Life at the end of the road

August 23, 2016

It’s all over now :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:15 pm

Well that’s the fastest shift ever, ‘But it’s all over now’



Dunno where it went, but that’s it and a right mixed bag it’s been. Great weather, pish weather and just about everything in between.

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The ‘mixed bag’ ensuring a multitude of rainbows to keep the tourists cameras clicking.

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Not to mention the abundance of porpoises accompanying the ferry today.

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I really must get a better camera, there’s barely been a day I’ve not seen some in Loch Arnish. Even though they’re mere splodges through the binoculars, it’s good to watch them from the comfort of the living room and not be pestered by the multitude of midgies that swarm around the house  on these still and damp evenings.

I guess the reason the fortnight ‘flew by’ was the amount of traffic and people we’ve moved to and from Raasay. Some days we’ve transported double the islands population and 100 cars is not unusual these days. Not that long ago we’d have considered 60 a lot now, it’s 160!! and 163 being the record for cars.


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Despite all this and considering the, at times, inclement weather we’ve managed to get a good bit of paint splashed about the MV Hallaig.

It’s been a while

As well as the regular sailings we had a ‘wee jaunt’ on Sunday to run a few checks at full power. Had we had some fishing gear aboard we’d have tried for a few mackerel Smile but it was not to be. We had to satisfy ourselves with a blast down to Rubh na Cloiche just south of our old berth at the iron ore pier.


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For  nigh on 100 years this was where initially the ‘steamer’ called and latterly the car ferry lived, the pier that was built to ship Raasay’s low grade iron ore to the foundries of Scotland’s industrial heartland.

Exhibition Image One


The furnaces and steelwork long gone, leaving just roofless ruins, the bases of the furnaces and of course the pier itself. The sturdy reinforced concrete having been ‘sheet piled’ and infilled in the 1970’s to provided a degree of shelter to the six car ‘Island class’ vessel MV Raasay. The hardy ‘wee boat’ that was built in 1976 still ‘going strong’ some forty years later.

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Here she is in her prime discharging two ‘Dagenham dustbins’ onto the beach next to the pier. What looks like a 1.6XL MkIII Cortina followed by a ‘Table top’ Zephyr’, probably the best and worst cars that Ford ever made in that era. The ‘Z cars rust bucket bringing up the rear Smile

Couldn’t find a MkIV ‘Z car’ on YouTube, but trust me, it was there Smile I used to work at a Ford dealer then so I’m not ‘talking 5h1te’ Smile 

Many thanks to Stuart Brown for this gem of a picture.

As well as the ‘wee jaunt’, there was the usual maintenance, black out drill, and this week, checking the ‘Transitional UPS’ this has to provide full lighting to most of the vessel for 30 minutes in the event of total power failure.

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Even after half an hour the 436V bank was still reading 432V with some 10kW of lights burning!!! Pretty good I would say Smile

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Anchor away and anchor weighed was the next job, Hallaig has two and we deploy one every week, more times than required but it’s good to keep everything freed up and well greased.



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We had a visit from ‘Spindrift IV’ but I thought she’d moved to Orkney? Wonder if it’s on holiday Smile



  1. Solis were at the energy show in Glasgow recently ,would be good to see how they are

    Comment by Duncan — August 26, 2016 @ 4:53 pm

    • Hi Duncan, glad to see you’re keeping up still, still got my favourite Perkins cup on the ferry and at home 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 28, 2016 @ 7:32 pm

  2. A guy from Strling bought her and keeps her in Portree.

    Comment by Kevin Simmister — August 26, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

    • Cheers Kevin, saw you heading south from Rona yesterday, just as you passed by Grian a Sgeir.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 28, 2016 @ 7:31 pm

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