Life at the end of the road

September 20, 2019

‘Such a perfect day’ :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:24 pm

I can’t believe it’s only just after 18:00 and I’m ready for bed,

IMG_0894

not even ‘hitting’ the San Pellegrino is stopping me yawning and I don’t think it’ll be long before I can’t keep my eyes open. Sure it has been a busy old day right enough with me awake at ‘stupid o clock’ gazing on the waning moon above.

P1150156 P1150153 P1150154

It was the sunrise around 5:30 that finally prised me out from my bed and caravan to face the beach at Firemore on the shore of Loch Ewe. A couple of coffees later wee dug and I headed up to Rubh nan Sasan and the Cove Point gun batteries.

In search of the Iron Duke’s guns

Just ‘on the off chance’ and with the Disco having such a cavernous boot, I’d thrown my diving gear in the back and me being so enthusiastic of a morning, I decided to go for a dip.

At the end of WWII the two 6” guns that looked out over the Minch and protected Loch Ewe from enemy warships were just unbolted and rolled into the sea. I know this for a fact cos I dived on them in the 1970’s. What I didn’t know then was that the guns had been removed from HMS Iron Duke  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Iron_Duke_(1912) were they served as her secondary armament https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BL_6-inch_Mk_VII_naval_gun . Casement mounted there were 10 of them capable of firing a 45kg projectile the best part of 9 miles. Two of them found their way to Loch Ewe and the rest became shore defences around Scapa Flow where Iron Duke served as a floating AA gun battery, her main armament having been removed post WWI as part of the Washington Treaty https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Naval_Treaty on trying to reduce the ‘arms race’.

Well, the treaty didn’t work but it did spawn some interesting and novel designs, Nelson, Rodney and Graph Spee to name a few.

So after hauling me diving gear down the cliff as I did in 1978 I went for a very interesting dive in the gullies where a 7ton gun might be resting.

IMG_0887IMG_0886IMG_0884

Found two lobsters trapped in a creel, saw lots of fish and generally had a jolly time, however, so no sign of said ordnance and managed to loose my camera on the way out Sad smile 

IMG_0879

Still, it was a great way to start the day before breakfast Smile

Island hopping

P1150204

Three cans and Lord knows how much sugar later I’m still awake, probably more so once I finish off the tiramisu and let Molly lick the carton Smile Anyways after my morning dip, explore and a quick shopping trip to Gairloch I managed to catch up with my pal Willie from the Isle of Ewe. We’ve helped each other out with various renewable energy project over the years and I’ve usually managed to catch up with him whenever I was in the area. Sadly since me Pop died, that’s not been very often. Willie lives and farms on Ewe with his family and like me is ‘off grid’ unlike Raasay though the whole of Ewe is without power.

EWE P1150172

Willie came over to collect Molly and I from Aultbea pier in one of his Pioner boats and gave us a ‘grand tour’.

P1150173 P1150176

We landed at the south end at what would have been the traditional old pier near where the majority of people used to live. Willie called it ‘The Square’, which I guess is what it was a square of houses, farm buildings and somewhat startlingly a mill!!!

P1150180 P1150181 P1150183

I was aghast that such a low lying island could produce enough water for it’s occupants, let alone a mill. Ewe is hardly high either but he explained how all the dykes and ditches were channelled to a storage loch with a sluice that acted as a kind of large battery I guess. It really was quite amazing with the architecture of wide stone arches looking strangely out of place here on the draughty West Coast.

Willies family were just as ingenious as the generations afore him as he showed me the remains of a landing craft they’d built after the war (not sure which one Smile )

    P1150177 P1150178

And that, if I’m very much not mistaken is a Ford Pilot V8 petrol engine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Pilot Smile

P1150189 P1150190

After our ‘grand tour’ Willie ran us back to Aultbea where Molly was seriously unimpressed with the steel grating steps Smile We then drove past the lovely Aultbea village hall, still retaining its wartime appeal Smile I went to see South Pacific  there with me wife a few years ago.

Poster of the movie South Pacific.jpg

Also went to a wartime dance there in uniform, my dancing was pure 5h1te

IMG_0891 http://www.russianarcticconvoymuseum.org/

Then it was the Convoy Museum at Aultbea which was brill but me battery is about to die and I canna charge it so I’m gonna go finish me Juice and tiramisu Smile

I will finish it tomorrow, good night.

6 Comments »

  1. I have just the thing to keep that san pellegrino cool PM the best address to send it

    Comment by duncan — September 20, 2019 @ 7:54 pm

    • Cheers Matey, PM on the way, have you changed jobs then?

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 24, 2019 @ 6:26 am

  2. Lovely post, Paul. Must bring the wife to experience the peace and calm that you take for granted in your awesome surroundings. Fascinating about the guns.

    Comment by Lloyd Owen-Reece — September 20, 2019 @ 10:20 pm

    • Aye Lloyd, you must indeed 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 24, 2019 @ 6:25 am

  3. Lovely tour Paul
    cheers
    Andrew

    Comment by todthedog — September 21, 2019 @ 5:26 am

    • Thanks Tod, had a grand tour meself with wee dug 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 24, 2019 @ 6:25 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: