Life at the end of the road

October 17, 2018

Floating my boat :-)

Home at last, it’s been a great docking but there’s nothing like home and a whole month off ahead of me.

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Storm Callum had left a broken whirligig in his wake but aside from that, a few less leaves on the trees and a scattering of misplaced buckets and plant pots, all seemed well.

Hallaig and Isle of Arran out Loch Dunvegan in

I would have got something ‘down on paper’ so to speak on Monday and Tuesday but Monday was a late one and yesterday I was driving through the night to get to Sconser. Like Sunday, Monday was a ‘pure peach’, just as well cos it was the day we ‘came out’ to let the Dunvegan in.

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It was ‘all go’ from our start at 8:00am with the sludge tanker ready to empty our ‘bilge holding’ and ‘dirty oil’ tanks.

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We received the ultimate complement off the tanker driver and sucker man who both said that our bilges were the cleanest they had ever seen on a CalMac ship. Mind you, I had spent the best part of two days cleaning them it should have been no surprise.

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No wonder I was mightily miffed when the service engineers from Tyco dumped a couple more hundred litres of water in them testing the various sprinkler systems Smile Still, at least they did the mess room ones into a bin and they did ask if it was OK Smile

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The upholsterers finished covering the lounge seating in a much more practical material.

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By early afternoon the dock flooding began and I got on with preparing the ship to sail, shutting and opening valves to let fuel into the generators and keep the sea out of the ship.

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As soon as we had water around the generator ‘box coolers’ I fired them up one at a time checking fuel pressures and temperatures constantly until I was happy all was rosy. Once we are floating and clear of the blocks we got the OK to start the drives.

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Unlike a regular propeller, the Voith Schneider unit turns constantly, even when the vessel is stopped so it’s important there are no blocks or debris in the dock to foul them.

Those are on the Striven, there are only 4 and they are smaller than Hallaig’s.

Boodly amazing things hey.

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As Arran and Hallaig prepared to leave Dunvegan arrived just astern of the fisheries research ship Alba na Mara that was heading for her berth next door in the James Watt dock.

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We came out under our own steam but Arran had a tug either end.

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The Bruiser and Battler pulling and steering her through the narrow entrance to the wet dock ahead of us.

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There wasn’t a lot of room to play with and the masters of all three vessels did a fine job.

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As soon as we were out Dunvegan went in under her own steam

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The dock gates and their hydraulic power pack.

It was a ‘late one’ on Monday with not much time for taking pictures but here’s Loch Dunvegan looking mightily small in the 200m long dock Smile

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Here’s the Border Force ‘Big Rib’ heading for her berth too.

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Back to Rainbows

So, that was it, I finally got home this morning to a newly decorated hallway Smile It grows on you Smile To be honest, I was so glad to be home I’d have liked anything Smile

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