Life at the end of the road

February 20, 2022

A thicker belt :-)

This may be a while in reaching the cloud or whatever the Internet thingy is called these days. My connection to the Internet via the Applenet network seems to have vanished around midday according to the last update to my weather station So I’m using my EE dongle which is perfectly adequate for browsing and even streaming video but the upload speed is absolutely pathetic especially with photo heavy blogs Sad smile Anyway it’s now 5:00AM on Sunday morn so I’ll have a go.


The morning was pretty still here and got off to a fine start as the first thing I did was go outside in my PJ’s to check the ‘state of play’ in my power station. My voltmeter in the house was showing a good 50V and that was with 3.2kW of load on the system from the immersion heater so my batteries must have been full.

IMG_1883 Which was still working then had showed me that the wind had gradually died away to nothing.

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Much to my surprise the Powerspout’s output had risen during the night and was almost double, having gone up from around 150W to almost 400W. Not only that but my small wind turbine inverter was still working and showing no sign of having of the Riso or Ileak faults having returned during the night. Indeed it was actually generating 301W in what little wind was turning it’s blades. The larger 6kW machine wasn’t even spinning around in the last faint puffs of storm Eunice that had caused so much havoc to the south. Feeling pretty chuffed at the state of affairs I returned indoors and started on my pot of fresh coffee.


Returning to bed being ‘not an option’ due to it now being occupied by two wee dugs Sad smile Instead I concentrated on my plans for the day which included replacing the alternator on the Land Rover and modifying its drive belt.

300TDi alternator on a 200TDi engine

Though my first job, upon sunrise would be be feeding the pigs and walking the dugs, assuming Molly would come out.

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Which of course she wouldn’t, preferring instead to wait in the Landy whilst Bonzo and I fed the pigs

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and then went walkabout.

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Heading towards Calum’s old house to check my turbine intake being a little puzzled at why the output had increased by 50% overnight. I cleared some dead grass and twigs from the forebay whilst being cautiously watched by a couple of hinds from the overgrown croft. Still no wiser as to why the turbine was performing so well we returned home for breakfast number one. After which I set about the ‘Old Girl’ and its alternator.


I had upgraded the standard 200TDi alternator some years ago by replacing the standard 65A unit with a 100A one from a Discovery 300TDi. Whilst this is a fairly common upgrade it does involve swapping the alternator pully from a 5pk serpentine to a 10mm V belt. As the serpentine belt is capable of transmitting more power than a V belt this has always meant that I’m constantly adjusting the belt and my engine bay is always covered in black dust from the belt. In an attempt to mitigate this I did replace the alternator pulley with a larger diameter one but it still wasn’t perfect, better but still needed regular adjustment. Anyway as the pulley I’d fitted was actually designed to take a 13mm belt rather than the standard 10mm Land Rover belt I thought I’d try fitting a wider belt. Of course the power steering pump pulley that drives the alternator would be for the smaller belt but I thought it was worth a try and whilst I was at it I could replace the alternator.

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As the new belt would sit higher in the pulley it would need to be slightly longer than the original 617mm so I purchased a 625 and 650mm long 13mm belt. As it turned out the 650mm was the better option. The 625 one did fit ( just ) but the 650mm one put the alternator adjusting bracket in a slightly better position Winking smile

Arwen, Barra and Corrie

Once it was all back together we all headed south to Inverarish to get a little shopping and collect some parcels from the ferry terminal.

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Taking the ‘low road’ via Oskaig to collect some eggs on the way as the Isle of Man registered clam dredger Jann Denise scraped away near Crocodile Rock. Obviously storm Eunice made the Irish Sea and Clyde Estuary too rough.


Whilst Raasay’s Mary M and all the Portree boats were out fishing the Speedwell had taken the decision to stay safely alongside Winking smile

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So after collecting my parcels from the ferry terminal I drove around the back of the Battery to take some pics of ‘storm damage’, not from Eunice but from Arwen, Barra and Corrie.


The remains of a block built shed flattened by Corrie.

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Boats and bits of boats transported over a fence by Barra.


A sub station roof removed some weeks ago by Arwen. The roof was blocking the track for weeks, dunno if it was moved by a good Samaritan or another storm. Either way SSE were informed in January about their substation being roofless and have probably been too busy to put the roof back on. Funny really cos there are signs all over it saying Danger of death, Beware high voltage, and Sub station watch. I guess they only apply to personal injury lawyers and not to the pishing rain Smile

It’s 7:25 now and I guess I’ll try and post this before I add any more pictures on account of my pathetic .65meg upload speed Sad smile

February 15, 2020

Dennis is here :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, harbour, weather — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:25 am

Dennis the Menace and Gnasher the dog.jpg

Sure enough, the much awaited ‘Storm Dennis’ has arrived and according to XC Weather he was bang on time. I left the house around 6:30 Friday on a dry breezy morn and arrived at Hallaig just after 7:00 in time to get aboard dry. Just as well cos after that the ‘heavens opened’ and somebody turned on the fans!!!

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Fifty three knots of wind and gusting to 60, a good storm by anyone’s reckoning, so bad even the ‘secret clam dredger’ was tied up. I say ‘secret’ cos in true clam dredger fashion he’d been towing his dredges over the Raasay power cables for the last week.

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Not content with that he’s also managed to snag the creels of three of the local boats too Sad smile Of course they knew who he was but no one else would cos his identification numbers were conveniently covered up on both sides with tyres and the one he’s legally required to display on the roof wasn’t even there!!! This destructive method of fishing should not be allowed in inshore waters. It shouldn’t be allowed ‘full stop’, it’s a bit like cutting down trees to harvest mushrooms as my old pal Willie Eyre would say Sad smile I suppose everyone needs to ‘earn a crust’ but if they could actually see the destruction they do on the seabed then perhaps they’d not be so keen.

Illustration showing the key parts of a spring-loaded scallop dredge and how it works on the seabed, including how it affects marine life on boulder reefs. Colin Munro Photography Scallop dredger ©Adam Scott

Anyways, that was us and the dredger tied firmly to Raasay until midday when he headed off to Braes and we went to Sconser.


If the storm was Dennis then the clam dredger is Gnasher Smile and more depressing images here

Relatively undisturbed boulder reef, Lyme Bay, rich in branching sponges and large tunicates (sea squirts). Colin Munro Photography. An area of 'worked' boulder reef in Lyme Bay.  Almost all larger and slow growing species have been removed.  Broken scallop shells and a live scallop buried in a sediment hollow can be seen. Colin Munro Photography.

Kinda ‘before and after’ Sad smile

As for the rest of the week since I last plinked away on here,

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a new crash barrier got installed on the road to Clachan after the landslip last year.

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Strong winds midweek blew down a solar panel at Sconser, part of Highland Council’s solution to speeding motorists through Sconser village and by the ferry terminal. Any sane person can see it should be a 40MPH speed limit through a village where there is a ferry terminal, school bus stop and now take away and bunkhouse. Nope, not HRC or Transport Scotland they deem an unrestricted road perfectly safe and spend gazillions on surveys, consultants, solar powered signage and a bus shelter when two 40MPH signs either side of the village would do the job better and safer for a fraction of the cost.

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It’s been a good week for rainbows too, here be a couple at Glame and Glame Brae.

Speedwell lifting gear in the Raasay Narrows and then back on her mooring.

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Storm Dennis didn’t seem to bother the eider ducks Smile

Well, Gnasher left yesterday afternoon, we finished early and Dennis went to sleep for a while only awaking around 3:00am to do some more ‘menacing’ it’ll be 7:00am now and time for me to go do the hens and check for damage. The pishing rain hasn’t arrived yet but all sailings are cancelled until a 14:30 review. Last night the worst I saw was a dustbin out of place but it was dark, wet and I figured I’d leave my inspection until daylight.

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