Life at the end of the road

September 29, 2019

The ‘ship’ on the rocks :-)

Filed under: animals, Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, Discovery — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

Six in the morning and I’ve not long since got out of my bed, well it is Sunday after all and one does deserve a ‘lie in’ now and then hey Smile I’m just back in the house having just been out to me caravan to retrieve some stuff out of the fridge. I caught a few deer in my torch beam and was somewhat surprised at how dry and mild it was outdoors. Yesterday was a pure peach here, in sharp contrast to the ‘severe weather’ bulletins that peppered the music and mince of Radio 2.  Mudslides at Bentham, a place I know well, ferries off on the Mersey, a place I’d be happy never to see again Smile at least not from the deck of Hallaig. We dry docked there in 2015 after the most horrendous sea voyage of my life through the Irish sea in November Sad smile By contrast there was hardly a breath of wind here and I was severely miffed at having to spend much of my day under the Disco Sad smile

The ship on the rocks

OK, it was actually a sheep stuck at Aird Torran but every time I see a stranded woolly I think of a phone call a friend of mine received form an auxiliary Coastguard years ago. “There’s a ship on the rocks north of Staffin” to which my Mate, a keen diver and scrap merchant got really excited only to become somewhat deflated when he realized it was just another boodly ewe with a death wish Smile Well I guess I first noticed it on the 25th as I headed for Rona,


we’re not on speaking terms but I know her quite well, for she is the only sheep for miles. Completely wild with at least a dozen fleeces on, she missed the final Torran gathering some fifteen or twenty years ago and has been living a peaceful if not lonely existence at Aird Torran ever since. I often see her through the binoculars from home or from the boat when out diving, just not this closely.

P1150324 P1150328 P1150364

She was still there on the 27th and a look around the point with the boat told me she probably wouldn’t get out without help but I’d give her another night. The weather was settled, the tides getting bigger so she may have been able to walk out herself at low water with a bit of luck.

However, as dawn broke yesterday,

P1150361 P1150363 

I could see over my bowl of muesli that she was still there Sad smile Still it was a cracking day and I was going out diving anyway, just hadn’t planned to do so so early. After finishing several cups of coffee and donning my dry suit I set off, anchored the boat just offshore swam the short distance to the land, removed my flippers and proceeded to chase the woolly round in circles. I knew from experience that she would eventually end up in the drink, where she would either find her way own way out, encouraged by adrenalin and a strange black monster. Or she would just eventually drown as her fleeces turned from an oily lifejacket to a sodden weight. Hopefully before this happened I could swim out to the Searider, get a rope around her horns and keep her head above water. Been there, got the book, video and T shirt Smile However, once she ended up in the water I managed to follow her and persuade her up that slope on the right of the second image.


I dunno who was more knackered, me or the ewe Smile


Good deed done for the day I continued north through the Fladda Narrows to Eilean Tighe in the hope of catching some supper.


Despite there being fish there I never even got a bite, as my wife used to say, “if we had to rely on your hunting skills to eat we’d starve” Smile Which I though was a little unfair, what she should have said was, “we’d get boodly sick of mushrooms and scallops” Smile So I dropped the anchor’


and got me a nice bag of clams instead. I also cut my dive short cos of a leaky wrist seal on my dry suit.


An injury that could well have been ‘sheep related’ Smile

In the shed Sad smile

Reluctantly I went back home, the tide wouldn’t be high enough to remove the Searider until after 17:00 and I really did need to fix my vehicles. The Disco was on the Chinese vehicle lift, it’s minor jobs having morphed into major ones. The 2500kg single post lift I got a year ago is the ‘dogs danglies’ for regular cars. However a heavy vehicle like a Land Rover, Range Rover or Discovery with a separate  chassis require very careful and somewhat tedious preparation before lifting. Consequently I had been making the most of it being ‘in the air’ and started to do some welding that was an ‘advisory’ on the MOT.

IMG_1000 IMG_0999 IMG_1001

As is often the case with corrosion, a tiny ‘pin prick’ turns into virtually a new chassis leg Smile It wasn’t this that was pi551ng me off, it was the fact it was so nice outside, but I really had to sort myself a vehicle before starting work on Tuesday. The Subaru too needed to go on the lift to have new anti roll bar links and bushes.

Come 17:00 though, I’d had enough and went to get the Searider out of the water before I got tempted to use it over the next day or two rather than repair my fleet of cars Smile

IMG_1002 IMG_1003

Piece of cake with a dumper and dog to help Smile

P1150373 P1150378 (2)

No sooner had I got my RIB out of the water than another turned up on the scene, Raasay House and David Croy if I’m not mistaken Smile Great evening for a trip for someone


  1. Once again Paul well done on helping the sheep 🐑 to be reinstated on terror forma.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — September 29, 2019 @ 1:22 pm

  2. Bravo fella … glad neither you or the ewe lost the war but rather both won the battle!

    You’ll be chasing the worm on that disco for a while … sadly an era of bad steel choices means the tin worm tends to travel fast once it gets going!

    Comment by Matt — September 29, 2019 @ 7:08 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

%d bloggers like this: