Life at the end of the road

January 13, 2020

Eighteen ropes !!!!!

Well, that was a short day Smile Home during the hours of daylight in January? unheard of. Sure ‘Storm Brendan’ was pretty well forecast but we were at least hoping to get a couple of runs in prior to ‘knocking it on the head’. Alas that wasn’t to be and the furthest we moved today was up and down the berth to lash more ropes onto Scotland.

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That in itself being ‘no mean feat’, between the wind that was strong enough to knock you off your feet and loud enough to drown both radio and speech it was a miracle we got any extra ropes on at all. Still we did, just about every strand we had aboard went out, eighteen in total, all ‘bar tight’ and singing like ‘piano wires’ once we’d finished.

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Speedwell ahead of us at the berth, the Mary M having moved round to the ‘wee pier’ a few days ago Smile

Having secured the ship, finished the paperwork and shut down the vessel we called it a day. Miraculously we were all still dry, tis a rare thing indeed to have a storm like this unaccompanied by pishing rain. Sure it wouldn’t be far away, but for the morning at least it was just the waves we had to dodge Smile

Me, I headed off to see Peter and share his 92nd birthday cake,


prior to taking Bonzo and Molly for a walk, and, it was still dry!!!!!

Home in daylight

It was still dry when I drove home and stopped at Brochel castle for a wee walk there with Molly.


Was pretty boodly wild there too considering this was Raasay’s sheltered side!!! It wasn’t much better at home, in fact, I could barely stand up and Molly refused to get out of the car until it was parked safely in the shed. Normally she tries to leap out when I get out to open the gate onto the croft. Once out she made a ‘B line’ for the front door and then once inside went straight to bed. Me, I toured the ‘estate’ making sure all was lashed down securely, the drains were free from debris and picking up a few stray buckets, plant pots and scallop shells (don’t ask) Smile Then it was indoors to think about dinner or should I say wade through the fridge and freezer looking for something suitable. Being short on inspiration I boiled a few Roosters for a couple of minutes then threw in some chopped asparagus, leaving that to boil for a further five or ten mins. Then with the asparagus nicely tender and the spuds cooked I drained the pan contents into a large sieve, leaving it to dry whilst I added chopped garlic, olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar to the now warm dry pan. I put contents of sieve back in pan, drizzled a little more olive oil on it then refitted the pan lid and shook it enough to bash and mix the contents. Serving said concoction with a few slices of nduja and home made black pudding Smile Hardly ‘haute cuisine’ but quick, easy, very filling and just as good without the dead animal on the side. OK, perhaps not quite so good without the charcuterie but a really good vegetarian option


The rest of the week

Truth be known I’m only on here cos I finished work early, normally by the time I get home and make dinner I’m too knackered to blog. We did finish early the other day and I managed home for 19:00 but by 19:30 I was in me bed too tired even to read a few pages of my current riveting publication, ‘The Darkest Dawn’ 

At 1.55am on 1st January 1919, a naval yacht carrying sailors home on leave ran aground on rocks near the village of Holm, a mere 20 yards from the shore of the Isle of Lewis and less than half a mile from the safe harbour of Stornoway. HMY Iolaire was crowded with 280 men, mostly naval reservists returning to the safety and comfort of their homes after the horror of the Great War.

by Malcolm Macdonald and Donald John Macleod. An examination of the loss of HMY Iolaire on Hogmanay 1919


Anyway, it’s ‘pitch black’ outside now, not even 7:00pm and the rain is well and truly lashing the windows, so where was I?

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Well, today wasn’t my first daylight commute of the year, that ‘milestone’ fell to Sunday morning and was blessed with a full moon over the sycamore at the bottom of Glame Brae.

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Was pretty nice when I got to work too with a dusting of snow on the Black Cuilin.

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I even managed a spot of painting whilst the boys prepared for Brendan by splicing a new spring and extra head ropes for the aft quarter.


Another day Smile


A mountain hare in its winter coat, OK, I know the picture is pish but I only ever see this chap in the winter and always here at Glame. Probably only actually see him cos he’s brilliant white in the winter and sticks out like a sore thumb in his ‘camouflage’. I guess this another sign of global warming, probably there was much more snow back then when evolution gave him suitable winter attire Smile


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The Portree creel boat Mharie Bhan II off to catch an early prawn or velvet crab.

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Wrong way from Sconser? Smile sailing this way to execute the famous ‘Henderson turn’ at Raasay, awesome seamanship Smile

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The most important job of the week, Raasay’s new ambulance and the magnificent Storr from an unusual angle.

With ‘SAS who cares who wins’ topping the Raasay TV viewing charts the Hallaig’s crew have drawn up a daily exercise regime.


Brimming with testosterone the ‘young bloods’ have been aboard at 6:00am every morning working out!!!!! I kid you not Smile

January 8, 2020

First shift of 2020 :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:02 pm

Well, that’s it, ‘back to the grind’ and another fortnight ‘before the mast’ my first this year and a day later than normal. My ‘back to back’ having offered to work an extra day in return for me covering over Christmas, which was ‘jolly decent’ of him cos it was only a couple of sailings for me to do for him and to be honest I was glad to get out from ‘under the feet’ Smile 

Anyway, I made the best of the extra day by staying in my bed until 9:00am, mainly on account of me having done all the pre back to work jobs yesterday. I may have been given Tuesday off by by shipmate but me body wasn’t convinced so I did all the tidying up, washing, cleaning and pre work prep 24hours early. Just as well really cos yesterday was fit for little else and the ferry was off all day due to the severe gale. I don’t think it actually reached ‘storm force’10 at least not consistently, though it may well have in the gusts. Still it was strong enough to bring down some power cables and the odd tree, leaving much of Inverarish without power.

Typically, of the community I’m fortunate enough live in, or should I say near. Typically, word went round by social media and the village hall (which still had power) was opened up for cooking, WiFi and hot drinks. Also ‘typically’ of SSE, they were over at the first opportunity to repair it Smile Of course that wasn’t until today cos the ferry was off but they were at Sconser first thing and had it fixed pretty quickly. They really are heroes the engineers of SSE and BT that keep the ‘electrons flowing’ when adverse weather brings line down. It’s never on a good day that these chaps get called out hey’.


Aye, it was certainly a better start to the day, though there was a fearsome hail shower or two


and my dumper bucket had acquired about half a ton of water overnight!!!

I left home early for work to give Molly a walk in the woods, she’s seldom inspired by walking from the house these days, being dead excited to get out of it but then running to the car to go elsewhere Smile 

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Brochel bay and Glame Brae on the way south

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So after parking up at ‘Mine number 2’ and waiting for a brutal hail shower to pass we went for a walk up to the winding house and old entrance.


Then it was off to catch the 14:30 and relieve my mate,

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passing by evidence of the storm, a broken tree that had at some point blocked the road. Joining Hallaig in time to see the half dozen SSE vehicles and their crews depart, having ‘put the lights back on’ in Inverarish Smile


Me, I left my lights on all day to try and use up some of my excess power Smile It really is nice to return home to an illuminated house after a hard day at the office Smile

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