Life at the end of the road

October 12, 2018

The long way round :-)

Gosh, I never thought I’d be sad to be leaving a Premier Inn , I hate all this franchised pish where everything looks and tastes the same whether your in Greenock or Grantham. However, I am, for tonight is our last night here, apparently some ‘cock up’ on their behalf regarding the bookings and our 10 night stay has been cut back to 4 or 5. I cannae remember which cos it feels like I’ve been away from my ‘darling wife’ for weeks and I gotta say, it’s actually very nice here, the food is good, the company great and I can actually walk to and from work. I friggin hate driving in traffic and it’s pure ‘bumper to bumper’ here in the rush hour. Consequently we are all really miffed at being moved to the Tontine some 3 miles away. Now do not get me wrong here, the Tontine is a great hotel and they serve proper food that is actually made on the premises. I know cos I’ve stayed there before, it’s just that a tuechter like me cannae friggin drive in traffic unless I’m in me Land Rover. I cannae actually drive that any better, it’s just that people keep out of your way when 2 tons of heavy old iron is demanding access to the roundabout Smile

So, tonight will be my last ‘burrito salad’, hell no, I think I’ll be adventurous and try something with a dead animal in it Smile I gotta say though, the ‘Brewers Fayre’ burrito salad is pretty damn good and it’s got a helluva kick with all those jalapeño’s in there. Anyway’s sorry for not posting last night but it was a pretty ‘full on’ day with Lloyd’s and the MCA aboard. Added to that, not only had I walked to and from the yard but I’d also strolled down the coast to Greenock too. So I didn’t actually get into the hotel until 19:00 and after me burrito salad and two pints of Tenant’s, I fell asleep Smile

Serious work on Arran

Wednesday was a pure cracker of a day, the first one since Sunday without gales and rain so I took the opportunity to walk to the dock. As the ‘crow flies’ the Premier Inn motel is only a couple of hundred yards from the Hallaig and Isle of Arran. Just a ‘stones throw’ over James Watt dock with it’s famous crane  to Garvel Clyde. 

James Watt Dock

Sadly you can no longer walk along the shore past the old sugar warehouses that are now yuppie flats and a marina You gotta walk along the main road and around the old buildings on account of all the security fencing and walls Sad smile 


Hallaig and MV Isle of Arran from Premier Inn.

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The baby crane and the serious crane.

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The James Watt Dock and FPV Minna

Sorry, ‘fell asleep at the wheel’ there so to speak, had me self a fine haddock and chips last night and a pint and a half of lager. Was too stuffed to drink two so went to my room and now it’s 4:50!!! Anyway’s, that’s two busy days behind us in the dock.

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During the best of days our forward ramp ‘finger flaps’ got lifted off for rebushing and the trusty MV Isle of Arran got her port shaft, propeller and rudder refitted.

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A large hole being cut into her curvaceous bottom for the new oil distribution box that operates her variable pitch prop on the starboard side.

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It’s all a bit of a tight squeeze in Hallaig at times, I’m busy emptying the water tanks and the yard are welding some steelwork in the hull.

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Aft ramp work this time and the new anode’s in the box coolers.


The good weather saw Arran getting a coat of paint and her name back.


Not quite so nice yesterday but fine enough for the mile walk to my ship just over the water, this time with an engineers from Voith who had come to do some work on HMS Pembroke. Dunno where she was but they were collecting him from the marina by boat.

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He, like me and I guess others too had thought you could walk along the shore as in days gone by. In fact  in days past when thousands worked here and not dozens, there used to be a tunnel under the James Watt dock. The entrance on the south side is long gone and under Macdonald’s or a car park but it’s still visible at the Garvel dry dock end where we are. I read all about this on the Internet some years ago but cannot find any mention of it at all as Greenock had so many railway tunnels that have long since been bricked up.

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New fresh water manifold, Terasaki ACB (air circuit breaker) ‘racked out’ for service and Arran gets her starboard prop and shaft.


  1. Busy boy! Missed each other again eh. I was at James Watt Dock in Wednesday briefly, as was selling my dinghy before going down south to pick up motorhome. You really should buy my electric sailing yacht with all that renewable power you have 😏

    Comment by Panomphaean — October 12, 2018 @ 5:01 am

  2. Wondering how your Land Rover is after its refurb (apologies if I’ve missed an update on it) – I’m staying on Great Bernera at the moment and the only thing I’m missing from home (Norfolk) is my LR which is s 1984 90 with a V8 that I fitted a few years ago .
    Hope Callum treats you kindly.

    Comment by David Brodie — October 12, 2018 @ 6:31 am

    • Hi David,
      Land Rover still away and I’m getting mightily pi55ed off about it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 12, 2018 @ 4:45 pm

      • Think I would be too….well hope it’s good when you finally get it back!

        Comment by David Brodie — October 12, 2018 @ 8:56 pm

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