Life at the end of the road

March 17, 2019

Gettin’ smelly :-)

Another Sunday in LA and this one was a cracker. I gotta say that my spell down here as to date been marred somewhat by the weather. Sure there’s been some nice spells in between all the rain, sleet, hail and gales but there’s no been a day when you could manage the whole of it bout waterproofs. Well, today came close and just to make it better, it was a Sunday so only four runs and an early finish Smile 

The geriatrics

I really intended posting last night but ended up in my bed before 20:30 instead, it had been a long day with delays on one of the major vessels having us await a customer off Mull for half an hour or so. Not that we begrudged it, the poor lady must have had a helluva trip up from Glasgow and she promised to bring us a cake Smile However, by the time I got back to me caravan and walked the dugs I was pure wrecked, me being the wrong side of sixty and all that. Come to think of it our poor skipper must be at his ‘wits end’ with us.

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On Saturday the combined age of his three crew was 187!!! by today it was 188 Smile

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One of us was a year older today Smile Smile Happy Birthday General Smile Admiral Woods is a long way off thirty and he’s lumbered with three geriatrics, all in their sixties Smile Smile He’s very patient with us Smile

Saturday

Anyway, back to yesterday,

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the MV Eems Star https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:226870/mmsi:245072000/vessel:EEMS%20STAR arrived to load LQS https://www.lochalinequartzsand.co.uk/  fine silica sand. There’s not really a great deal of room at the mouth of Loch Alainn and the tide must make it tricky for skippers not familiar with the area but she got berthed safely enough.

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By the time I was walking the dugs she was busy loading the lovely fine Lochaline sand.

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Delta Marine’s serious workboat Voe Earl https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:198669/mmsi:235090599/imo:9639983/vessel:VOE_EARL heading up the Sound of Mull for Loch Leven and Glencoe. I’m sure I’ve seen her at Raasay.

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The venerable MV Isle of Arran and the MV Fluvius Tavy !!! sounds more like a Roman emperor than a ship !!! https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:263049/mmsi:314426000/imo:9501710/vessel:FLUVIUS_TAVY OK, fluvius is Latin for river and their is a river Tavy, it runs through Tavistock no less, aint Google a wonderful thing hey Smile

Sunday

Well, today was a bonny day right enough, not as bonny as we’d have liked right enough cos there was some nasty showers but they’d passed us by by late afternoon so we’ll forgive that Smile

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There was snow on the roof of the ‘Egg chariot’ when I awoke right enough but XC https://www.xcweather.co.uk/ told us it was gonna be ‘peachy’ later.

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OK, there was the odd shower but on the whole it was pretty good and we sailed through the Sunday drills with great aplomb Smile We had a fire on the car deck

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and had to drop the anchor then ‘abandon ship’ but apart from that it was a lovely day Smile

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The General kept us right and we had a nice jaunt around Lochaline after abandoning the blazing MV Hallaig Smile

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Most of the boats seemed to be diving related, MV Gaelic Rose, MV Sound Diver,

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MV Brendan and MV Peregrine but seriously, if I was needing to charter a boat out of LA to go wreck diving it would be one of the latter two as me first choice. There’s nobody knows the waters and wrecks around here like http://www.lochaline-boats.co.uk/ .

Once all the maintenance and drills were out of the way I took the dugs for a walk, choosing to drive them up the Drimmin road then wander along the shore around Fiunary.

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There’s a lovely Forestry Commission car park at ‘Clach na Criche  https://www.wildlochaber.com/ardnamurchan/geology/clach-na-criche The ‘Wishing Stone’

Clach na Criche

The Wishing Stone in Morvern is formed from a dyke that intruded into surrounding rocks around 60 million years ago.  The surrounding rock has since eroded away leaving the dyke as boulder like outcrop.  The dyke has a large angular hole in the centre and has many joints within its structure.  The bare surface is covered with a stunning patchwork of white, grey and orange crustiose lichens, whilst numerous crevices support members of the Parmelion and Usneion communities.

The stone has been used as a boundary marker (hence its Gaelic name Clach na Criche), formerly between the lands of the Pict and Scots, and more recently between the medieval parishes of Kilcolmkill and Killintag.  It no longer serves this purpose as the parishes have since been amalgamated. 

The English name of the outcrop derives from local folklore.  Wishes were said to be granted at the Wishing Stone if you filled your mouth with water from the local spring and passed through the stone three times without touching the sides or swallowing the water.

The Wishing Stone was also a stopping off point for funeral processions between Lochaline and Drimnin, for both refreshment and remembrance.  Cairns were built by the mourners in memory of the deceased.  For sources further information, please see links below.

Access Point

Park at the Forestry Commission Car Park.  The Wishing Stone is a short walk west from the car park.

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That done, it was back to Hallaig for the last two sailings to Mull and back

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and bid farewell to Eems Star with her load of sand for Runcorn Smile 

That just left me with an underwear dilemma, much as I love  working ‘two weeks on, two weeks off’ it does mean you need to have an awful lot of spare underpants, socks and T shirts. Well I only have ten pairs of ‘skids’ so it’s a case of 1, start using the ten day old ones. 2, wash em myself by hand then hang them in the engine room. 3, go to Lochaline Stores https://www.yell.com/biz/lochaline-stores-oban-660801/ and use their laundrette, methinks the latter Smile

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