Almost a week,
No posts for almost a week, so I hope all is well with you and yours Paul. Perhaps it’s a small thing like the snow disrupting your internet cable?
and Texas was getting worried Well DrG and everyone else for that matter it’s been a little hectic, for a start I had to work an extra three days on the Hallaig to cover for my ‘back to back’. Then we’ve had a whole raft of extra crew aboard for induction on the new vessel, this will be relief crews and crews for hybrid number two. Consequently this week we’ve had more fires and chemical spills than your average civil war and deposited more anchors on the sea bed than a fleet of warships. We’ve had the press on board, more skippers than an Atlantic convoy and some 5h1te weather to boot.
In other words, the week has flown by and I’ve been too tired to post, what should have been a civilised and early night on Sunday got a little messy when my mate came to dinner. I knew it would when he arrived and his rucksack was clinking Then there was the blizzard, gale and moved caravan followed by the arrival of almost 400 sausages. Anyway, I’ll try and piece the week together in pictures somehow as my memory is rubbish.
The Sunday drive to work was the first in a few weeks during daylight and I managed to catch a few of the many deer I’ve been seeing on camera.
These would be the scrawnier and weaker ones that hadn’t managed to collect themselves a harem during the rut. Not great pictures but it was still early, the light was poor and the camera my old Fuji.
This I’m thinking was more anchor work around at Rubh na Cloiche
or ‘Toms cat’ as we used to call it. I say ‘we’ but it was inevitably my ex skipper Willy Eyre that named our diving spots. This little ‘nose’ that came out from Raasay’s south western extremity was always a good spot during north wind and got its name from Toms catapult. Toms what I hear you say,
well its gone now but twenty years ago there was a huge wooden catapult on the shore here.
I kid you not, the ‘castle’s’ owner had built one of these to ‘repel borders’ I dunno if it actually worked but knowing Tom I’m sure it did
Other spots we used to frequent were the ‘Elephant hills’ off Scalpay, the ‘Butterfly bank’ off Rona, the ‘Quarry nose’ off Moll and the ‘Rubbish dump’ near Braes. The names are all coming flooding back to me now, the ‘Nineteenth hole’ a spot off Camus Tianavaig where I kept finding golf balls, the ‘Bottle bank’ off Eyre where the scallop bag would be full of bottles and plates as well as clams. Apparently vessels would anchor there in years gone by and obviously throw away plates that were cracked rather than fill up the dustbins.
Happy days aboard the MV Conqueror
This is the MV Loch Striven’s old berth and Raasay’s main connection with the mainland and Skye for almost 100 years. Now a ‘listed building’ the century year old iron ore jetty was the exposed berth of the islands ferries for almost forty years. It’s hard now to believe that a significant number of people wanted to stay there rather than build our new one!!!!!!
How times have changed, that’ll be the Loch Arkaig on the end of the iron ore pier in the 60’s I guess
and this the Loch Striven in 2010 http://www.flickr.com/photos/highlandcouncil/4904116240/in/set-72157624751155504/ HRC may be carp at repairing roads but they did build a lovely harbour
Ben Tianavaig with the old iron ore buildings bottom right, I got a little distracted there, probably something to do with the cider I found under the sofa.
After our anchoring exercise we had an untimely fire in the engine room followed by one in the accommodation. All of which made us very hungry,
yup, all of us, for Sunday on we were joined by the ‘wee dug’. Sunday is of course also the day of ‘the big breakfast’ and the spacious airy and well laid out mess room on the Hallaig is the perfect place for it!
Still Sunday and a sea eagle at Eyre courtesy of ‘The other end of the road’ George Rankine
Having done so many drills this last week I’m kind of losing track of the days but our Zodiac with it’s 40hp Yamaha certainly got plenty of use and rescued an inordinate number of dummies.
Monday now (I think) and another from George, this one of us with Glamaig in the background.
Not sure when Bradan Mor (big salmon) was caught on camera at Sconser but the next picture was definitely during the morning.
Tuesday morning over the Ard Duish I’m thinking
a fine start to a fine day with a chemical spill drill and more boat and anchor work.
At least I think that’s what we did,
my memory is atrocious.
I’ll tell you what though, we’re getting pretty slick at launching this boat
A bit of a change
With the change of crew came a change in the weather, me, I was for once quite happy not to be going ‘off shift’. Wednesday heralded a well forecast blast from the north but it was still a shock to the system.
Calum’s cairn, Calum’s road
Glam and Portree
and the Raasay youth hostel http://search.savills.com/property-detail/gbperspes130046, which could be yours for the price of a shoe box in Kensington or a Range Rover and a second hand Purdey http://www.guntrader.co.uk/Guns-For-Sale/Purdey-James_Shotgun_Sidelock-Ejector_For-Sale_121220104612967
It got VERY windy that day, I’m not sure how windy
but certainly a good 50knts in the gusts. All my good intentions of blogging went ‘out the window’ on the way home when I discovered my caravan at Tarbert a peculiar angle on the way home. Caught by the north wind and pushed round about 45 degrees the caravan needing securing and that took wifey and I more time than we bargained for.
Thursday was much better,
and once more we headed around to Eyre for boat drills
and ‘checking the marks’
Think I might have got my days mixed up there but ‘you get the picture’
Methinks the good weather photos may have been Tuesday, the three of the Striven and this one of Braes Wednesday? perhaps. Anyway it’s not important,
this was definitely Thursday morning
The ‘Old Girl’ got her first trip on the Hallaig
and left her mark, though I did clean it up straight away
I’d taken her over to Sconser so that she could be filled up with pork
and that was last nights job. Almost 400 sausages and rather a lot of piggy bits had to be bagged up and deposited into our freezer. Raasay House http://www.raasayoutdoorcentre.co.uk/ had taken one and Kevin of Garybuie http://www.skyetime.org.uk/ another. Myself and RH had taken the easy option and got Munro’s http://www.munrodingwall.co.uk/ to do the butchery but I looked in envy at Kevin and Christine’s pictures of their chorizo and brawn,
five ribs back, he’s obviously done this before
Actually I think that picture of the ‘Green Isle II’ was taken on Thursday but I’m two litres of cider the worse for wear now and past caring.
This one however of our dedicated seaman purser Ali was definitely taken today
So that’s it really, I’m ‘off shift’ the Hallaig will be in service on Monday at 7:55 and I’ll on her as a passenger for the first scheduled crossing. Only because I’ve a dentist appointment though and not because I’m a complete ‘anorak’