Life at the end of the road

October 14, 2018

Never mind the steak :-)

Pure peach of a day here in Greenock and by all accounts, the same back home, bout boodly time too. It’s been mainly miserable since we arrived almost a week ago and it’s only just now that the Garvel painters have manged to get ‘stuck in’ to the good ship Hallaig. Sunday it may well be but the yard was a hive of activity when we arrived, late Sad smile OK, not really late but whereas the Tontine excels in it’s main meals it aint much in the breakfast department, worse still, the earliest you can get one is 7:30!!! the only place I know worse than that is Raasay House Smile Only kidding guys but in the ‘real world’ people have to be at work or catch ferries before 8:00am Smile I do like the Tontine dinners, can’t wait for another,


I mean just look at that, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, olives and salad. The only thing missing was jalapeño peppers and I blagged one of those off Richard Smile That was just me starter, I had the salmon again for main. Now it says something for the excellence of Tontine’s Loch Fyne smoked salmon cos I’m choosing it over the steak, sea bass, chicken and duck. Having spent much of my working life dealing with dead farmed salmon this is something of a surprise but I kid you not the stuff they are serving here is as good as any wild fish I’ve tasted and I’ve sampled a few.

The breakfasts on the other hand are not a patch on the Premier Inn and if I was in the hospitality business I’d be ashamed of that accolade. First off, I swear the coffee is Nescafe Sad smile I kid you not, it tastes exactly the same as the cup of chlorinated muck I make myself in the room before I go for breakfast Sad smile Now that is grim peeps, we even have fresh real coffee in the morning aboard Hallaig. Sure the dining room is much nicer with some amazing furniture, culinary gadgets and a mirror to die for but it’s self service and the bacon is OK, in the Premier Inn, it’s outstanding and I do know my dead pig Smile OK, Tontine’s tomatoes are a cut above, as are their grapefruit segments but on the whole it’s not a great start to the day. Pay your staff a little more, get them in sooner and make some real coffee Smile Paul in number 27 Smile Smile

Back to work

Anyway’s, once at work we all got on with our own wee tasks, me once more down in the bilges and the boys busy cleaning the anchor stations and doing some painting.

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The cherry pickers were out in force with one either side of the boat and the Garvel staff had been setting the blocks ready to accept Loch Dunvegan tomorrow once Arran and our self depart.

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Arran’s OD box must have been fitted as the hole in her side was now a distant memory and very difficult to spot. Hard to believe you could see inside the ship yesterday hey.

The yard were also busy refitting our ramp bushes and some contractors were in the lounge recovering the seats in a much more serviceable materiel.

On the waterfront

Whilst we were busy at all this, the rest of Greenock seemed to be doing Sunday stuff in the sunshine.

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Sure the once bustling port with it’s sugar and shipbuilding may not be what it used to be but I can think of much, much worse places to live. The folk are friendly, the craic is great, property is cheap and wilderness just around the corner. I gotta say, I love this area of the Clyde. OK, I cannae actually understand what anybody is saying even with both my hearing aids in but I seem to get along. I guess they’re used to it with all the Poles and Romanians that work here Smile

 A lovely walk back

Such was the day that I declined the offer of Richard’s comfortable leather seats in the Jeep and opted to walk back to the hotel. It’s less than three miles so easily accomplished in an hour. That is unless you’re like me and keep getting distracted. Between Garvel Clyde and the Ocean Terminal who knows how many shipyards and docks there were in Greenock’s heyday. Most of them long ago reclaimed and covered by car parks, flats or supermarkets, but there are still ‘signs’ on that stroll down the Clyde waterfront.

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Heading west and just before the Victoria dock would have been Scott’s of Greenock’s yard.


Over 1250 ship were built here and at Scott’s other Clyde side yards, the last one in 1984 Now, it’s one of the few granite docks not turned into a Macdonald’s or Tesco’s.

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Dunno the name of this one but at least they kept the gates, filled it in and then grassed it over, just look at the workmanship on those hinges. That Victorian ingenuity of marrying the old with the new,


granite blocks tied together with iron and lead, pure genius.

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Further  down the waterfront by the Custom’s House Quay all manor of folk were out for the day with fishing rods, indeed some looked like they’d camped there for the weekend Smile I only saw one chap that had actually caught a decent fish but that didn’t seem to bother anyone.


Pretty soon I was at Ocean Terminal Greenock where I’d ‘hang a left’ up Robertson St to the Tontine after a most enjoyable stroll down the Clyde. It’s 18:00 now and I was swithering over the steak but methinks I’ll just go for more salad Smile

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