Life at the end of the road

November 24, 2021

Hitting the bottle :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Land Rover, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:47 am

Well ‘it’s all over now’ and I’m sat in front of the kitchen table half way down a bottle of San Pellegrino. That’ll be my ‘two weeks on’ is by with and I’m celebrating with a litre bottle of fizzy water Smile Not that I’ve given up drinking or anything, just that I decided some time ago never to drink alone, which given my circumstance means I’m pretty much teetotal Smile


The awesome banana cake I’m eating with it being a gift form the neighbours next door and a most welcome treat on this celebratory day. Much as I enjoy my work it’s good to be ‘back on the croft’ so to speak.

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Apart from feeding the ‘wee darlings’ on Sunday morning I’ve not had much quality time with the pigs Smile


Having said that we fair made grunters of ourselves on Saturday night when Gavin dished up a fine venison curry accompanied by a huge dose of Emby’s dahl. Robin and myself finished it off the day after mixed in with some of his left over pasta Surprised smile Trust me, it was much better than it sounds Smile

Back on the Hallaig

It was good to be back on the good ship Hallaig, my first time on her at Raasay since the middle of September when I left prior to going to dock. The first thing I noticed being how busy the ferry was, even now at the end of November we are still seeing tourists. I guess people are taking a much needed break after the madness of the previous couple of years. Choosing their own space in a campervan or caravan rather than a crowded airport lounge or plane and hotel. Seems sensible and has certainly done wonders for the second hand camper and caravan market. Not to mention the local economy judging by the empty shelves in the Co Op, but perhaps the shelves are empty everywhere in the country not just on Skye.

It has certainly not been great weather for the tourists, locals and ferrymen alike but I guess it is November after all. Having said that I saw a rhododendron in flower yesterday at the side of the road in Sconser Surprised smile Sure I once saw one flowering in early December whilst waiting for the Corran ferry some years ago but Sconser! it doesn’t see any sun from November until February.

Speaking of flu

It was one lunchtime around Remembrance day I was out with the dugs up at the cemetery. Outside the graveyard lies this stone that marked the grave of two German soldiers who died on Raasay during WWI. 


I thought they were victims of the Spanish flu epidemic but apparently not, Paul Sosinka and Geo Kagerer died before the epidemic, possibly due to a mining accident. Though 12 prisoners did succumb to the so called flu from Spain, it only being called after that country cos Spain was neutral so her press was not censored. Consequently reports of the deadly epidemic first appeared in the Spanish press. The epidemic itself originating in China or the USA depending on who’s version of history you believe. It just spread due to the millions of demobbed soldiers heading home in cramped ships and trains. Who’d have believed it hey, the governments and ‘free press’ were lying to the populace back then too Smile 

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Images from Laurence and Pamela Drapers excellent book “ The Raasay Iron Ore Mine” where enemies became friends well worth a read if you can find a copy.

The rest of the fortnight

Well it’s after 7:00 clock now on Wednesday so I’ll just look through my camera, ‘gotta go and see a man about a dog’ Smile

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Every morning at around 6:50 Molly, Bonzo and I go for a wee walk in the woods on the way to work, usually it’s pitch black but these were taken on Sunday morning. We only go for about 10 minutes but it’s sheltered from the weather and easy walking for Molly.

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Another nice day at sea as Ferguson’s MV Jenna sails by Raasay House


North wind on the way? Speedwell and Mary M safely on their moorings, it’s kinda uncomfortable on the Raasay pier in a northerly swell.

Time for a new propshaft

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Well that cost me ‘an arm and a leg’ the front prop on me old Land Rover was pure wrecked. Sadly it wasn’t the actual Hardy Spicers that were worn but the yolks they fitted into Sad smile Only cure was a new one, the company that supplied the original one having gone bust years ago.

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Ben Tianavaig in the low, late afternoon sun.

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Finished work on the ferry Smile


  1. That curry sounds nice! I think the bare shelves are a national thing… plenty of empty spaces in our local co-op and people keep ‘stocking up’ for Christmas apparently. One of the staff told me that a regular tried to give her a list and her phone number for when things came back in stock. She said she might have done it if the cheeky so and so had offered even a hint of a bribe… what’s the world coming to…

    That’s a Gwyn Lewis prop isn’t it? Best part of £550 last time I looked. How come you need the double carden? Used to get vibration with a spring lift?

    Comment by Matt — November 25, 2021 @ 8:54 am

    • Aye Matt, the curry and dahl was indeed spectacular and you’re right about the prop, though I got from Paddock’s for £399, still an arm & leg right enough. Sure enough the thing is needed for a vibration due to the lift. When I bought the Old Girl over twenty years ago I foolishly thought a 2″ lift would be a good idea, after all I needed springs anyway so why not get them longer instead, it would only be a few extra quid 😦 Aye right, then there was the cranked radius arms to restore the self centring on the now vague steering. Another £200 :-O plus another £200 for a double cardan jointed shaft to get rid of the vibration that the cranked arms induced 😦 The prop I got from the now defunct Scorpion Racing so I’ve no idea who made it to get yolks from.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 25, 2021 @ 10:11 am

  2. That’s a fair chunk off the price… Yeah the whole lifted thing gets expensive fast. Scorpian went out after the owners couldn’t settle disputes and quality issues. They were using GKN direct as I recall… I’m opting for a slight lift but after installing many, many lifts over the years I know exactly how far to take things. Old Man Emu springs after years on genuine 130 springs and Super Pro Bushes is my choice of upgrade. At any rate your motor is only ever as high off the ground as the lowest point.

    That walk in the woods doesn’t half look relaxing…

    Comment by Matt — November 25, 2021 @ 1:05 pm

    • Aye Matt ‘Scorpion quality issues’ tell me about it. Twas one of their lifts I fitted, the springs broke, the radius arms failed at one of the axle bush inserts, my shockers leaked and finally the propshaft is scrap. My Warn winch was a piece of 5hit too but I can’t blame them for that. Methinks the only bit of kit I purchased off them that did ‘exactly what it said on the tin’ was the winch bumper but even the paint on that was carp.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 25, 2021 @ 4:40 pm

      • Ouch… that’s quite the list. I’ve stuck with standard front arms which Gwyn said are fine in the majority of cases for a modest lift and a set of his heavy duty rear arms which are just a huge improvement over standard. If you need owt just pick up the phone and ask for advice. The bloke runs his own kit and built it to last competition spec many times over!

        Comment by Matt — November 29, 2021 @ 9:06 am

      • Aye Matt,well impressed with Gwyn’s service myself. Bought a few of his Sumo bars in the past. Perhaps I should speak to him about fitting a 13mm belt on my uprated alternator, wonder if he knows of any suppliers of larger water pump pulley’s to take a wider belt?

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 29, 2021 @ 9:39 am

      • If anyone might know or know someone that might well know then he’s probably the man to ask. I’ll also ask my tame CNC lathe engineer about what it might take to modify one. He runs 200s and will possibly look at it and say, yep. Five mins work. Or perhaps something more serious requiring his CNC milling machine.

        Comment by Matt — November 29, 2021 @ 10:19 am

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