Gosh it’s after 21:00 and that’s me just poured out my first glass of wine and turned on the electric blanket. I can’t pretend it’s roasting in the old 1970 or is it 1971 Thomson Glenelg but it’s certainly cosy, they just don’t make caravans like this anymore, with a hardwood frame and proper tongue and groove wooden floor it really is built like a tank. Sure it’s not got all the ‘mod cons’ of your newer models but it makes up for that in character and best of all it was free. We must have had it five or six years now, it’s done the ‘festival circuit’ with us and saved me a fortune in hotel bills whilst I’ve been away, I just love it http://www.thomson-caravans.co.uk/index.htm
What’s more it was built in Scotland and despite being out of production for some thirty odd years they’re still sought after and have a devout following.
Just check out that pure 1970’s carpet, it’s so hideous that it’s stylish
Anyway, I left you last night in a haste to get to the pub, when you live where I do you don’t miss an opportunity like that, especially if it’s a quiz night and you head is full of useless information. Not that that did our team much good but it was good craic anyway and we weren’t due to sail until 9:00am so I got a ‘lie in’ until 7:00am. Normally I’m at work by then having got up at 5:30. There is a lot to be said for living on the pier in a caravan just a few yards away from your ship Must remember to pack the wine glasses next time, though hopefully there won’t be a ‘next time’, much as I’m enjoying the change of scene, ‘home is where my heart is’, not to mention wife and ‘wee dug’. To be honest I seriously thought of bringing Molly with me as a hot water bottle but it wouldn’t have been fair to leave her cooped up in the Thomson all day.
Back to the ‘voyage’
Once under the Skye bridge we passed through the narrow channel once plied by the Calmac ferries Loch Fyne and Loch Dunvegan in the days before the Skye bridge. The crossing was for years a bottleneck with queues of several miles in the summer yet there were many who objected to the bridge coming. Seems mad now, when you can actually drive to Inverness and back comfortably in day from Raasay that some people didn’t want it.
That’s people for you though, they just don’t like change and I’m probably the worst!
That’ll be Dun Caan on Raasay seen over Kyle, Morar motors and the BUTEC navy base http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BUTEC .
A short while later we entered another narrow and fiercely tidal stretch of water, the Kylerhea Narrows and met the salmon farm ‘well boat’ Ronja Commander coming the other way.
The very same boat is discharging fish right now just a couple of hundred yards from my caravan, there’s never a dull moment here at Mallaig harbour
Just in case the GPS wasn’t working we had the road map open at the right page as a precaution However, according to the poster outside Mallaig’s beautiful Church of Scotland http://shipoffools.com/mystery/2009/1777.html ‘Jesus gives you better direction than satnav’.
Now I know this because last night I got lost on my way to the Clachain Inn and saw a poster outside the church that said so, I had to laugh, having just walked far further than I need too for my pint of Stella
However, I digress
this is Glenelg
this is Kylerhea
and this Mallaig on a fine spring morning, for the good ship Hallaig was indeed there before midday.
After ‘ramp trials’ on the linkspan at Mallaig we headed over to Armadale on Skye
to do the same there.
It was whilst there that I spotted an old acquaintance,
the massively built and still immaculately looking Eilane. This extremely heavily laid up fibreglass boat once belonged to my good friend and ex skipper Willie Eyre. Called a ‘pursers dory’ it was a very sturdy and powerful craft designed to be launched in all weathers from the heaving deck of a purser to close the ‘purse net’. Originally an open boat built in Norway with fibreglass thicker than a babies arm my mate Willie built that wheelhouse from bits of van roofs and some Austin A40 windows.
what a guy!!!!
The Hallaig’s extremely wide ramps did fit, but only just, so we had to await some permissions and modifications to both linkspans before being able to take up the service today.
Mallaig is certainly a busy little port and there’s my old Thomson tucked in behind the blue container
The first day of summer
Today, Friday is the official start of the CalMac summer timetable when the MV Loch Nevis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Lochnevis would officially handover to the MV Coruisk. However that honour was now passed onto us, and at 13:00 we officially picked up the service from Armadale, though not before catching my mate Fraser from Eyre Plant ‘on camera’.
Methinks that this load was going onto the ‘MV Spanish John’ to go and build a house at Knoydart, a place even more remote than Arnish
The day turned out to be the busiest in Hallaig’s career so far I guess, but at 23:18 I guess I’ll have to tell you about it tomorrow.