raasay in the summer and visited Harris and Lewis for the first time. Stayed with Tony and Kirsty Wade at Suainaval B and B in Uig. We were sad to leave Raasay but had a fantastic time there, they were so welcoming. It is a lovely round the Glen Valtos area. Enjoy your stay. Allison

    Comment by Allison — October 17, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

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