Life at the end of the road

November 13, 2013

Pretty fresh

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:48 pm

Probably been quite a few posts with that title the last six years but you’ll have to forgive me, after over 1600 posts I’m running short of titles Smile A better title would have been ‘Boodly miserable’ or even ‘Effin grim’ but I’m trying to refrain from swearing, fat chance. Actually it wasn’t too bad first thing, wet right enough but not so windy and I leapt into my Land Rover full of enthusiasm for the day ahead, yes really! The starts aren’t as early as I’m used to when working on the Striven so it feels like a ‘lie in’ when I bump down the road at 7:30 instead of 6:30 and it’s getting light by then. Though to be honest once the Hallaig is in service it’s going to be a longer day for she takes a a lot more starting and stopping than the more ‘agricultural’ Loch class. There’s a gangway to fit, shore power to disconnect a checklist ‘as long as your arm’ to go through prior to sailing and another one just as long for shutting down.

After leaving the pier I busied myself in the engine room and then refitted the ships bell, it having been removed after driving everyone daft with its incessant ringing. The bracket the Ferguson’s had fitted needed a little ‘damping’ to say the least Smile However a polished, lacquered,  insulated and suitably rubber damped bracket had been fabricated by the company technical superintendent. Sadly I’d left my camera ashore so couldn’t take a picture of this work of art.


I failed to get a photo of these two well armed RIB’s heading south either


fortunately George Rankine caught them as they sped past Eyre. They had headed north yesterday evening but at great distance and in poor light.



We had another vehicle aboard today, the CalMac delivery van returning from it’s daily visit to our local community shop. Then it was over to Sconser with the van so that we could ‘bunker’ 3000lts of fuel.


By now it was a real 5h1tty day with 62knts recorded on both our anemometer on the bridge and George’s at Eyre.


003 004

Luckily it was south wind so Sconser was ‘workable’ and I got my first ever delivery of fuel Smile



After that we tied up for the rest of the day, I changed some filters on the ‘Voith’ units and a few other jobs before we ‘knocked it on the head’ at 18:00 and headed home.

This stormy weather that is so often ‘bringer of power cuts’ is what our house thrives on, the wind turbine loves it and so do the hydro turbines. OK the solar PV does ‘diddly squat’ but then that comes into its own during the longer days and higher pressure. I know I shouldn’t, but I feel really smug with all this talk of energy bill hikes and grid insecurity, it is really satisfying generating your own electricity. Sure, it’s probably still more expensive when you take into account the cost of the batteries to store it but the gap closes with every increase by the ‘big six’ and we have total reliability of supply. In over twenty five years I’ve been powerless for minutes, not hours, days or even weeks like some folk last winter.

The down side is that the wind must have moved the satellite dish so we’ve had no TV for two days but I never watch it anyway. However since we got the new wireless broadband thanks to the Applecross community and the post lady can watch iPlayer Smile and I can listen to Portishead.




OK, perhaps not at the same time but it’s been a pure joy to listen to this ‘trip hop’ classic in its entirety with no ‘buffering’. Twice I’ve bought this album and taped it more than once but still managed to be without a copy, thank God for YouTube and wireless technology. This would have been impossible with our satellite broadband link. 


  1. It must be quite exciting to be preparing the Hallaig for service or has the novelty worn off a bit? When should she actually be ready to take passengers?

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — November 13, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

  2. Hi

    I have only recently found your blog and enjoy reading it.

    Question the tanker shows 3Y 1223 which is kerosene/paraffin. I would have thought you would use diesel/gas oil, ie 3YE 1202.

    Comment by Tedgo — November 14, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    • Hi Ted and welcome, I’m guessing he was loaded with heating oil too, perhaps the requirement is to list the most flammable substance carried on the tanker?

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 14, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

  3. The armed RIBs will be carrying the pirates you’ve spent so much time training for in South Sheilds !

    Comment by SOTW — November 15, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

    • Meant to ask why the ferry needs paraffin ?

      Comment by SOTW — November 15, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

      • Meant to ask why the ferry needs paraffin ? for the fridge 🙂 no seriously She, the paraffin/kerosene would have been his next delivery.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 16, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

    • The armed RIBs will be carrying the pirates you’ve spent so much time training for in South Sheilds ! 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 16, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

  4. Hi me again – been reading about your problems with digital cameras
    If I could make a couple of suggestions.
    If you are looking for a point and shoot – look at the Pentax Optio WP
    Resolution is not that high – only 5mega pixels but virtually bomb proof – water proof etc – also being very second hand quite cheap.
    If you are looking for a DSL look at the Samsung GX20 – waterproof and cheaper than it sister Pentax but can still run all Pentax goodies.

    Regards Simon

    Comment by Simon King — November 16, 2013 @ 1:15 am

  5. Ahhh Portishead – I was playing it to wee man (nearly 4) just the other day. At one point he said “this bit sounds like a squid”. Love Kyla

    Comment by kyla — November 16, 2013 @ 10:19 am

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