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
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 http://www.evancewind.com/ 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
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 hopefully to find its way onto the Hallaig
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 http://www.raasayengineering.co.uk/ 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
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 http://www.rolls-battery.com/content/water-miser-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
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
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’