Life at the end of the road

October 31, 2015

It’s very nice really

Filed under: boats, daily doings, stonework — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:36 pm

Just after 18:00 here at the Albert Dock in Liverpool and I suppose I should be grateful really, I’m in a lovely room here,

 

the ‘Holiday Inn Express’. It’s an old red brick  warehouse of some kind right on the dock front and has some amazing features, like huge steel doors, arched brick ceilings and granite gate posts.

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The view from my room on the fourth floor is nothing short of spectacular, but it’s just ‘not my thing’. Sure the staff are great, the rooms warm and clean, the shower amazing and the place is right in the hub of Liverpool. However, I’m like a fish out of water here and about 40 years too old!!!

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It seems to be the ‘in’ part of town to be and is just far too busy for me, worst of it is that the ‘Holiday Inn Express’ don’t do evening meals so you have to go out for one. This is great if you’re into all that trendy pish of dining with loud music in ‘hip’ establishments in the town, me I just want to get showered, have a pint, a meal then come back to my room and ‘talk pish’ on the internet Smile

Saturday night

See what I mean!!!! it’s 24 hours later and I was so wrecked after last night’s meal at some ‘hip’ establishment next door that I had to take the lift to the fourth floor and my room!!! Me, I never take the lift! by the time you get one of the things it’s usually quicker to take the stairs anyway. The ones that I’ve used in Glasgow flats usually stink of pish, and that’s half of western civilizations problems at the moment, folk are just too lazy!!!! Nae wonder the NHS is ‘chocker’ with ‘blobbies’ that have high blood pressure, diabetes and rotten teeth, no one walks anywhere these days!

 

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Sure the place next door that fronted right onto the dock was great, the ‘rare’ steak that was to my thinking ‘well done’ was just fine but by the time I ate it it was nearly 21:00 and I was pure blootered  on Stella!!!! Consequently the posting I was gonna do last night ‘fell by the wayside’ and it’s now 18:00 on Saturday!

So, with an hour left to go before I meet my compatriot at the bar I’d better make an attempt at posting this Smile

 

 

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The MV Hallaig in ‘Dry dock 6’ at Cammell Laird on the Mersey.

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As you can see, we have plenty of spare room in there Smile

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It is a rather large dock, well it would need to be, there’s twice the ‘rise and fall’ of water here compared to the Clyde.

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I have to say that I’m very impressed with the professionalism of the team here, OK, I can’t actually understand a word they say but they do seem to know what they’re doing Smile

 

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We’re right next door to the MV Lord Of The Isles, or LOTI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Lord_of_the_Isles as she is affectionately known. She’s one larger vessels of the Cal Mac fleet but is dwarfed by the 23,000ton RFA Fort Rosalie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFA_Fort_Rosalie_%28A385%29 which was originally launched in 1976 as the RFA Fort Grange

RFA Fort Rosalie is the lead ship of her class of Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet replenishment ships. Fort Rosalie was originally named RFA Fort Grange, but was renamed in May 2000 to avoid confusion with the now-decommissioned RFA Fort George, a change which was not universally popular. February 2014, arrived at North Western Ship repairs, Birkenhead, for further refit.

What that was all about I’ve not got a clue, cos, as any mariner will tell you, it’s extremely unlucky to change the name of a boat Smile Seriously my old fishing boat was launched in 1980 or thereabouts as the MFV Conqueror

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and under that name it served its owner well. When it was a few years old the first owner sold it and the name was changed to MFV Truelove and the wee ship sank FIVE times!!!!! I ‘kid you not’, I salvaged it twice before buying it and changing its name back to MFV Conqueror, whereupon it gave me years of faithful service.

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October 29, 2015

‘Holed up’ and ‘slummin’ it’ :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:38 pm

Well, I started this last night in http://machrihanishdunes.com/stay/the-royal-hotel/ The Royal Hotel. In fact I got a good way towards posting it before getting distracted by my five compatriots and a salmon steak in the dining room. Though that hardly does justice to the description of my meal there, a fine ‘Smoked seafood platter’ as a starter, which is ‘posh speak’ for half a dozen mussels, one scallop, a slice of cold smoked salmon and a small steak of hot smoked. All served on a bread board with salad and Hollandaise sauce. I can’t remember what the rest of the team ate but it was serious stuff, and that was just the starter!!! The main courses were even more spectacular, me I skipped the sweet on account of me stealing everyone else’s chips Smile Having said that by the time all of them appeared on the table I was fair tempted to change my mind.

Around ‘The Mull’

The eleven and a half ‘steam’ from Oban the previous day had been something of an epic. That long dangly ‘snotter’ immortalized by Paul McCartney in this,

was a little ‘epic’ to say the least. Sir Paul has obviously not ventured around there on a scabby day or he wouldnae be so senti friggin mental about it.

Anyways, we made Campbeltown safely on Sunday night, but prior to that here’s the good old MV Loch Striven berthed astern of the MV Lord of the Glens http://www.cruisingholidays.co.uk/scotland-cruises.aspx?hid=J329 . Just further around the bay at the ‘Railway Pier’ is the MV Isle of Mull, that would be Oban on Saturday afternoon.

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This must be the ‘Timber Pier’ in Campbeltown on Monday morning

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with a lorry delivering more during the day.

Oceanflow E35 tidal turbine

Also on the pier is the Oceanflow tidal turbine that was in Sanda Sound the last time we rounded the Mull with Hallaig in 2014.

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The 35 is supposed to signify 35kW http://www.oceanflowenergy.com/project-details2.html , which strikes me as an awful lot of energy from such a small blade diameter.

 

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I do love the idea of tidal energy but no one as yet seems to have come up with an effective way of antifouling these things. This all looks very nice and shiny now but after 12 months in the sea it would look like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon with all the weed and barnacles on it.

Half way there

Well, I’m well by ‘Half way there’ and I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve tried to post this, but to all ‘intents and purposes’ the Isle of Man is a different country and I’ve not been able to access the internet via my laptop. A load of ‘pish’ if you ask me me but these clowns never miss an opportunity to screw extra money out of you if they can Sad smile

And, it’s not just the IoM, that clown at ‘Microsoft’, Bill friggin Gates or whatever he’s called is trying to screw me too. I paid my ‘Microsoft Office, Word and whatever pish package months ago about a week before my ‘puter crashed and the plonker now insists I pay again. In the ‘good old days’ it was yourself that got the licence, now it’s your ‘puter, so if the puter crashes yer fecked Sad smile Consequently I keep getting messages that ‘Windows 7 Build 7601 isn’t genuine’ and he want’s me to part with more money, well he can f**k off, I paid my money, got a new hard drive and I’m not parting with more dosh for more ‘Windows pish’. Sadly ‘Windows Live Writer’ seems to have gone a little ‘pear shaped’ along with all Bill’s marvellous functions.

Paddy’s milestone

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So, in the ‘dim and distant past’ here is Ailsa Craig https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailsa_Craig that 99Ha lump of granite famous for curling stones and bird pooh a few mile off the Ayrshire coast. We passed by this some time in the ‘dim and distant past’ on our way to Douglas.

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That was of course prior to getting well and truly ‘hammered’ in the the Irish Sea.

 

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We arrived safely, albeit with somewhat frazzled nerves around midnight in the IoM, and the morning after things seemed far more settled. We berthed ahead of the ‘wave piercing’ catamaran https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSC_Manannan and just opposite the regular ferry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Ben-my-Chree .

On Wednesday morning we departed Douglas on what was to be the most pleasant of mornings of the trip. This would be the 12 hour leg to the Cammell Laird basin on the Mersey at 22:00.

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It was a very welcome change not to be living off sandwiches and be able to cook a proper meal/

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And that’s what a gazillion wind turbines look like on the radar Smile

Eventually, after what seemed like an age we met a Liverpool pilot at the ‘Mersey Bar’ and he skilfully guided us into the ‘wet basin’  at Cammell Laird’s yard on the Mersey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cammell_Laird

 

 

Cammell Laird

 

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