Life at the end of the road

September 25, 2018

Better than expected :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, How I, pigs, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:47 pm

Well, I got me concreting done after all, though I didn’t start until much later, that heave in the sea didn’t moderate until early afternoon. A good gale of south wind flattened it sufficiently by midday so I decided to ‘go for it’.

I’d spent the fine dry morning creosoting the pig arcs and then finishing floor number two.

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I can’t remember exactly when we bought these insulated pig arcs but it’s way before I started blogging in 2007 so they’re at least 12 years old and this is the first repair work I’ve done on them. The company I bought them off is long out of business but it certainly wasn’t cos they made an inferior product. They’re 8 x 6 so plenty large enough for the biggest sow and a litter and insulated too so they’re warm in the winter and cool in the summer without any problems with condensation. Sure I could have made some myself but to be honest, by the time I’d bought the materials I would not have saved much and at that time I didn’t have the same amount of cordless tools to make these projects so much fun Smile

Once I’d sorted that I decided to at least go down to the shore and bond all my bolts and rebar into the bedrock by the slipway. It was pretty wild and I didn’t seriously think I’d actually be mixing any concrete but at least I could get some prep work done for tomorrow.

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I’d drilled some 20 or so 14mm holes yesterday to take 150mm x M12 galvanized bolts and 12mm rebar. With the tide now well out I washed out the holes again then blasted them dry with the Hilti hand pump. The RE HIT500 resin is then injected into the hole with a special gun that takes and mixes the two component parts. This resin is the ‘dogs bollox’ but boodly expensive. The first time I used it was 2005 to bolt my first wind turbine directly to Scotland. Back then I paid the full price for the stuff and hired a gun. Can’t remember what it cost but now it’s getting on for £30 for a 330ml ‘twin pack’

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Me, I just buy em off eBay now, just out of date for about a tenner and I bought the applicator kit for around £25, brilliant stuff and I’ve now used it on three wind turbine bases and lots of other projects. A word of caution though, make sure you buy the correct gun for the correct resin, they are not all the same Sad smile

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By the time I’d bonded all twenty odd bolts and bar I had manged to convince myself it was calm enough to mix and pour. At leas calm enough to grout some of the larger rocks to the bedrock anyway. So over the next 3 hours I mixed some two tons of aggregate with 20 bags of cement in my wee Belle mixer, a nice strong stiff mix for the lower section.

After dinner of sausage, chips and baked beans, yes really Smile I went down to check it out as the tide was rising and all seemed well.

Over the last month

So, that was it really for today and as I’ve no idea what I’ve been up to this last month since we got back from Lewis I’ll ‘ave a look at me pictures.


The shed got another coat of Leyland Paints Frigate grey floor paint, well impressed with it’s durability, only painting it cos it’s dirty Smile


I bought some fine Chinese waders with the feet on the wrong legs, you gotta laugh hey Smile

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The Portree Lifeboat Stanley Watson Barker racing to Kyle ‘on a shout’, some poor girl jumped off the Skye bridge. She was pulled out of the water alive three hours later but tragically died on the way to hospital.

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Cows on a mission in Inverarish Smile

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Another anchor recovered and dragged ashore to be checked out at low water.

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A prawn, a velvet crab and me boy with some scallops Smile

That was it really, got another couple of tons loaded onto the trailer ready for tomorrow and it looks like being a half decent day Smile


August 3, 2018

Off to the ‘SS Stassa’

Filed under: Avon Searider, boats, daily doings — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:06 am

Almost 21:00 now and methinks I’ll be finishing this tomorrow. I’ll be on me second glass of Chilean Merlot having made dinner and pumped up the diving cylinders from today’s epic plunge on the SS Stassa.

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Having previously made a 16 to 13 amp conversion lead for the trusty Bauer Utilus 10B compressor that’s been filling my diving cylinders since 1985. I bought this fine bit of German kit new over thirty years ago and for most of that time its ‘prime mover’ was a Honda G200 petrol engine. I chose the petrol engine over electric motor because for most of its life it lived on my boat and would be filling three cylinders a day, six days a week. However, latterly I’ve been using a 2Kw electric motor which has many advantages over petrol.

For a start it’s a helluva lot quieter and cheaper to run, it’s also safer cos there’s no chance of any noxious fumes from the exhaust contaminating your breathing air. Sure you can’t take it where there’s no electricity right enough and it’s right on the limit for a 13amp plug but all in all a far better option.

 Friday Morning

Sure enough, fell asleep at the wheel last night and never managed any blogging so here goes. It’s 8:30 already, we had a great day yesterday but who knows when the rest of the team will arise, they are not blessed with my love of the early mornings Smile It was well after 10:00am when we departed Ranish yesterday Sad smile 

The SS Stassa

We headed down to Leverburgh at the southern end of Harris, a township that acquired it’s very un Hebridean name from Lord Leverhume,_1st_Viscount_Leverhulme  who once owned Harris and Lewis. The ‘Soap man’ as he was known had great fondness for these parts but I know little of him yet cos I’ve not read Roger Hutchinson’s book yet Not sure his fondness was reciprocated universally right enough but he certainly pumped an awful lot of his considerable wealth into the area before dying. I shall read that book as soon as I’ve finished his excellent tome about St Kilda. We are booked on a boat to visit ‘The edge of the world’ tomorrow, that is of course ‘weather permitting’ but it’s looking good right now. Well perhaps not good but doable, forecast is westerly F4/5 which will be pretty lumpy I guess Sad smile

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I just love Leverburgh, it looks so ‘used and lived in’ with lots of fishing gear strewn about the place and great ‘fast food outlet’ in the ‘Butty Bus‘

Forgot to take a picture in the excitement so lifted this one off someone else’s blog.

Ross and I launched the Searider and set off for Loch Rodel  ‘just around the corner’ so to speak. The girls took the car and went to visit St Clements church,_Rodel which even a pure heathen like me finds beauty and comfort in.


Not that Ross and I saw much of it through the mist from the boat in Loch Rodel, that first image being lifted from Wikipedia Smile

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With all our electronic wizardry we soon found the wreck which lies at the head of the Loch in 23m of water sitting some 10m proud of the seabed in places.

The Panamanian registered SS Stassa managed to hit Harris on a fine summers day and was towed into the shelter of Loch Rodel by the lifeboat. She dropped anchor there but sank four days later, taking so long because her cargo of wood was keeping her afloat.

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Some of it is still in the holds today, but much of it was ‘liberated’ Smile I guess there are a few sheds in Harris made from Stassa timber hey.

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After our excellent visit to the Stassa’s  watery grave we hauled up the anchor and headed towards Rodel harbour but the tide was too low to get in.

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Not only that but the hotel was closed for renovation so we turned about for Leverburgh and home.

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Wife and child recovered the boat, the ‘Butty Bus’ was closed so we got chips from another outlet and called it a day Smile

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