Life at the end of the road

October 21, 2021


A fine cool and draughty morning with a full moon blazing through the bedroom window greeted me this morning. The sole thing of any importance on today’s agenda being to pay my last respects to Alasdair MacInnes, friend and father of one of my shipmates, his son Ali.With that in mind I didn’t plan grovelling under the Old Girl or doing anything that may distract me. So after feeding both the pigs and crows Smile Bonzo and I set off under the watery remains of the once vivid moon to Tarbert.


The moon is just below the grey blob on my camera lens Winking smile With the days getting both shorter and colder I thought it was about time to go and turn on my Powerspout hydro turbine which I only use in the winter when there’s precious little sun for the solar PV. Sure there is no shortage of wind this week but it hasn’t run for six months so I wanted to just run it up and check it over.

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So off we went, finding that buoy I’d seen the other day in the loch washed up on the shore at Tarbert.


Despite it having a split at one end I’m sure I’ll be able to make something useful out of it but not today Smile

Today it was time to fire up the Powerspout, after my experience with the Stream Engine, I was a little dubious.

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Sure it was a little stiff to turn by hand at first but a little grease sorted that and she spun up with no expensive sounding noises so we headed back to the ‘Power Station’ to see if she was generating.

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The eagle eyed reader may notice the new battery bank which I bought last year from PB Battery Solutions last year. I had couple of my old Rolls batteries fail so rather than replace the defective ones (it is never good practice to mix batteries of dissimilar age) I opted to go for forklift truck batteries instead.

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Much to my surprise the turbine was working fine and generating around 750W which equates to about 18kWh per day. Not that I need that today, the Proven 6kW wind turbine did around 60kWh in the last 24 hours!

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Still, it was good to know it was all peachy and ready for winter so we went back down and turned it off.


The two images on the left show seas breaking today on a reef just to the south of Grian a Sgeir, the image on the right shows a yacht sailing right over it on Sunday! I cringed when I saw it but shortly after taking the picture he turned hard to port. Dunno if he’d hit it or seen his plotter or sounder and suddenly realised.


Alasdair MacInnes

Then it was time to say goodbye to Alasdair who had as large a crowd as I’ve seen at a funeral on Raasay. Although Alasdair had only lived here for 4 or 5 years he’d been a regular visitor long before I arrived in 89 and was known and loved by all. Farewell Alasdair and love to all your family and friends.

It’s done

Once back home and having downed a lunch of liver and mushrooms I turned my attention to the Land Rover that still needed her prop shafts installed and indicator lamps wired up.

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And I gotta say I was mightily pi55ed off at seeing a oil leaking form the rear output shaft onto the transmission brake drum Sad smile Luckily I found the prop shaft flange nut wasn’t torqued up enough and the felt behind it was squashed. Easily fixed but it doesn’t inspire confidence in Ashcroft Transmissions who supplied it. Though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, I’ve dealt with them before and they have been excellent, great service and very helpful, fingers crossed Smile 


Well, Molly and I gave it a good testing the lower gearing is much more suited to those huge 33X12.5X15 tyres and much less gear changing is required. Had a look underneath when we got back and everything seemed OK.


  1. That first shot is brilliant! Really grabbed my attention after walking back tonight from Scouts with the kids to a lovely near full moon.

    Great to see the powerspout working a treat. Love to know the differences between the old batteries and the new. Not something I understand very well but I’m keen to learn more.

    Had some hit and miss patches with Ashcroft. Looking to try Syncro Gearboxes as my step brother has had a lot of support with his 90 from them. Great to see her up and running again. Those tyres really are huge. Must be a bit bigger than a set of 285’s!!

    Comment by Matt — October 21, 2021 @ 8:11 pm

    • Morning Matt, many moons ago I used to replace odd cells or batteries in a bank but it nearly always ended in tears. The new cell or module invariably had a different charge/discharge profile due to the age of the cell and number of times it had been cycled. This invariably led to the other cells or worse still charger, inverter or alternator failing shortly after. The only time it ever works is if the bank is fairly new and the cell/battery has failed due to being faulty. Or, if you are lucky enough to be able to find a replacement cell of similar age.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 22, 2021 @ 7:56 am

      • That makes sense. I’ve read a lot about trying to recover dead cells and it rarely works. I’ve got car batteries which after a tickle from a Smart Charger will go on to working enough to start a landy but coming up to winter I’d always advise replacing the battery as they never hold there charge for as long and the cold makes that much worse. Understanding the science of it is on my hit list!

        Comment by Matt — October 22, 2021 @ 10:29 am

  2. That yacht looks like the Red Moon. I’d have thought they’d have been aware of the reef. They’re around here all summer.

    Comment by John MacDonald — October 21, 2021 @ 8:12 pm

    • Aye John it certainly is, was tracking him on AIS too 😉 Judging by his sudden alteration in course methinks he had the autopilot on 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 21, 2021 @ 8:19 pm

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