Life at the end of the road

July 18, 2017

The Loch Doon spitfire

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

A pure peach of an evening here ‘at the end of the road’ and I suspect a spectacular sunset in a couple of hours.


OK, that was at 22:00 and it’s not that spectacular.

Just pushing 21:00 now and once again I’m without the Internet, though I did bookmark a few links at work cos I never for one moment ever thought I’d be writing about the ‘Loch Doon spitfire’ some 38 years after spending a couple of days looking for it way back in August of 1979. However this morning the skipper says to me “did you here about that spitfire in Loch Doon on the news today”.  Well no I didn’t but I did know all about it having helped in the early searches.


Only half a dozen dives right enough and we never found a thing but it was a great exercise in inter club cooperation and a bit of a jape Smile  To be honest I don’t remember that much about it other than it was a long drive from Accrington and the place was utterly remote and deserted. It was apparently quite a hive of activity during WW1 with a sea plane base there and a huge construction site. There were also around 1300 German POW’s working there on projects that clearly contravened the Hague convention (POW’s should not do work that would assist the war effort). However here in the UK we were exceedingly good at contravening that, the Raasay iron ore being another glaring example in WWI and the ‘Churchill barriers’ in Orkney during WWII another. As we all know though ‘history is always written by the winning side’ Smile 

Loch Doon is quite a different place now by all accounts, caravan parks, visitor centre, etc, etc, but back in 1979 it was just windswept emptiness with lots of concrete ‘hard standing’ I guess from the sea plane sheds or POW camp. I sure wouldnae have liked to be staying up there in a cold Ayrshire winter Smile

The warplane was salvaged by divers in 1982 after a four-year search

This site is well worth a look if you are interested,

In August 1979, divers from various clubs in the Northern Federation of British Sub-Aqua Clubs (NORFED) joined the hunt with the Blackpool branch becoming project organisers.

That’s when I made my miniscule contribution in NOT finding it Smile 

Many thanks to Bernard Scott for that image, there are lots more in the link. The plane was on a training flight when it crashed, killing the Czech pilot, hence the roundel below the cockpit. Many of the spitfires and hurricanes flown in the Battle of Britain and its aftermath were flown by seasoned Czech and Polish pilots, again something often overlooked in history books and pap put out by the likes of UKIP. If memory serves correctly Farage and his cronies put out some poster once featuring a spitfire that had a Polish pilot, probably one of who’s descendants would ‘be stealing all our jobs’ Smile  

The rest of the day


Well, it was a fine one as you can see from this picture of Ben na Calliach


and my attempt to start doing some painting before the weather turns on Wednesday.

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Acta Marine’s Sara Maatje VIII taking a break from de lousing at the Raasay pier.


A nice traditional wooden addition to the Raasay fleet.


A fine Bolognaise courtesy of ‘Squaddie Mark’ Smile Ace Matey Smile 


A view from the office.

After work

As darling wife is away for the night, and having been suitably fuelled with Mark’s spaghetti I headed home meeting only one suicidal tourist in the whole 11 mile commute. This would be the regular ‘17 Plate’ hire car piloted by someone clearly used to driving on the wrong side of the road. Now me I’m a fan of most things continental, the metric system, relaxed attitudes to wine, lack of hi viz vests and a general common sense approach to ‘rules and regulations’. However this lunacy of driving on the right really ‘does my head in’. Sure I can understand the Yanks doing it cos they were so severely pi55ed of with king George but the rest of Europe only adopted it cos that megalomaniac Napoleon was left handed. I mean just think about it, you do your jousting with your lance in your right hand yes, 90% of the population is right handed, same with paying a toll at a road, bridge or ferry, why would you chose to do it with your left hand? You meet your fellow road warrior head on, it’s the right hand you need to use not the left. Anyway, I digress, this numpty did the usual and swerved across my path into the passing place on his right and my left, the very one I was heading for, I despair!!


Anyways, I did eventually get home safely and got on with changing the front drive shaft on my mate’s Yamaha 350 YFM Bruin.

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This is the drive shaft from the engine to front differential and the splines had worn out.


It’s a pretty straight forward job, you just need to loosen the front diff, remove the bolts and slide it forward. This allows you to remove the shaft and its coupling then a coat of ‘Coppaslip’ on the splines before assembly should help prevent an early reoccurrence of the problem.

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