Life at the end of the road

November 5, 2013

Back to the Nokia :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:46 pm

Well, that’s it, well after eight PM and I’m still awake, perhaps my body clock is adjusting early! I doubt it though, more like the excitement of one week off, hen house building, wind turbine fettling and of course pig delivery. Well that and the glass of red wine that just appeared on the kitchen table whilst I was in the bath Smile 

My first week on the good ship Hallaig on Raasay is over and it’s been a pure pleasure to work on her. Sure there’s an awful lot to take in but we’ve a couple of extra crew and great ‘back up’ from John and Darryl of Tecsource and Alexander of  Imtech

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the two companies at the heart of our electronic and hybrid systems. It’s really been a week of drills, developing procedures for various scenarios and familiarization of the various systems in service. We’ve all been trying very hard to break her but aside from from odd technical glitch the worlds first sea going RoRo hybrid ferry is performing very well. A credit indeed to the team that designed her, the yard that built her and the guys from CMAL and CalMac who oversaw the build. Hopefully it’ll not be long before she’s in service but you just cannot believe the amount of paperwork, certification and procedures that have to be in place before that can happen. Anyway, that’s me ‘signed on’, the third crew member in  the ‘articles’

A written set of conditions under which sailors or merchant seamen sign on for a given voyage. A ship’s articles set forth the pay and other benefits due to the seaman as well as the treatment he may expect and the penalties for infractions of the various rules and standards set forth in the articles.

and to be honest I was a little reluctant to leave Smile OK, not actually ‘reluctant’ but certainly not full of the usual enthusiasm to get home that I’ve been suffering this last year or so.



As usual I was up far too early, but that was fine, I did the blog, washing up, got the Dude to the 7:55 ferry and washed the wife’s car in the pishing rain. The sunrise over Inverarish being but a temporary glitch Smile




Actually it wasn’t such a bad day with the ‘seamen’ busy painting and me trying my hardest to ‘blackout’ the ship and then get it working again. All in all I was quite pleased with the results Smile Restoring power on a ship is quite important, restoring it on one with two 500hp ‘permanent magnet’ electric motors is essential Smile


I just love these two 375kw ABB motors that drive our ship along at 9knts, hardly any noise, no vibration, smooth delivery and instant response.


This will be the ‘aft machinery space’, battery room and just one of the many fire fighting related pumps.



The forward one is pretty much the same, so much so that I forget which one I’m in Smile


Only it houses the hydraulic power pack and not the ‘aquamist’ system.


After a day that just seemed to ‘fly by’ I headed home and managed to stay awake until 22:00 (just) in the hope that I’d awake at a sane time. It was not to be and by 5:00am on Tuesday I was up and about, eventually settling on going out for an hour with the shotgun in the hope of bagging a rabbit. I never saw a single one on the clear and cold morning that greeted me but it passed an hour pleasantly before I headed down ‘Calum’s road’ at 10mph in wifey’s Almera. Not that the road is that bad, just that I was really enjoying the journey, on this the first frosty morning of the winter.



Not that it was frosty, or even that cold at Arnish, but it was as I got inland and higher towards the barren moorland of Glam



which even boasted an ice covered pothole!!!


Unlike the section of smooth new ‘black top’ towards the youth hostel which is now ‘pothole free’, well almost Smile Incidentally the YH could be yours for a mere £175k about the price of a broom cupboard in Knightsbridge. However unlike that part of the world you won’t need a burglar alarm or be worried about getting you Jag ‘clamped’. In fact your car won’t even need an MOT if you don’t take it off the island Smile

Arriving at work just as my old ship was departing her berth

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and once more doing some more exercises in ‘blackout recovery’.

Whilst I was busy doing ‘ship stuff’ others were braving the fierce tides of the Raasay Narrows in search of scallops


something I did myself for many years Smile


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Amongst other things I fitted a radio controlled remote control to the gangway winch before handing over to my ‘back to back’ and driving home to swap my SIM cards.


The ‘smart phone’ my son gave me is worse than useless away from the 3g mast at the south end so I resort to my trusty clockwork Nokia once I’m home. Seriously though what is so ‘smart’ about a phone that is useless at making phone calls????


  1. “In fact your car won’t even need an MOT if you don’t take it off the island” … really ?
    I’ve just looked up the rules and it says “The use of vehicles on certain islands does not require a valid MOT. For this to apply, the island must not be connected to the rest of the UK by any bridge, tunnel, ford or road which can (even occasionally) be driven over by the vehicle. Certain larger islands are specifically exempted: the Isle of Wight, Lewis, Mainland, Orkney, and Mainland, Shetland”
    now that’s interesting, I never knew that … so you only need an MOT once you go off Raasay ?

    Comment by cazinatutu — November 5, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    • “In fact your car won’t even need an MOT if you don’t take it off the island” … really ?

      Yes really, that’s what I said, you get an MOT exemption form from the Post Office.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2013 @ 8:18 am

  2. Are all Nokia phones experiencing problems with their internal antennae, or just yours? If the latter, perhaps they would fix it? I’m only allowed to buy phones with apples on them because I’m named after George Macintosh. It’s a mystery why Scotland allows non-Mac electronics within her borders. I suspect another English plot.

    Comment by drgeo — November 5, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    • There’s nothing wrong with the Nokia DrG it’s the friggin ‘smart phones’ that are useless Unlike most of the pap in the Daily Fail this is true 🙂

      People living in rural areas should avoid getting a smartphone if they want the best reception while making calls, according to research.

      Older 2G mobile phones are often better for making calls because they allow more internal space for aerials, watchdog Ofcom said.

      While newer, 3G smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone are far more sophisticated and allows access to high-speed networks, email and the internet, they deliver a poorer performance when starting and completing a call.

      My HTC Wildfire is virtually useless at the north end of Raasay 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 6, 2013 @ 8:16 am

  3. Morning Paul
    Do you have an ‘informal’ system as well as the documented formal system for handover to your back-to-back? There must be so much going on now – some of it perhaps in the “Oh, 5h1te that shouldn’t happen” category – that shared learning seems like a ‘must’. I mean ‘experience’ sharing rather than just formal technical notes? Some process that saves re-inventing ‘wheels’?

    Comment by Carrie — November 6, 2013 @ 8:15 am

  4. Great rant on the shifting clock, Paul! It’s good to see you are firing on all cylinders again.

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — November 6, 2013 @ 10:34 am

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