Life at the end of the road

April 30, 2017

The cuckoo and the cruise liner :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:13 pm

Well, they were certainly correct about the forecast last week the snow arrived bang on time around Monday afternoon just after a few lambs were born near North Bay. They don’t call it ‘the lambing snow’ for nothing Sad smile 

300417 003300417 019300417 020300417 021

A blizzard around 17:00 0n Monday the 24th us heading ‘dead slow’ to Sconser with two extra lookouts and wishing we’d ‘stayed put’ on Raasay pier!! Sure it didn’t last, the relatively warm ground saw to that but pretty much the whole week was pure ‘Baltic’ with a frigid north wind ensuring temperatures never even got close to double figures.


300417 009

Right enough, it didn’t stop the first rhododendrons showing there flowers on Tuesday 25th but it did seem to slow the cuckoo down. The North African visitor didn’t put in an appearance until the 27th when the wind changed. I guess he’d the sense to steer well clear, no point fighting a bitter northerly when a warm southerly will carry you along to the breeding grounds much much less effort. I’ve not actually heard it yet but the Post Lady and others assure me it’s here

Spring like at last

By Wednesday the northerly wind was a dim and distant memory,

 300417 023  300417 022 300417 024

The Penfold and Macmillan buoys were at rest and the swell had stopped breaking on the rocks.

Here’s Ferguson Transport’s MV Harvest Caroline taking some comfort from it on the end of Raasay pier.

300417 027

The weather improved dramatically and both lambs and crofters were happy.

300417 032 300417 031

The Lustre took and advantage of the good weather and big tide to get her bottom scraped and painted Smile

300417 030 300417 033

Raasay House also had their sgoth Oigh Niseach for the fist time this year, or at least the first time I’ve noticed it Smile

300417 034

Hallaig at Raasay on Thursday morning

300417 038

and the NLV Pole Star

300417 042

passing by on Friday night. She anchored of the Moll until Saturday morning when she took advantage of a rising tide to service the buoys at the entrance to Loch Sligachan.

300417 047

A pleasant change

I dunno when it it happened but at some point during the first ‘week on’ I was asked to join the MV Lochinvar at Lochaline for a few days familiarization and I ‘jumped at the chance’. Hallaig’s sister ship, yard number 726  has been ‘billeted’ there for the summer at least.

I spent many years in the late 70’s and early 80’s diving in this area for clams and scrap. Tis a part of the world I love and have visited little in the last 30 years. The Sound of Mull abounds in wrecks and in the 80’s at least was still a ‘scallop mine’ before the dredgers laid it to waste. 10lb lobsters and crayfish could be picked up here with ease when I was a ‘spotty yoof’ in my early twenties and in the early 80’s half a dozen of us bought a 2500t cargo ship nearby. Sure the SS Meldon was on the sea bed and had been since 1917 but I do have the deeds for her at home somewhere Smile Indeed the steam whistle resides in my garden along with one of her ‘sounding leads’ still clearly embossed SS Meldon 28lb Smile

SS Meldon

Of course she don’t look anything like that anymore,

Meldon, SS Meldon, S.S Meldon, Wreck, Loch Buie, Mull

but by all accounts her large cast iron propeller still looks impressive according to Smile

Me, I wouldnae know, I’ve not seen it in thirty years Smile

Seventy years of service

So, I managed to get away early last night to prepare for my trip sowf but arose, as usual at ‘stupid O clock’ to set off for Lochaline with the ‘Old Girl’ and caravan.

300417 051

This is what greeted me from the living room window at 6:30AM, the MV Astoria she did look familiar but the last time I saw this elegant septuagenarian who was launched in 1946!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she was called the Azores. Originally ordered in 1944 when Hitler was still in power and the world at at war this Swedish beauty was called the Stockholm and went on  to collide with the Italian ship Andrea Doria in 1956 . Boodly amazing to see that out me living room window I can tell you Smile


Anyways, I left home this morning with the old caravan in tow and here I am.

300417 017 300417 018

Though I first had to cross the Corran Narrows on this

300417 054

the rather unusual looking MV Corran that plies the fierce tides of Loch Linnhe between Corran and Ardgour.


300417 055

It’s hardy ‘work’ is it Smile

300417 057

And, I’m so close to my  ship I can have a ‘lie in’ despite having to start at 6:00AM Smile


  1. Look out for the witches(of Morven) if a storm blows up!

    Comment by Andy — May 1, 2017 @ 7:34 pm

  2. Don’t believe you where on the Corran ferry I was on it on Saturday up at Acharacle for a week we are practically nabours.

    Comment by MW — May 9, 2017 @ 4:53 am

    • Well MW, you is sure getting a good spell of weather for it, though not so nice today 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 10, 2017 @ 6:25 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: