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 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fuhrer-Led-But-Overtook-Him/dp/1858213657 ‘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  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailsa_Shipbuilding_Company 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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Scotland to study the 500ton anchor chain and a model of Hallaig Smile

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

Yesterday

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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.

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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.

September 1, 2019

Still bleeding :-)

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19:45 and the 1st of September looks like it’ll end with a bonny sunset, a fitting end to a fine and productive day. It’ll be even better if the pork belly casserole turns out as good as it smells but that’s gonna be another half hour before I find out what my son’s marinade has done for it. I left the chunks bathing in Ross’ chili dip with a little dusting of herbs and harissa added by myself. I almost went for honey but that was pretty solid and I didn’t fancy the syrup.

Out with the boat

With me being unable to get the boat out of the water between 11:30 and 19:00ish I decided that I’d do it in the morning. Ross was back at work and I would be too on Tuesday. The forecast for tomorrow wasn’t great so it would be unlikely I’d be using it again for another fortnight.

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With the dumper bucket full of rain water after two days of downpours it seemed like a good place to deposit Mr Mink. The other options being to gas him with the car exhaust or shoot him in the trap, which is what I usually do. Sage advice from ‘one who knows’ said drowning was the way to go as it does not discourage other mink from entering the trap, personally I’m not convinced.

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I said it would be a good one hey Smile

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So, Molly and I went down to collect the trailer and recover the Searider around 10:00

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May came down a later later to help me winch it out of the water Smile Pigs just do love being about people, especially if they think there might be something to eat.

We got the boat back up to Sonas, I gave it a quick wash then hitched up a trailer to go and move a fireplace from Inverarish acquiring two hitch hikers on the way Smile I kid you not, different folk miles apart both with their thumbs out!!!

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The fireplace was in ‘kit form’ by the time it got into the trailer but I’d be using the bricks for infill so that was fine.

Calling at the ferry slip to drop some stuff off I happened to be drawn to an amazing aroma emanating from the Seaflower that was berthed alongside the slip.

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Running charters out of Portree https://seaflowerskye.com/ Ewen and Janice provide cruises with a difference, the difference being amazing fresh seafood lunches. So, even if you are unfortunate enough to miss the abundant dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales, sea eagles or basking sharks, you WILL have a meal to remember. Me, I had to get out of there and rush home for ‘second breakfast’ Smile

Still bleeding bleeding

With the lunch of bacon tomatoes and mushrooms devoured I set about putting the Searider to bed.

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I was really chuffed as this is the first time I’ve done it completely on my own and after extending the electric winch remote yesterday it was a piece of cake.

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I then transferred the fireplace to the dumper, tipped it somewhere soft and then cleaned out the trailer with a little help Smile

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Next it was back to the HR2 Lister to try and bleed the fuel system which was turning into a bit of an epic. The only other manufacturers that could have made something so simple such a chore are Peugeot or Citroen Smile I had to resort to removing the fuel stop solenoid to remove the injector pump cover to get at the bleed screws on the injector pumps.

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Had this generator had all it’s original air cooling ducting fitted I would have had to remove that too!!!

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Oh well, at least I found the source of an annoying oil leak so I left the broken gasket off and once the pumps were bled fitted the cover back with just Hylomar http://hylomar.com/ Then I bled the actual injectors and whilst I didn’t actually start Harry the HR2 on account of me needing fed I’m 100% he’s sorted.

Too much vinegar

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To be fair too the Lad the chili dip was amazing last night with the scallops but as a marinade for me pork belly there was too much vinegar. I reckon I should have gone with my gut feeling and added some syrup. Still, it was pretty damn good and there’s a wee bit left for tomorrow lunch Smile

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