Life at the end of the road

February 18, 2016

It didn’t even have a name :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

Thought I’d better write something before you all started getting ‘shirty’ Smile Thursday night now after not a bad day on the weather front, but Tuesday was a ‘pure bitch’. The spell of fine February sunshine and high pressure coming to an abrupt end sometime on Monday night. I cannae say for certain when, for since we’ve moved out of the caravan the sides of the bedroom no longer move and there are no early warning draughts. We’re even less aware of the weather after Tony Stridgeon fitted our thick Roman blinds and the ‘wee dug’ no longer flattens her ears during storms.

180216 025 180216 026

In fact, she has a new berth on the back of George the sofa!

The week got off to a fine enough start with a good frost but not enough to freeze our water. My son having spent a few hours burying the water pipe of the weekend. It’s still not finished but it certainly made a difference.

180216 003 180216 004

A huge generator and fuel bowser came over on this Mercedes truck, the old Loch Striven would have been struggling to get a couple cars on at the same time but we hardly noticed it. Pretty sure it’ll be to supply Oscaig and Holoman  whilst they cut timber around the Hydro’s power cables.

The nice leisurely day of checking the ships myriad of battery banks came to an abrupt halt around 10:40 when the hydraulics broke down. Just as we were heading into Raasay the skipper started the hydraulic pump to lower the ramp and nothing happened!

180216 001 180216 002

Typically it was with a deck full of cars, the mail on board and 35 passengers Sad smile I can’t take all the credit for fixing it as I had to ‘phone a friend’ who put me on the right track, cheers Scotty.

180216 006 180216 005 180216 007

It was this rascal, the ‘loading valve’ which allows the hydraulic pumps to start ‘off load’. Once the pumps are running it closes and allows pressure to build in the system. The electromagnetic solenoid that operates it had failed and the valve was stuck open, luckily we had a spare and suffered only a 15 minute delay whilst I sorted it. Felt much longer than that right enough as I ran around like a headless chicken trying to fix it. OK, well, not really, but the pressure was certainly on me, even if it wasn’t on the ‘loading valve’ Smile

Storm, what storm

When it did arrive on Tuesday morning it should not have been a surprise to anyone, for it was well forecast but  its ferocity certainly was worse than prophesised. The peaking at midday was certainly right, and I’ve no idea what the wind speed was then,


180216 011 180216 010

but it was 59knots at 11:00am and it got much worse.

180216 018

That’ll be ‘Violent storm 11’ on the Beaufort scale a ‘gnat’s ball’ off a hurricane force 12 at 64knots. All that and it never even got a name! perhaps they only get names when they affect the sowf Smile

Wednesday had us shipping over quite a lot of commercial traffic,

180216 022

the RET which was brought in last year making a huge reduction in most fares.

180216 020 180216 021

The wireless mast that was bent by Henry being finished off good and proper by the ‘Storm with no name’. The installers were told at the time to ‘Sconser proof’ it, and to be fair it was held in by M10 stainless studs and resin anchors but they proved inadequate.

The Jabsco overhaul

Today got off to an inauspicious start with a few icy patches on the way into work but I met the gritter at Glam so at least the post lady wouldn’t be skidding in her ‘Egg Chariot’ on the way to her work.

180216 027

The Portree prawn creeler ‘Golden Dawn’ was probably well into her working day as we departed Raasay at 7:55.

Most of my day was spent pottering about in the engine room, well OK, perhaps not most of it, but more than usual. The bilges needed a good polish and some spare parts had arrived for the Jabsco pumps.

180216 028 180216 029 180216 030 180216 031

These ingenious pumps use s flexible rubber impeller to pump liquids, usually cooling water or sea water but also (with special impellers) fuel and oil.

Couldn’t find an actual Jabsco but that’s the same principle, anyway the mechanical seal had failed on this one, 8.9.10,11,you can see it in the third image. The seal is ceramic and requires a full strip down so I changed face plate,16, rotated the back plate, 7 and replaced the cam, 6.


180216 032

Good as new Smile


  1. Isn’t there a little “tit” in the end of that unloading valve that you can push in to operate it?

    Comment by Kev — February 19, 2016 @ 3:30 pm

    • Nah Kev, you can do it using the knob though 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 19, 2016 @ 3:44 pm

  2. Hi Paul

    Firstly, I have been following your blog for the last 3 years….it can only be described as outstanding….you are privileged to stay on such a fine part of “gods country”.

    Being an ex lister man and having spent many a long night aboard a selection of the older Calmac ferries while they were in for the annual refit (Ardmalish….:-)) I can relate to a lot of your experience.

    I was wondering if it would it be possible if you could email me one of your photographs you posted in the above update? I would like the one showing the Aggreko generator on the back of the truck as it prepared to drive on to the ferry with the snow covered hills in the background?
    Like your self I’m a bit of a truck / generator spotter:-)

    Keep up the fantastic effort and I look forward to reading the next instalment;


    Comment by Allan — March 3, 2016 @ 2:22 pm

  3. Hi there

    Can you confirm that the impeller should not run with the veins as shown. They seem to have reversed at the cam plate. My pump is similar with reversing blades and is I think causing my over heating issue ??
    Many thanks if you are able to help

    Comment by Phil Reece — May 7, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: