Ten minutes past eight in the evening now, the time I normally get in but I’ve been home for a couple of hours. It’s been a rather long/short day. Long cos I’ve been up since 4:00am and short because most of it has been tied firmly to Scotland alongside the Raasay pier. Barbara is on her way and I must have had some kind of premonition for I was awake at 3:30am with the old brain going like clockwork. Not sure if it was the threat of Barbara (the storm and not the wife) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-38377399 or the lack of Tramadol, but whatever it was I was wide awake. I’d stopped taking the stuff a few days ago after the odd paranoid episode, troubled sleep, constant tea drinking and jobbies like black logs. Too much information I know but just letting you know the stuff does have side effects Right enough, it does work and provides great pain relief for my sciatica and back pain but I can only take it for so long, about three months seems to be the ‘going rate’. After that, the constant farting, burping and odd bout of ‘heebie jeebies’ tells me it’s time to stop, for a while at least
What actually woke me up I’ll never know but it did have me thinking that I should use the extra hour or so to lash down the caravan that was now residing on the car park at ‘the end of the road’. I’d moved it there last week to make way for the ‘ole and whilst the old Thomson Glenelg had sat there happily through many a storm I didn’t want to risk our new one.
So, at ‘stupid o clock’ this morning I was out in my p jays lashing the caravan to the wind turbine mast and hitching it to the front of the Landy. At this time of day it was just plain windy, and amazingly for this time of year dry!!! In fact it was almost pleasant outside, quite starry and not particularly cold.
Worse than they said
By the time I actually left for work at 6:30 the wind turbine was churning out 3.7kW and it was far windier than forecast. By the time I got to work just before 7:00 it was quite obvious we were going nowhere, Hallaig was bouncing off the pier fenders and spray was breaking over the pier. The spray often breaks over the pier but not near low water!!! so I stayed put inside the car until the full crew arrived. No point two of us wrestling with the gangway in a gale of wind when ‘Big Finlay’ (AKA pensioners Santa) would be along shortly
Once aboard we did the usual ‘start up’ checks but sensibly decided to stay put. We had hoped to get the first sailing done but the skipper decided against it.
Just as well for it was pretty soon blowing a good ‘Severe gale 9’ gusting to over 60knts which is officially a ‘Violent storm’. For once the ‘red sky in the morning, sailors warning’ proved to be true. Despite all the wind, it was in fact a very nice morning right up until 11:30 when the rain arrived. The forecast had said dry until 11:00 so it wasn’t too far out and we used it do bash on with some of the maintenance usually reserved for Sunday.
With the squalls coming ‘thick and fast’ off the Cuillin it was almost pleasant on the car deck
So the ‘Big Fella’ and the ‘Man from Lismore’ got on with inspecting the forepeak
After, of course thoroughly ventilating the space and testing the atmosphere with a gas detector. I really cannot emphasize enough the danger of entering an ‘enclosed space’. Many lives have been lost by doing so without taking the correct precautions.
Me, I got on with the ‘auxiliary drive cooling pump’.
The parts would be coming from Desmi in Denmark and unlikely to be here this year so I ‘improvised’. Using a felt pad on the grinder I gave the shaft of the pump a good buffing then rebuilt the pump.
The pump was installed using all the old seals and gaskets with just a smear of Sean’s Hylomar http://hylomar.com/ . My reasoning being that it would still be perfectly serviceable until the new shaft arrived, and sure enough it was just fine.
Just like the hydraulic filter that the ‘Big Fella’ changed it was ‘just fine’
This was ‘all well and good’ us getting all this maintenance done but the weather wasn’t getting any better.
By 15:30 though it had moderated sufficiently for us to sail to Sconser and back, but that was the only we sailing we did Consequently I got home early enough to see my wife cooking the Christmas decorations!!!
Well, at least the dug was impressed,
Molly tried eating them off the tree!!