Life at the end of the road

October 9, 2018

A rude awakening :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:37 pm

Well, that’s the first full day by with in Garvel Clyde and it’s been a rather busy one and for many, rather wet. It’s been pure miserable outdoors all day, in fact it was pure miserable at 6:30 this morning when the hotel fire alarm went off Sad smile Me, I’d just got out of bed and was half dressed when it sounded but judging by the ‘shell shocked’ faces peering out of rooms, many were not. As I sauntered down my ground floor corridor one or two doors were shielding people in nightwear with half shut eyes. Luckily the Brewers Fayre next door opens at 6:30 so I dived in there for breakfast rather than wait outside in the pishing rain. Of course it wasn’t a real fire but probably someone being over enthusiastic with deodorant or having a sly fag. Even so it was damned inconvenient for most of the guests.

We’d arranged to meet for breakfast at 7:00 anyway so no great hardship other than a busier than normal breakfast half an hour early Smile Methinks we were all keen to get off to the yard anyway as we’d a lot to get through with both the MCA and Lloyd’s visiting.

   Another breaker

I was the lucky one today as most of my work would be indoors, starting with another one of those pesky ABB motorised switches, though this time it was routine replacement and not failure. We change two every year at dry dock, one year the forward pair and the next year the aft. By rights this should mean that each switch is replaced before it’s designed life of 5000 cycles, well before, as by two years of age they will only have done around 3600.


But we now know that that is ‘pure mince’ hey Smile Anyway, I actually like doing this job cos it’s quite challenging and at the end of it I get some nice shiny ‘bits and bobs’ to play with. I have actually changed one of these switches in just over an hour, purely to keep the boat to ‘timetable’ but it’s not really the kind of task you want to rush so a couple of hours is more like it. This one took me most of the day as I’d other contractors to attend to or assist but that’s ‘par for the course’ when in dock and boy does it keep you fit Smile There’s an awful lot of stairs on Hallaig and to get from the forward prop room where I was working to the dock bottom 2m away involves three flight of them and a ladder at least Smile

Whilst I was relatively warm and dry, that couldn’t be said about Finlay and Richard

 DSCN0852 DSCN0871 DSCN0858

who were ‘walking out’ the fore and aft anchors for inspection and painting, 6 ‘shackles’ forward and 5 ‘shackles’ aft, or is it 7 & 6? I can never remember. Anyway a ‘shackle’ is 15 fathoms, 90’ or 27.4m, whichever you prefer so a lot of chain. Each ‘shackle’ is joined with a ‘Kenter shackle’ which isn’t even in Wikipedia! but they’re special links for joining chain that will go through a ‘gipsy’ . Gosh, that is in Wiki Smile

DSCN0857 DSCN0855 DSCN0854

Gosh, it was boodly miserable out there Sad smile That’ll be the ‘Impressed Current Anti Fouling’ anodes (ICAF)

DSCN0873 DSCN0872

and that will be what they are supposed to look like. Don’t think there’s much left on the old ones for the crews Christmas dinner fund Smile


More wet crew assisting in servicing the rescue boat davit.

DSCN0862 DSCN0864

MV Isle of Arran testing her stern ramp, aint it tiny compared to ours, my ramp is bigger than yours, bit like President Trump hey Smile

OK, she may have a smaller ramp but the ‘old Girl’ was built two years before my Land Rover when cars actually fitted in supermarket parking places and people weren’t so fat. The Isle of Arran has been one of CalMac’s real workhorses in her almost 40 year career.

DSCN0875 DSCN0874 DSCN0876

And don’t she look just beautiful and curvaceous,

DSCN0877 DSCN0878

almost shark like in her underwater elegance Smile

Blog at