Life at the end of the road

October 17, 2019

Back under the Arnish sky :-) :-)

Home at last, how many times have you heard that hey Smile It matters not where I go or what I see, ‘there’s no place like home’ and here I am at last with my ‘wee dug’.

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Molly has not let me out of her sight the whole day, insisting on ‘helping’ me drive whatever bit of machinery I’ve been on or in and sticking to me like glue with a mistrustful look in her eye. Well, I did arrive home late last night after a rather slow but uneventful journey north. The good weather seeming to bring out a swarm of poorly driven hire cars and campervans, still, I got home in one piece to a spotless house and fine supper. My MiL not only made a fine job of looking after Molly but she (as always) gave Sonas a full spring clean and made me a fine pasta bake.

Back to ‘normal’

Thursday morning now, 5:00am and things are ‘back to normal’. I gave up trying to blog around eight o clock last night and went to bed with a good book. Phil Durham’s ‘The Fuhrer led but we overtook him’ caught my eye cos the author had spent time aboard HMS Graph, the captured U-570 that was used by the Royal Navy. Phil Durham was just 18 years old and serving aboard the battleship HMS Barham in the Mediterranean when war was declared in 1939. I left him last night in 1940 on the cruiser HMS Norfolk in Narvik, what an exciting life I lead hey Smile 

After several patrols HMS Graph ended up wrecked off the island of Islay where I first dived on her almost 40 years ago after reading the (even then) long out of print ‘HM U boat’ by John D Drummond.

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So, that’s it, I’m back home with a wee dug sneaking under the covers once I fall asleep, getting up at ‘stupid o clock’ and listening to the BBC World Service despairing at what that clown in the White House has been up to Smile I rarely watch TV and only listen to the radio if in my workshop or travelling to and from work. Consequently my news is generally like my work ‘two weeks on, two weeks off’ Smile Having been chauffeured to and from the dry dock in Richard’s comfortable Jeep the last fortnight and not having fresh ‘titty papers’ delivered to Hallaig everyday I’ve been somewhat incommunicado with global events. Not that I read the newspapers either but it is difficult not to notice life changing news on the front page of the ‘red tops’ when they sit on the mess room table. You know the kind of thing, some third rate celebrity has been ‘romping’ in the jungle, or Beckingham palace has been burgled and David’s favourite pair of boxers stolen Smile

Anyway (as usual) I digress, the last week I was down at Dale’s dry dock in Troon, the former site of Ailsa Troon shipbuilders with our very own Hallaig.

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After a spell of anchor painting and ‘touching up’ with my shipmate Richard I managed to sneak away early on Sunday to go and see my Boy at University Smile

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Sure, it was work related, we went to the National Museum to study the 500ton anchor chain and a model of Hallaig Smile


An interactive Morse code display making me more homesick than usual when it spelt out my wee dugs name Sad smile


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Well, it was a peach of a day but with a far more autumnal hue than when I left a fortnight ago.

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My first serious task of the day being a puncture repair for Adam the Polish builder working next door. Unbelievably, it took me the best part of two hours to remove the tyre and repair the two holes in the tube.


The ‘wee dug’ and I delivered the repaired wheel to Torran and I was pure flabbergasted by the work Adam and his two builders had done in just seven days. A beautiful block extension with a slate roof

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sat in the place where my Mate and I had laid a concrete pad in July.

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By now, even though it was only early afternoon with the Torran aspen turning golden yellow, a stag had started bellowing from his high vantage point miles away at Arnish. Once home, ‘I put the glass on him’ and he had the look of one of Bill’s stags from Rona, with antlers as thick as a babies arm.

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Noisy beggar Smile

Discovery II clutch master cylinder

The clutch master cylinder having arrived just before I headed off with Hallaig was the next job ‘on the list’. The ‘Wife’ my Disco WFE had developed an annoying clutch problem whereby if the clutch was held down for any length of time whilst manoeuvring it would gradually start to engage. Although a classic symptom of failing master or slave cylinder this is usually accompanied by a leak on the offending cylinder. On this occasion there was no ‘tell tale’ weep of fluid so I changed the slave first last month as it as only £20 for a genuine one and an easy job. Unfortunately it didn’t cure the problem, in fact it made it worse on account of these Discoveries can be a ‘pig to bleed’. Well, I sussed that out shortly afterwards when I realized (in typical ‘Green Oval’ fashion) that the slave cylinder bleed nipple actually points slightly downwards!!!!!! So, lesson learned there, whenever you want to bleed a Disco clutch, jack up the front end Smile


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I also learned something else, the new master cylinder came with a plug in it which needed to be removed fit the ‘Traction Control’ sensor. This plug is an Allen type grub screw and is a bizarre size, it seems to be 4.5mm. Now, I have a gazillion Allen keys, Allen sockets and wrenches of every shape or form but no 4.5mm one and I doubt anyone else has either Sad smile Luckily a 30 Torx key is ever so slightly bigger and can be tapped gently into the offending grub screw allowing it to be eased out. Apart from that the job was a ‘piece of cake’ just remove some trim inside, take off the clip and remove the clevis pin from the pushrod. One 13mm nut, one 10mm bolt and the hydraulic pipe and ‘Bob’s your uncle’. Make sure the front end is high enough and bleed as normal.

October 1, 2019

Getting ready :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Discovery — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:07 am

Looks like it’s gonna be another peach of a day up here, which if the BBC World Service is to be believed is the exception for Britain at the moment. More flood warnings and high tides on the way apparently, take care peeps. Me I’m pretty ‘wired’ just now, trying to get everything ready for dry dock here at home. We’ll probably be leaving for Troon on Thursday and I’m still only a quarter of the way ‘down the list’ of preparations for leaving house, dog, croft, pigs hens, etc. etc in the care of MiL who’ll be sitting on them all Smile The feed bins are stocked, the hens cleaned out, the pigs bedding changed and shortly I’ll be heading to Portree for shopping and of course several bottles of wine and flowers Smile

Disco on hold

Early on in the day (yesterday) it became apparent that I wasn’t going to get the WiFE finished in time, at least not if I carried on at my snail like pace.

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I was finding more holes and less metal to attach my rather thick plates to, so rather than rush the job, I tacked a few patches on, gave her an oil change and called it a day. The Subaru needed sorting for the trip to Troon and I needed the vehicle lift to do the work. The TD5 has two oil filters, a regular canister one and this centrifugal one, methinks the centrifugal one does the most work and the regular one takes out the finer particles. I don’t know this for a fact and can’t be bothered Googling it. I came to that conclusion when I tried filling the regular canister with the 5W/30 synthetic oil to prime it. Despite the low viscosity it took ages to fill the wee filter, I’m guessing cos it was so fine, either that or it was blocked Smile

Anyway’s, I got all the filters changed, including fuel and air, fixed an oil leak, well it’s a Land Rover, they always leak oil Smile and went for a run to Scraepadale just pass Brochel to bed the brakes in. It was a bonny day so I left the car at the car park and got caught in a traffic jam Smile

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I kid you not, half a dozen cars, most of them black, obviously to make the TV program they’re making more theatrical Smile and not less obvious Smile

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Wee dug and I left them to it and wandered down the track towards the old township.

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There seemed to be lots of standing about and ‘messing about in boats’ Smile


It was certainly a lovely day for it but I had to head back and fix the Subaru.

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Sure I could have done this job on my back lying on a cold concrete floor with the car jacked up on axle stands but it’s much, much easier on a lift, even a Chinese one Smile There are the front anti roll bar bushes, new on the left and old on the right, no wonder there was a rattle and knock hey Smile Well that wee job took me until 21:00 and after it I had a shower and went to bed with a good book. It’s 7:03 now, almost light, Orion is but a faint sparkle from Beetlejuice and Bellatrix and I need to get back to ‘the list’ Smile

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