Life at the end of the road

October 30, 2016

A fine docking :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:40 pm

So, that’s it, back in my room at the hotel showered and in me PJ’s and slippers, OK, tracksuit and T shirt but they feel like jamies and it’s still only 17:30. Sure it’s 18:30 really so my stomach’s complaining noisily as it always does at this time of year. I hate all this messing about with clocks, my internal one is uncannily accurate and this BST/GMT carry on really screws it up for weeks. Luckily the hangover I earned on Friday night seemed to confuse my clock and I had the best night’s sleep in weeks last night.

Anyway’s we were at the dock gate early this morning with a long list of tasks to get on with now the yard was very quiet.

 301016 001

The Turkish recue boat davit got a lick of paint whilst the rescue boat itself was away for its annual service. I’m sure the Turks make many fine things but davit’s and semi automatic shotguns are not two of them.

240411 001

That’ll be my Hatsan semi auto 12bore after just 50 shots!!! Just like the Gurdesan davit, it tried to kill me once, Luckily it didn’t and I saw the funny side of it. The shotgun fell apart as I shot at a pigeon, the davit was so fast at slewing when we first got it that would almost throw you out of the boat on deployment. Just as the davit is a copy of quality UK built one the shotgun is copy of a Beretta that actually works. Both of them require constant cleaning and adjustments to make them work properly.

301016 002

Whilst the Hallaig’s crew were busy topsides Bogdan’s men were doing the hull

301016 003

which even after three years in service is looking remarkably fresh thanks to its International 990 paint scheme. The white being just a clean and touch up.

 301016 004

MV Bute

The dock can take vessels of up to 200m in length and even with the Bute in still looks empty, well almost Smile

301016 006

Here’s a few of the Bute

301016 005

Bute minus bow visor

301016 007

Bute’s bow visor on the dock side

301016 008

Bute’s stern taken from the dock gates.

Gosh, 20:30 now and that’s me stuffed and ready for bed, the old body clock thinking my bedtime is fast approaching and the two pints of Peroni making my eyelids heavy. So, I’ll just leave you with a couple of pictures and turn in.



Cleaning the Voith Schneider propulsion blades.

 291016 007

How many men does it take to change a light bulb Smile

October 29, 2016

Double docking :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:00 pm

Golly gosh, is it really Wednesday already? Sure enough, I’ve looked at the calendar and it is, well well, how time flies.

So, tis almost 21:00 now and I’ve barely ‘checked in’ since Sunday cos there’s so much been going on.

So much for that, it’s 17:25 on Saturday evening now and already the sky is getting darker, it’ll be dark this time tomorrow if the weather doesn’t improve. The good ship Hallaig was due a coat of paint today but that didn’t happen. Poor old Bogdan kept poking his head out of his hut, shaking his head and cursing in Polish. At least I think that’s what he was doing, I’d taken out my hearing aid due to a splitting headache. Can’t grumble about the riveter in my skull right enough it was justly deserved Smile

In the Garvel

Seem to recall that we left Largs around midday and a pleasant journey up to Greenock and the ‘Great Harbour’. The Clyde was looking lovely and had more of its fair share of pleasure craft on the water. I guess it was folk making the most of good sailing weather before the winter.

 291016 001 291016 003

As we passed by Wemyss Bay the MV Coruisk was about to ‘pick up’ the service to Rothesay to let MV Bute head up to the Garvel too.

291016 004

The Bute is lucky, she only has a few miles to steam to dock, unlike our four day trip.

We arrived at the dock gate at our appointed time of 15:00.


251016 003 251016 004 251016 005

The gates of the Garvel Graving dock slowly swung open to let us in.

251016 005 251016 006 251016 007

Whereupon we were told to ‘just wait there’ whilst everyone went for their tea break Smile That done we threw a rope from each corner to the waiting workers and were gently and precisely guided into position.

 251016 008 251016 011291016 009

Obviously it’s pretty crucial that the ships exactly in the right place on the blocks that are positioned for her to rest on. The ‘docking plan’ in the ships drawings is carefully studied by the yard beforehand to ensure they’re in the correct place and the dock marked so as the ship stops in the right place. Centralization is achieved by hanging a weight exactly in the middle of the dock whilst the ‘Dock Master’ watches from the dock end. The ships ropes are swapped for the yards wires and then the vessel is finally winched tightly into the exact position over the blocks. Finally a couple of pre cut telegraph poles are hammered into position whilst resting on the vessels hull.

Blocked in

Not only was this my first ever visit to this lovely granite dock with it’s wooden bottom,


251016 009 251016 010

it was the first time we’ve ever been in a dock with another ship, this one being the MV Bute that we passed earlier at Wemyss Bay.

We stayed aboard until the dock was pumped out and the Hallaig sat gently on the blocks, the wooden dock bottom being very kind to ships I’m told.

251016 012 251016 026

Dunno what sort of wood it is or how thick the huge planks are but if it’s been there since the dock was built in 1871 it must be hardy stuff.

Let the work commence

On Tuesday morning work commenced in anger but without the usual pressure to get out of the dock. Fortunately or unfortunately depending which way you look at it or stay in here is governed by the Bute and she’s having major work done.

251016 028 251016 029

A 400bar blasting with the pressure washer top to bottom.

251016 019 

Being in dock with the Bute I took advantage of the chance to go and have a look at her propulsion system.

 251016 016 251016 017

The Bute has an Azipod at each end of the ship a development of the ‘azimuth thruster’  which was gear and shaft driven. These units have an electric motor within the ‘pod’ and are extremely efficient and manoeuvrable.

 Bow visor removal

Whilst I was busy with the Lloyd’s surveyor in and out of most of the ships many spaces.

291016 016 291016 017

The yard had brought in an extra crane and started removing the Bute’s bow visor.

291016 028 291016 029 

291016 030

So that’s it, 22:00 in the Tontine hotel

291016 011 and it’s back to the dock tomorrow, not quite so early right enough.

Older Posts »

Blog at