Life at the end of the road

October 30, 2014

Busy busy

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:50 pm

Almost 21:30 and that’s me just settling down after being ‘tired and shagged out after a long squawk’.

Yes, I really can remember seeing that sketch when it was first aired some forty or more years ago. It has been a busy, busy day at the dry dock with representatives from Voith, Lloyd’s, CMAL, Imtech and more. As is often the case at the annual overhaul it takes a day or two for things to ‘come together’, the initial manic docking and preliminaries are sorted, work starts in earnest and only then do you realize the full enormity of the task ahead.

Last night I barely managed 21:00 before drifting off into the ‘land of nod’ and awakening after midnight to some pish on the TV called ‘Through the keyhole’. Who really gives a fig how many pairs of shoes two dudes from a ‘boy band’ own? Is it me or do people really watch this carp? Anyway, after turning off both TV and lights I settled down to the best sleep in days,


awakening at 6:30 to a grey dawn over Troon and the promise of the warmest October in centuries. Not that that was of much consolation to wife, friends and family ‘oop north’ who were getting drowned in a deluge and hampered by floods and landslides.

Anyway, after a fine breakfast that didn’t involve extortionately priced kippers my captain and I headed for the dry dock at Troon just a mile or two away. After unlocking the ship and restoring all the usual services the guys got on with the many tasks appointed them. Here we have ‘Tibi’, Joe and another skilled engineer doing some work outside the disabled toilets. All the while keeping me busy by setting off fire alarms and generally making a mess Smile In all seriousness they’re very accommodating and do their best in difficult circumstances. Time is money and we only have a limited number of days in dock.



My most important task of the day was to get to the bottom of snag that had plagued Hallaig since December.

040 041

This would involve much paperwork, gas detectors and a spell inside the aft fuel tank whilst the captain ‘stood by’ at the entrance. The ‘issue’ which was sorted by the Polish supervisor with a Swiss army penknife corkscrew, left me thinking ‘I wish I’d have thought of that’ and ‘feck Nigel Farrage’. The Poles were well and truly screwed at Yalta and we owe them as much as the Yanks for saving our arse in WW2. How quickly memories fade and ‘history is always written by the winning side’.



A spell assisting the Voith engineer as he loaded up the five blades to check for oil leakage. All of which is really a formality after such a short period in service but my employer operates to stringent safety standards.


Whilst in the dock bottom with Marc I’d time to survey the very expensive ‘box cooler’ anodes


or what was left of them. At around £1000 each these ‘impressed current anti fouling anodes’

prevent the growth of marine organisms like barnacles and mussels by ensuring a copper rich solution in the ‘box coolers’ that inhibits marine growth. They certainly seemed to be working as the heat exchangers were all free of fouling and growth.



Other tasks today included lowering anchors and cleaning strainers



but I’m getting far too tired for blogging.


So, I’ll just leave you with some images found on my camera from the trip south. This will be MV Loch Tarbert at Lochranza where we called in for ‘berthing trials’


No problems on Arran then Smile


This will be us a few hours later heading into Largs just as another Ferguson’s ship, the MV Loch Shira leaves.


She really does have much in common with Hallaig.


This is where the crew removed their cars


prior to steaming for Troon


by Hunterston


and meeting ‘Caley Isles’ on the way.



  1. sorry to hear they’re working you so hard … I’m sure you could use a bit of rest and relaxation

    Comment by cazinatutu — October 30, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

  2. Cracking post Paul. Really interesting.

    Comment by Andrew — October 31, 2014 @ 6:56 am

  3. Love the post Paul. Its great to see what goes into keeping the ship in tip top condition. I bet allot of people haven’t got a clue about how much effort and time, staff training and money goes into keeping a ship like that in great condition.

    As for the comment re the Poles very true and what people forget is if they (m.f)do get there own way other countries will do the same to us and the end result will be a visa for travelling to France or Ireland etc.. Just like it is to the U.S.A which is a pain in the butt. People forget how many U.K nationals live abroad and if we say no to foreign nationals coming to stay here well these UK nationals should have the same rules applied to them eg sent home packing.

    In douglas just beside us there is a memorial to the polish army who were based here before defending and the majority of the east cost of Scotland from invasion from Hitler. Oh how people have a short memory.


    Comment by jay — October 31, 2014 @ 8:13 am

  4. No chunks of clueless diver (or kayaker) on the voith blades is always a good sign!

    Comment by Drgeo — October 31, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

    • I’ve missed you DrG 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 31, 2014 @ 10:20 pm

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