Life at the end of the road

August 14, 2016

Twenty eight out, one in!

Gosh, Sunday already, and for the first time in a while I’m plonked in front of the laptop and trying to catch up. Been kinda hectic at work since I joined the Hallaig on Wednesday morning. My ‘back to back’ having kindly let me join ship late, me having been somewhat ‘vacant’ after the spell at ‘Bella’ Smile Truth is, it was a bit of ‘mutual backscratching’ but that’s the beauty of having a ‘well knitted’ crew’.

Not only has it been a busy old week on the tourist front, we’ve had a new crew member join the ship as my long time partner/seaman purser moves up a rung on the ladder and onto the opposite shift.

The amazing vista from the door as I headed down to work on Wednesday morning went on to prove the old adage about ‘sailors warning’.

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Most of the week has been ‘pure pish’, no actually, it’s been worse Sad smile Thankfully the next few days look like being pretty good, now the schools are going back!!

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It’s been pretty busy at Sonas this last week, four dugs and four women putting a strain on both me and the house electrics. Still the ‘off grid’ all electric house coped admirably even if I didn’t Smile Seriously though, it’s been great having a houseful, specially as I’ve been working Smile The SMA 6.OH inverter performing faultlessly despite the best attempts of the family to overload it by running the hot tap unnecessarily, 3kW, toaster 1.8kW, tumble drier .8kW, hair drier 1.2kW all at the same time. That doesn’t even take into account the house ‘base load’, what ever that is, must be .3kW at least.

Anyway, the totally renewable mix of wind, hydro and solar has excelled this last week providing everyone with hot showers, freshly washed clothes and a regular dose of ‘Eastenders’  Sad smile 


That’s an average over the seven day period of 48kWh per day!!! More surprising when you look at the solar generation for  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

I have to say that this combination of renewable technologies has surpassed our wildest dreams, sure we’ve only been in the house since December and most of the time it is just Wifey me and the dug. However this last week has proved that we can live a perfectly normal life even with four extra adults and dogs in the hoose Smile

It may have been a great week for hydro and wind but it was pretty grim if you wanted to get your silage cut.

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The two tractors have been in the same spot since I started work Sad smile

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Which this week has involved lots of flashing electronic wizardry, which is called ‘progress’, unfortunately it cannot be fixed with a hammer Sad smile Still there’s two new bits coming, one from Mannheim and one from Gourock.

 mannheim gourock

Mannheim 1131.3 miles, Gourock 203.3 miles, both ordered at same time Friday and the German one already in Castle Donnington. We’re taking bets on the Hallaig at which one arrives first Smile


A busy old day

So much for the Sunday service that nobody wanted 15 years ago when it was first introduced, this morning we squeezed 24 cars onto Hallaig and had to go back for four more!!!

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Different story on the return sailing though, just one tiny Citroen! and two passengers. Once we’d deposited this chap though we returned to Sconser with the remaining four cars that had been left behind, one of them containing Cuillin FM’s  DJ Andy Mitchell who’s 11:00am ‘Strupag’ show must have started without him, sorry Andy, we did try and squeeze you on Smile

By the time that was done we were eating our breakfast at lunchtime Sad smile

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Felt more like ‘The last supper’ really cos it’ll be Alastair’s last breakfast with us and he makes the best garlic mushrooms on the planet Sad smile

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What was left of the day was spent doing drills with Sandy our new ‘seaman purser’ and doing some ‘full power’ tests on the ‘Voith Schneider’ propulsion units.

Before we knew it, it was 16:30 and time once more to sail,

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only a handful of cars left Raasay but it was another full deck from Sconser, this time 23 cars and 2 Italian motorcycles.


  1. Well done on the power production ! impressive and free after the equipment is paid for : )

    Comment by v8mbo — August 15, 2016 @ 8:57 am

    • Bit of a change the last few days Robin, thick cloud and no wind 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 24, 2016 @ 6:10 am

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