Life at the end of the road

December 28, 2014

Loosing pressure

Filed under: New hybrid ferry — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:03 pm

Well that’s life slowly returning to normal on the work front, of course there will be Hogmanay but that will be the other shift’s problem and not mine. Only one more full day to work prior to my ‘two weeks off’ and boy have I got a busy schedule, fortunately much of it will be indoors or in the new shed so not so weather dependant. However, this fortnight we have to really ‘blitz’ the house moving carry on, for we’ll be out in few weeks.

Much of my last fortnight was spent clearing my old workshop, so that’s it pretty much done and what’s more, for the first time in 25 years I actually know what I have and where it is. The next big challenge will be under the eaves in the Dude’s room, the dumping ground for everything from my college notes to framed pictures of many of the wrecks I’ve dived on. Some hard choices will have to made there and I can see my books from Sandy Lane Technical College in Accrington ending up in the same place as my first wedding photographs and hundreds of pictures of Land Rovers.

The perfect vehicle

Anyway, this morning it was off to work in Phoebe for a change, it was definitely a 4WD drive day as the council seem to have stopped gritting the roads. So if some days the ferry doesn’t run or the post arrive because wifey and I can’t get to work blame HRC and not CalMac or Royal Mail.

Cars, like boats are always a compromise, especially living somewhere like here and finding the right one for darling wife has ALWAYS been a problem. The Fiat Uno was great but ended up in a ditch, the Clio diesel was too small, ate front tyres and pished in water through the sun roof. Car number three the Audi 80 diesel estate was too big for her to see over the bonnet  also demolished tyres and pished in water through the sun roof. Number four Daisy the Daihatsu YRV she loved but it was too small and kept breaking down. The Nissan that my parents gave me was just too sensible, cost a fortune in tyres and is hopeless in snow, it also had a sunroof but we were afraid to open it because it didn’t leak Smile

So, when the full time job on the post arrived a 4WD wee car was needed and after much deliberation she settled on a Daihatsu Terrios. Personally I’d have preferred a Suzuki Jimny  as they’re a little more ‘mainstream’ and much better supported by dealers, forums, websites and anoraks. However wifey tends to pick cars on their colour rather than practicality and the Jimny really is pretty small. The Terrios isn’t any wider but it is just that bit longer and a lot more civilized, so when one with only 63k and a full service history popped up in Glasgow we bought it. There was a good bit of trust involved and faith in other people but, without even seeing it we parted with a wedge of cash and crossed our fingers.

The wee silver jeep arrived with the mother in law a few days later and we were not disappointed. Two months on and the newly christened Phoebe is proving her worth on the icy roads of Raasay. A nippy and economical Toyota 1.3 petrol engine pushes adequate horsepower through a perfectly geared five speed box to all four wheels. The narrow track and short wheelbase make it nimble, easy to guide around pot holes and great fun to drive. Sure the ride is a bit harsh and the gearing too low for mainland roads but here on Raasay she’s perfect. 


So much so that I took her up to feed the hens this morning


but do not tell the Post Lady Smile


The wee speck above Fladda is the light on a fishing boat, when I first moved here fishing on Sunday was unheard of. Today there were at least three boats out fishing prawns.


That will be the Storr on the ‘arty farty’ setting on the new camera that me mum gave me for Christmas.

Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850 Digital Camera - Silver

An Olympus Stylus TG850 that’s waterproof to 10m and can be dropped onto a hard surface from 2.1m, so with a little luck, even I won’t be able to break it Smile

The day turned into a ‘pure peach’

007 008

but did not go as smoothly as I’d have liked for a leisurely Sunday twixt Christmas and New Year.


A small coolant leak on the ‘drive cabinet’ turned into a bit of an epic.


The ‘drive cabinet’ makes this complex item sound more like a bookcase for Jeremy Clarkson DVD’s than the complex bit of kit that it is. For it is in this water cooled bank of steel enclosures that all the bits that make Hallaig’s 375kW permanent magnet motors turn are contained.



In here lie the ‘Active Front End’ and Inverter that make up the ‘Variable Frequency Drive’ that control the motors speed. Also within the confines of this ‘box of tricks’ lie the 800v DC bus, battery charger and ‘Brake Chopper Unit’ and they are all water cooled!!! Yup that will be 800VDC and 400VAC bits with water keeping them nice and cool. OK, I know it sounds scary but contrary to popular belief water doesn’t actually conduct electricity or at least not distilled or deionised water, which is what is in here.


The wee leak was eventually sorted and the system then re pressurised to just over 2 bar.

015  017

That was about it really,


by the time I’d sorted that out it was almost time to sail.


  1. That’s a very very nice mother you’ve got (but then you know that already)

    Comment by cazinatutu — December 28, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

  2. Never mind fishing on Sunday being unheard of you will remember when there were no Sunday ferry crossings. How things change, but ball games are still prohibited on the recreation ground at Mill Place

    Comment by Sue — December 28, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

  3. Like the Arty farty pictures, before you know it you will be buying a dslr, shooting raw and producing HDR sunsets. LOL


    Comment by Alistair — December 29, 2014 @ 9:11 am

    • Hi Alistair, ‘you speak in gibberish’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

  4. Driving up from Winchester, Hampshire for our annual New year stay on Sleat (spend 6 weeks on Skye a year). Hoping to see Raasay for the first time, bringing up our Jack. Love reading the posts.

    Comment by ian nunn — December 29, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

    • Enjoy your stay stay Ian.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

  5. Enter your comment here…Having a lot of experience with high power inverters and water cooling, nothing to do with ships, but 6MW melting furnaces, did the leak develop when glycol was added for winter service, my experience is that a combination of de ionized water and glycol, will find its way out of anything

    Comment by Gary Hinson — January 5, 2015 @ 9:08 am

    • Hi Gary and welcome, 6MW furnaces sounds interesting 🙂 and yes you are right.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 6, 2015 @ 10:28 pm

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