Life at the end of the road

December 31, 2019

Will I make it? :-)

Well, she’s looking like a bonny day ahead this fine Hogmanay, sure it’s still dark being 7:00am but XC Weather and the BBC both assure me it’s gonna be peachy. Don’t think it’s gonna be the same for the start of 2020 right enough but ‘make hay while the sun shines’ as they say, perhaps we’ll get out in the Searider for a spot of diving again. I’ll certainly not be joining the hardy ‘pier jumpers’ on Raasay tomorrow in the bid to great the New Year with a splash. Nosireee, though I’d be surprised if young Camilli didn’t join in Smile The hardier (or is it more foolish) Raasay folk have already done one on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day dip

Me, I was in a dry suit yesterday and whilst the water is still 10 degrees I’ll no be doing a Seamus Nicolson in my trunks for sure Smile

The launch

It wasn’t exactly a ‘peach of a day’ yesterday but at least it was dry, pretty fresh from the south right enough but dry and mild. Much of my day being taken up by pottering around doing odd jobs awaiting the rising of my son. Sure he’s on holiday and been working hard at uni, me, well I’m practising for retirement which cannot come to quickly and that in itself requires me to slow down and not quite so manic. So whilst he was ‘pushing out zeds’ then taking the obligatory ‘half hour shower’ I launched the Searider.

A 4m tide height is what’s needed to easily launch and recover our RIB and at this time of year with the short days you have pretty short window at times.


Daylight is the straw colour and the 4m height ends at 11:30am so I had to get her in before then, the next time the tide would be high enough is around 22:30 at night so not much use to me.


First thing was to fill her with fuel, top up the tubes then lower her down to the bottom of the shed on an electric winch.


The slope of the shed floor and the long lead I fitted to the winch control make this a ‘piece of cake’ and once the boat is at the bottom I just hitch it to the dumper or whatever vehicle I’m using. It really is so easy, even on your own,


the actual launch too was stress free, despite a change in the wind to the west. This picture being taken at just about the extreme of when it’s possible to launch and recover her.

Yamaha 350 YFM throttle cable

As far as yesterday’s ‘doings’ go an excellent dive for a couple of dozen clams in Tarbert just about sums it it up. These we fried in olive oil and nduja which came from May or Snowy. That was followed by the remains of the turkey curry (which unusually didn’t make it to the next year) and potato wedges.

Also achieved ‘but not necessarily in that order’ was the replacement of the throttle cable on my Mate’s Yamaha 350YFM. The throttle had been sticking of late, well probably about a year Smile but had got really bad recently, a split in the outer cover allowing water into the carburettor compounding matters. As usual I ordered any replacement parts from MSP in Holland and they arrived timeously without hassle or delay. Feck knows what will happen once that blond lunatic has removed us from the EU Sad smile

IMG_1532 IMG_1533

The YFM cable is quite easy to change, though I find (as with most cables) the easiest way to route any cable is to attach the new one to the old one then pull it carefully through. This works with all types of cables be they Bowden, control or electrical and can save you immense grief, tape will usually do the trick, just don’t go mad pulling the new one through.

Through the archives

Being almost 9:00am now on a fine Hogmanay I’m tempted to leave warmth of the kitchen table and coffee number 4 behind and get some work done. It’s still quite grey with ‘wall to wall’ sunshine not due for a few hours but there’s barely a breath of wind and I really should go outside to make the most of it. So I’ll just leave you with some salami’s Smile


The Portree fishing boat Green Isle, unusually fishing in Loch Sligachan, in front of an awesome looking shed at Braes Smile 



Fraser in one of Eyre Plant’s Scania’s dragging a 13T Hitachi over to Raasay to help repair the Creagan Baegha.


The Old Man of Storr in a brief snowy surround.


  1. Thanks for that … took one look at those Salami and had to go raid the fridge! I doubt anything I can put my hands on will taste as good as those mind!

    Comment by Matt — December 31, 2019 @ 1:29 pm

  2. Happy New Year from Northern California Paul. I hope 2020 is most kind to you and gives you a lot of inspiration for fine photographs and griping blogs! Cheers, Morgan

    Comment by Morgan Will, the dude from Cali — December 31, 2019 @ 10:56 pm

    • Aye Morgan, and perhaps I’ll make it back to the US once that halfwit in the Whitehouse stops Tweeting carp 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2020 @ 3:36 pm

      • I would like him to stop Tweeting and go far away as well.

        Comment by Morgan Will in California — January 2, 2020 @ 1:46 am

  3. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda 🙂

    Comment by San — January 1, 2020 @ 8:32 am

    • Same to you San Matey 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2020 @ 3:34 pm

  4. Happy New Year, Paul!

    The landslip etc on the Fearns road looks bad but repairable – unless there’s more. It’s been parlous for ages. Depressing photos of the lower road by the bay – those dead trees on the slope to the water can;t help. Do hope it’s made good soon for the sake of the folk at Oscaig in particular – long way round for them on the top road. Is that OK after all the forestry work. And what about the road to the old pier where there was a bad landslip some years ago? Just hope any more rain, frost, snow etc don’t cause more problems for you all.


    Comment by Sue — January 1, 2020 @ 9:16 am

    • Aye Sue methinks the Forestry Commission were not entirely blameless in the ‘low road’ epic at Creagan Bheaga. A damaged drain during the ‘clearfell’ may have had much to do with it 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2020 @ 3:33 pm

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