Life at the end of the road

January 28, 2014

A fast fortnight :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry, shed/house — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:01 pm

Well that went by pretty quick that’s for sure, this ‘two weeks on two weeks off’ has a lot going for it. At least it does for me anyway, as I’m home every night, not so sure if I’d be so keen if I was away from home right enough, but right now I’m just loving it. Ask me again if I’m stuck in dry dock down the Clyde for a fortnight and I’ll probably say something else. Seriously though, it’s nearly the end of January, February is just around the corner, the days are stretching and I’ve fourteen days on the croft to look forward to. Not only that but after my next shift I’m on holiday for a month Smile 

It’s been a hectic two weeks aboard the good ship Hallaig with a couple of extra crew being ‘inducted’ in preparation for the commissioning of her sister the MV Lochinvar. The Lochinvar will be going into service on the Tarbert Portavadie route during the summer so the crews and their reliefs will be training aboard the Hallaig for a while yet.



The snags, hitches, glitches and ‘lessons learned’ on Hallaig should make her passage into service a far smother affair than ours, and no doubt the weather will help too Smile One thing for sure, the Hallaig has been well tested in stormy conditions, punching into seas at 8knts that would have had the Striven doing 4knts and sailing when the Loch Class wouldn’t. Sure she’s missed a couple, but it is the middle of the worst winter in years, half the country is underwater, battered by gales and without power, it’s not a train on rails, it’s a ship Smile

Calm at last

After our recent battering it was good to have some respite, and whilst Monday started off pretty grim at 6:00am



it gradually improved as the day wore on.



In preparation for today’s planned power outage, SSE sent over a large generator and cherry picker


that you barely noticed  on the car deck.



Incessant rain was gradually replaced by showers, the wind died away and it turned into a lovely afternoon.



Fantastic vistas over towards the east and Plockton.


Light enough at 17:00 to do the Sunday boat drill that had been shelved due to the weather,


with smiles all round as our shifts started to draw to a close.

When all ‘ferrying’ was finished for the day I headed home, calling at the new house to admire Lachie’s slating that he was still doing by  floodlight and head torch.


The last day of the shift and the best day of the year


What a start Smile


Well you wouldn’t have got this lot on the Striven, that’s for sure,



there would have been a few ‘late starts’ today had a ‘loch class’ made the first sailing. OK there were one or two quieter runs but on the whole it was very busy, the well forecast power cut driving people off the island to do shopping I guess. And I’m guessing the 17:30 was ‘mobbed’ for I handed over to my ‘back to back’ at 16:15 and the island was still full of traffic then.

Wifey reported sun streaming into the house and I headed home in daylight Smile



OK, perhaps not full daylight



but a lovely pink glow on the sea by Manitoba.



  1. I had forgotten how soon in the new year it starts lighting for you. Dark here at 4.44pm, I remember how my winter blues would be lifted when i could go for a walk when I got back from work at 5pm or see the first of the gorse coming into flower. Now i look forward to the wild garlic and the culinary delights that entails.

    Comment by Alistair — January 28, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

    • Morning Alistair,

      right enough there is gorse in flower, has been for quite a while, but you’d struggle to find a month of the year when there isn’t at least one little splash of yellow somewhere. May is the time it seems to go viral though.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2014 @ 6:57 am

  2. Photos like that make me want Easter to come sooner! We’re visiting friends in broadford and I can’t wait!

    Comment by Gareth — January 28, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

  3. Great pics.

    Comment by Panomphaean — January 28, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

  4. I’ve had an interesting 12 months myself Paul. I took a voluntary redundancy from Parks in late 2012 and then in Oct 2013 we sold our house and moved interstate from Victoria to New South Wales by the sea to be closer to our youngest daughter and family. There is something very peaceful about watching the surf and waves crash on the shore. Enjoy your break when it comes around

    Comment by Iain-down under — January 29, 2014 @ 2:42 am

  5. Hi, I feel very lost in the morning if I do not have my reading fix of LATEOTR its nice to hear of activity away from a $£(*&_ computer desk. Keep up the blog!
    I use to pass the pier quite often on my way to Portree Hospital to look at their Video Conference kit or do a training event. Never managed to pass while you were there though.

    Comment by Lynn Robinson, Inverness — January 29, 2014 @ 8:21 am

    • Glad you’re still keeping up with events Lynn. I only spend a couple of hours a day at work in front of a computer and hate it!!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 31, 2014 @ 5:44 am

  6. Blindly, look at that lovely snow on Sgurr Nan Giilean, I need to get up North quick!!

    Comment by Simon — January 30, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

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