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 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 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


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.


  1. Hi Paul

    Welcome back to the north west! I meant to ask earlier – why did you have to make the long sail south to Liverpool/Birkenhead rather than where you used to go for the ‘service ‘?

    I can see how roomy the dry dock is but it must have cost a bomb in fuel since you couldn’t charge up the batteries on the sail south.

    Enjoy the rest of your stay as a fish out of water. Know how you feel.



    Comment by Sue — October 31, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

    • Aye Sue, it did indeed ‘cost a bomb’ and the whole sanity behind it escapes us all 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2015 @ 7:27 am

  2. If you do change the name it’s okay but you have to all sorts of bizarre ceremonies. I made sure I kept the old boat name written somewhere so all is well!

    Comment by Panomphaean — October 31, 2015 @ 7:04 pm

    • I’m sure you’re right John, there’s none more superstitious than an old sea dog 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2015 @ 7:26 am

  3. Poor you. Too sloshed to take the stairs! Love the wee boat.. c

    Comment by Cecilia Mary Gunther — November 1, 2015 @ 1:08 am

    • Had to take the lift last night too, though that was the weight of the Indian meal inside me and not the Kingfisher lager 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2015 @ 7:25 am

  4. A silly question but it’s from a “landlubber”! …When the ship goes into dry dock, how do they get the various props and supports under the vessel before
    they pump the water out of the dock?

    Comment by Rick Weeks — November 1, 2015 @ 11:30 am

    • Not silly at all Rick, most of the blocks are already right down the middle of the dock sat on huge cast iron wedges. I guess when the dock is dry they just fine tune the keel blocks as per the ships drawings and add a few more as required by the ‘docking arrangement’. Great care is obviously needed to keep the blocks in the correct place with regards to the ship. This done by slinging a wire across the dock with a weight and ring exactly in the centre, one at the bow and one at the stern. A ‘Tirfor’ winch at each corner being used by the yard workers to get the vessel in the exact position for the blocks. It is quite impressive to see it done.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2015 @ 4:01 pm

  5. LOL! Enjoy the break mate and send some pix of the sumptuous meals that the generous employer provides for you. 🙂

    Comment by Lloyd — November 1, 2015 @ 11:49 am

  6. Slightly surprised you are not in the same dock as one of the other two major units. Birkenhead must be fully of CalMac’s crew

    Comment by Nigel Macleod — November 1, 2015 @ 2:21 pm

  7. Hi Paul, hope all is well with you … I came across this about the ship that went aground off Ardnamurchan earlier this year and thought you might be interested … I love the phrase “had become inattentive due to the effects of alcohol consumption”

    Comment by Caroline — November 19, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

  8. What’s happened to you Ivan? Missing your posts. Jacqueline

    Comment by Jacqueline A — January 19, 2016 @ 11:00 pm

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