Life at the end of the road

January 24, 2018

Two weeks ‘on’ and a proper January gale today!

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 12:06 pm

Well, that’s it, the ‘two weeks on’ is over and with a bit of luck I’ll get back into the ‘blogging’. Truth is, I’ve just not got the energy these days to do any whilst I’m working on the ferry. Sure, it’s not a particularly demanding job, far from it, I still wake up in the mornings and pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Many years of self employment constantly reminds me that I’ve got a boodly good job and best of all I only work some 22 or 23 weeks of every year. Much as I enjoy it and easy as it is, I’m still ‘pure feckered’ when I arrive home some 13 or so hours after leaving it.

Now, I appreciate that this is no great hardship for many but I’m the wrong side of sixty now and like my sleep Smile Not only that but it’s actually been a pretty busy week on the work front, not by any means on the traffic front but certainly in the ‘Motorman’s’ department.

P1130317 P1130318

I’ve spent much of the shift down in the bowls of the ship monitoring the performance of the ship’s inverters that drive the 375kW water-cooled PMG motors. It’s pretty similar to monitoring my own 6kW inverter that ‘drives’ the house Smile Just 50 times more powerful!!!


The Vacon inverters and VFD’s (variable frequency drives) that propel the good ship Hallaig are very similar to the SMA inverters that ‘propel’ our house so to speak and the diagnostic and monitoring software is similar enough to give me ‘half a clue’ as to what to do Smile Consequently, whilst most people would find monitoring temperatures, frequency, current, power and voltage extremely boring, I kinda enjoy it.


Of course painting the ‘Forward Propulsion Room’ at the same time helped, especially as I was as ‘high as a kite’ at the time on the paint fumes Smile OK, not really as the space was well ventilated at the time (that’ll be the 375kW motor on the left) and I’d ‘risk assed it’ done a ‘permit to work’ and was taking regular breaks Smile

P1130337 P1130338 P1130341P1130306

With all the cables, pipes, boxes and trunking it’s a pretty tricky area to paint but I pottered away quite happily, usually when the weather was bad. It’s been a pretty ‘mixed bag’ on the weather front this last fortnight.

  P1130270 P1130345 P1130344P1130331

A few nice sunny days, the first picture being taken on the way to Inverness as my son and I headed to the railway station, that’ll be him back at university now. That’ll be three of the ‘Five sisters of Kintail’, the Red Cuilin, Raasay harbour and lastly looking north from the Raasay Narrows with the Storr shrouded in cloud.


A couple of early morning ones of Scalpay and the Moll on the left and Sconser quarry on the right.

P1130287 P1130285 P1130274

The 6kW wind turbine at home and the Storr at sunset and sunrise.


The Five Sisters again but this time from Tarbert near home looking across the Inner Sound.

That was the best bits since I last posted,

P1130313 P1130314 P1130315

these were taken on the first Sunday when we sailed in the morning but cancelled the afternoon due to 60 knot winds.

P1130325 DSCN0308 (1)

Then there was the snow and ice, a lot of it Sad smile but the Land Rover got me to work and back safely, if not slowly. Still, it did make for a couple of photogenic sights once it stopped and the sun came out.

 DSCN0311 DSCN0312 (1) DSCN0314

The Raasay war memorial, Ben Tianavaig and Church


The fortnight has seen a few ships passing by too,


the NLB Pole Star on a scabby day passing by Eyre light, no doubt off to service some navigation buoys or unmanned lights.


The trawler Dunan Star II BRD123 passing through the Raasay Narrows.


The cargo ship Vestland berthed on the end of Raasay pier, methinks she’s been servicing fish farms whilst the MV Fame was being repaired. Fame was the subject of a dramatic rescue last year when she lost power west of Lewis in a northerly Force 10. The fame was towed in to Stornoway and was berthed there for a few weeks being fixed.

P1130297 P1130298

So, that was the ‘fortnight on’ and I’m glad I’m not at sea today. The severe gale that’s hammering Raasay just now was well forecast and it seems to have put our Internet off. Things are flying about outside and there are three ‘wheelie bins’ up against the front door so methinks I’d better go and sort it now daylight is breaking. The first and most important task of the day was gonna be a quarterly VAT return and my annual tax return but that’s gone west with the Internet so I’d better get on with something else in my shed and go and check out the schoolhouse. Hopefully I’ll get online there and post this.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

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: