So much for the arrival of spring like weather that germinated some long lost enthusiasm, the ‘green shoots of recovery’ just got flattened by two days of wind and rain.
Four lovely days of hanging out washing on the line, throwing open windows not wearing oilskins came to an abrupt end on Friday when I awoke to a good gale from the south west. The flush of birdsong, crocus and daffodils had however kept me optimistic, for a little while at least, so after feeding the pigs I went for a walk with the ‘wee dug’.
The extra height, slow speed and well glazed cab on the JCB 728 telehandler had given me a glimpse of something green on the shore as I trundled north last week. It was the unmistakeable green of a Balmoral oil tank, so nothing to get excited about as I’ve already got about ten but with the tide being low it was a good opportunity for a spot of beachcombing and too check it out.
Without a boat you’re pretty stuffed at the north end of Raasay when it comes to flotsam and jetsam, the few places with access to the sea are not generally the places where anything comes ashore. However this particular spot often turns up interesting ‘treasure’, though I can’t even begin to pronounce its Gaelic name correctly so won’t attempt to. It was a place where generations of South Arnish fishermen would access the shore in times past though, just check out the stone work on the shore, which decades of storms have failed to dislodge. The new concrete slip built by the fish farm a few yards away lasted the whole of two winters.
Well, it must have been some storm that threw that up there!!!
Whilst it was relatively sheltered around the house and barn it was pretty wild up at the hen shed so my work on that was restricted to preparing more timber for it down at the barn, then dashing up and nailing it in place.
It was more of the 6 x 2’s from Raasay House that have kept me occupied for hours with hardwood wedges and a claw hammer. I once took out 80 nails from two planks nailed together, give a man a nail gun and he thinks he’s the friggin ‘Terminator’ Just check out the bucket
A coffee break at lunchtime saw a gust of over 60mph, though you’d barely have noticed it in the caravan with all the anchors and chains holding it down.
Speaking of holding stuff down, all my resin kit arrived on Thursday for anchoring the new turbine down and I was well pleased with it. Half a dozen packets of Hilti HIT RE500 resin a Hilti MD2000 applicator gun and a 30mm x 400mm rock bit, all for less than £100. The bit is a little on the short side right enough, I’d have called it a 300mm bit, that’s a 400mm bit with the dust on it. Anyway, it’s an ARMEG, brand new and was only £35 delivered so I’ve ordered another at 470mm for only £25. They are ‘K Taper’ bits as opposed to the more popular SDS so can be picked up much cheaper as it’s almost obsolete these days. Fortunately my Hitachi breaker can take both, and yes I know you can get new bits for half that but there carp Chinese ones.
Meanwhile on the MV Loch Seaforth
I gave up after a while and spent the rest of the afternoon in Lachie’s telehandler moving stuff from the current house up to the new one and rearranging rubbish on the croft.
Meanwhile CalMac’s latest and largest vessel ever is rapidly taking shape at FSG in Germany Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft and I’ve been lucky enough to receive some more pictures of her.
Here she is from aft looking forward in the massive shed awaiting the superstructure from Gdansk.
This one looking aft,
the strangest, most ‘hi tech’ propellers that I’ve ever seen.
The bow section being moved into position
and I was clever moving some telegraph poles and an oil tank with the telehandler !!!!
Many Thanks to John Alan Gillies her master for these pictures and John Salton of CMAL for the last lot. I really am going to have to use my ‘staff pass’ and go for a sail on this beauty Mind you, if the folk Lewis are anything like the folk on Raasay they’ll no be happy with her I can just see the quotes now in the ‘Free Press’ or the ‘Hebrides news’ “Aye the Isle of Lewis would have sailed today, there was hardly a breath of wind and the Seaforth is stuck in port”
An extra pair of hands
In disgust I went to bed early last night in the vain hope of an early start on a better day, fat chance, it was even wetter today, though not quite so breezy, just your average gale. Anyway, after doing all the usual chores and clearing yet more carp off the croft I finally managed to raise my son around 11:30.
So, in the pishing rain we just got on with it
and what a job we did
it would have taken me days on my own to get this far.
With the Dude’s assistance however, our chicken shed now has three sides and a roof
With a little luck we’ll get some corrugated iron on tomorrow, it was a little draughty today for moving 12’ sheets of ‘crinkly tin’.