Life at the end of the road

December 20, 2016

A long ‘short day’ :-(

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:48 pm

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)  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 Smile 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 Smile

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.

 201216 006 201216 003

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 Smile 

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.

 201216 007 photo

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.

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With the squalls coming ‘thick and fast’ off the Cuillin it was almost pleasant on the car deck Smile

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So the ‘Big Fella’ and the ‘Man from Lismore’ got on with inspecting the forepeak Smile

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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’.

201216 019 201216 020

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.


201216 022

The pump was installed using all the old seals and gaskets with just a smear of Sean’s Hylomar  . My reasoning being that it would still be perfectly serviceable until the new shaft arrived, and sure enough it was just fine.

201216 014

Just like the hydraulic filter that the ‘Big Fella’ changed Smile it was ‘just fine’ Smile

This was ‘all well and good’ us getting all this maintenance done  but the weather wasn’t getting any better.

201216 012 201216 010


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 Sad smile Consequently I got home early enough to see my wife cooking the Christmas decorations!!!


201216 024  201216 025

Well, at least the dug was impressed,

201216 028

Molly tried eating them off the tree!!



  1. We hope ‘Barbara’ does not cause any damage. Think the climax is Friday – at least that’s what we are told here !
    Not good for lastminute mail or shopping…xx

    Comment by SOTW — December 21, 2016 @ 3:38 pm

    • No shoppin’ is fine by by me She 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2016 @ 11:10 pm

  2. Hi Paul,

    Was the forepeak not opened up at drydock? Imagining that it’s a biannual task at most. Guessing the water is due to the seal on the cover not being 100%?

    Also out of curiosity how often do you have to test the drenched system?

    Wishing you and the family and Merry Christmas when it comes!

    Comment by Seumas — December 21, 2016 @ 10:29 pm

    • Loving Barbara’s homemade Christmas decorations. Domestic goddess!!

      Comment by Janice Macpherson — December 21, 2016 @ 10:38 pm

      • Hi Janice, they’re looking even better tonight 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2016 @ 11:09 pm

    • Morning Seamus,
      Aye, the fore and aftpeak is normally an annual only right enough but it’s been put on the monthly on all hybrids. Water will be from the seal but that’s cos we don’t torque the screws down fully due to removing them every month. We do the fore and the other shift do the aft. Drencher system is also a monthly but we tend to do it rather more often, it’s a great way to clean the deck 🙂
      Have a good one yerself, are you home?

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 22, 2016 @ 6:11 am

  3. Barbara ( the storm not your wife) is due with us in South Wales tomorrow. Perfect for my 50 mile drive to Christmas with loved ones.
    Wishing you all a Great Christmas in the new hoos. 🙂

    Comment by Lloyd — December 22, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

    • Take care Lloyd and have a good one yerself 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2016 @ 11:08 pm

  4. Happy Christmas, Paul to you and your family.

    It’s unseasonably warm here, not a lot of wind so most of the leaves are still under the tree.

    Malcolm and family.

    Comment by Malcolm — December 24, 2016 @ 6:49 pm

    • Thanks Malcolm, it’s been great here, hope it’s the same for yerself 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 2, 2017 @ 3:34 am

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