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.

October 18, 2021

I thought it was Tuesday :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Land Rover, life off grid — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:14 pm

Well, that was a pleasant surprise, I awoke this morning at ‘stupid o clock’ thinking it was Tuesday and spent the entire day under the same illusion. Not until steaming my beans and broccoli for dinner was I relieved of this misconception. To say it came as a relief would be an understatement cos I’d been rushing round like an eejit all afternoon trying to get stuff finished for Wednesday Sad smile

Despite my best efforts I couldn’t stay in bed but tried pretty hard until finally giving up round 6:30. Going out about an hour later, feeding Marmalade, Spotty and Jiffy before going walkabout with Bonzo when the sun rose. Not that you’d know it cos the cloud was so thick as to give no clue as to its whereabouts.


With mushroom’s becoming thin on the ground we chose the road rather than the birch wood for this mornings perambulation and wandered by my old croft towards the head of the valley and back.


One of Raasay’s fishing boats the Mary M was looking for a late lobster or some velvet crab over at Ard Torran. Bonzo and I returned home for our muesli, having made the mistake some time ago of giving the pair of them a little yoghurt and the remains of my breakfast between them. Now they won’t leave me, alone as soon as my spoon starts rattling on the last dregs in my bowl Bonzo starts bouncing to the accompaniment of Molly’s whining. Not until they each have a spoon of yoghurt, milk and raisins in their dishes will they give me peace.

Unlike yesterday where the day was too nice to be in the shed all day, today was perfect, grey and damp with no sunshine and blue sky to tempt me outdoors. So, after giving my Stream Engine rotor another coat of paint I dived under my Land Rover.


Removed the centre section of the exhaust and most of the nuts and bolts securing the LT230 transfer box to the LT77 gearbox ready for lifting it out. Now with the handbrake drum and back plate removed it’s not that heavy and if you are doing it on the floor it’s not hard to lift it onto your chest, which is what I’ve always done in the past. However those days are gone Smile

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I bought me a transmission jack with a built in scissor lift and strap to hold the box securely and just wheeled it out after making a wooden support to steady it better.

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With the two boxes side by side I swapped the speedo drive and diff lock linkages, tested the indicator lamp switch and then put the new box onto the jack.


Before putting it in I made up a new wiring loom for the diff lock and reversing lamp switches and did a couple of jobs that were far easier to do with the transfer box out of the way. Tidied up some sound proofing and re routed some breather pipes. Putting the box insitu and securing it to the main gearbox before abandoning it in favour of the Stream Engine which I wanted to get fitted before the day was out.

The hydro turbine seemed to back together without any major drama and once built up I ferried it down through the birch wood to my secret cove.


It really is quite magical down there especially when the tide is high.


I’d like to say that that was it sorted but I’m not convinced. Methinks the stator is damaged as it’s vibrating and the voltages are uneven across the phases Sad smile However it’s not all bad cos at least it’s Tuesday tomorrow and not the Wednesday I was expecting Smile

So, now I don’t have to go to Portree tomorrow I can investigate the turbine and finish off my transfer box Smile

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