Life at the end of the road

November 2, 2013

We have a new ship :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry, The daily pothole — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:30 am

Friday was another pretty fresh and wet day after gale force winds throughout the night and yet more torrents of rain. I’d given up loosing sleep over the 200w Yangzhou Shenzhou wind turbine and resigned myself to the fact that it would, at some point over the next day or two, become scrap. The large bladed, low wind, wind turbine just wasn’t designed to take this abuse, and I knew that before I fitted it.

However, before winding my way slowly down the crumbling Raasay roads I went up to the new house to look at the little dragonfly Smile



Much to my surprise she was still ‘milling away’ and miraculously still producing power, not much right enough after having ‘lost a phase’, and the scaffolding pole appeared bent, but still working!!! I was stunned, for around 3:00am a gust of wind had hit it so hard that I heard it ‘chewing the air’ in my bed some 160m away. We start at 8:30 this morning so perhaps I’ll get a chance to have a look and perhaps tie the blades, for it’s 6:00am now and there’s little sound of wind.

Just for a change, and to have a look at the ‘new road’ I took the ‘high road’ by the youth hostel, a road that few Raasay people have used this last couple of years. After Scottish Water’s multi million pound upgrade of the recent multi million pound upgraded water treatment plant the road was well and truly wrecked. Of course had the road been ‘fit for purpose before Ross shire engineering and RJ Macleod upgraded it there’d have been little wrong with the road. However it had been left so badly damaged by thousands of tons of traffic that SW had been persuaded to fix it, or at least contribute towards its cost.

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Well, they certainly made a good job, now all the have to do is resurface the rest of the roads to match Smile

Upon joining the good ship Hallaig at 8:00am on Friday I was informed that the ship had been officially handed over from Ferguson’s (the builder) to CMAL (the owner) and consequently passed on to CalMac (the operator).


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So, the Ferguson’s ‘house flag’ came down and the CalMac one went up, accompanied by the ‘red ensign’, the ship was now ours ‘to play with’ at least, it would still be a week or two before we went into service.



After having been told yesterday that the boat still belonged to the yard we’d been ordered to stay alongside and not attend the Sconser ferry terminal official opening but that changed with the news that she was ours so ‘off we went’ in the wind and rain.



Luckily it did clear up for a few minutes as soon as we landed on the slip



and a few representatives of the council, operators, school and public managed to step on the car deck Smile


That would be just before their ‘slap up’ meal at Smile



I do hope ‘Raasay’s future’ got to go Smile

After that it was a day of some serious manoeuvring and exercises as we tried to break our new ship Smile Better now with extra crew aboard than when she’s in service Smile



  1. What a great day for you all a serviceable road, wind turbine, and your new ferry coming into service. I agree a grand day.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — November 2, 2013 @ 7:56 am

  2. Happy days! So I’ll be able to take the new ferry and not shatter my suspension when I poodle over to Raasay next year. Good times

    Comment by Kevin — November 2, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  3. Is there any suggestion that the road to Fearns might be ‘up-graded’ or is it just to be abandoned? It’s been in a shocking state for years. Great news about the high road, all the same. I suspect that the Highland Council will now rest on their laurels and expect you all to be grateful for what you have, but I would love to be proved wrong!

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — November 2, 2013 @ 10:30 am

  4. Hi Paul

    How does the Hallaig behave when there’s a bit of sea running or a swell? The Loch Striven used to roll when it met the seas half way between Sconser and Suisnish and pitched when it was going into the waves on the way to or from the new pier. I guess with a bigger ship the response will be different.



    Comment by Sue — November 3, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

    • Steady as a rock Sue 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 4, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

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