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 20, 2021

Raasay Community Renewables

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

Almost a Land Rover free day, now there’s a thing, well I’d planned on going to Portree in the morning anyway but thought I’d still get time to road test the Old Girl at least but it wasn’t to be. The day started promisingly enough. Though heading for the 7:55 ferry meant feeding the wiglets in the dark and denying Bonzo his walk, Molly being quite happy to skip the walking or in her case hobbling. Preferring her cage in the car to the walking carry on.


The MV Loch Tarbert is still on station our own trusty MV Hallaig being still in dock at Dales in Greenock OK, not actually in the dry dock, we took her out on Sunday 3rd but still being worked on in the wet dock next door, hopefully she’ll be back early next week cos the poor old Tarbert is struggling to cope with the extra volume of traffic.

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Being designed to take 18 cars in the day when a Vauxhall Viva was an average sized saloon. She’s lucky to get two thirds that number these days as both cars and people get larger and larger.

I stopped before Portree and took the dogs for a walk in the Varragill forest until Molly refused to go any further. Sitting down on the path no amount of verbal encouragement or even biscuits could tempt her onwards and she would get up until I turned round and headed back to the car.

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Portree and Ben Tianavaig from the west I normally see it from the east on Raasay where it looks much more majestic.

It wasn’t long before I’d got all I required from town and was heading back to Sconser for the 10:25

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The Raasay Hydro

Being back on Raasay early I went up to the old mine workings on the Fearns road to see how the community hydro was getting on. The project has been years in the planning and £650,000 was raised by crowdfunding and the tireless work of the young team on the board. It’s worth joining Facecloth just to check out their Facebook page to watch the video Smile.

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Work started in June and is well underway.

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Bonzo charged ahead over the Bailey bridge Molly and I following sedately behind.

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Looks like much of the penstock has been fusion welded.

Fusion fused

Those images are lifted off the Facecloth page and show the pipe being welded.

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Here’s the intake for the larger turbine and its Coanda screen. The screen is self cleaning and they are very expensive, each individual vertical bar being slightly curved similar to an aircraft wing which creates an area of low pressure that prevents debris sticking to it . The scheme has two turbines with two penstocks and inlets, this is the larger 99kW one and will be going

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up there where Bonzo is. Molly gave up at this point Smile

So we headed home where I discovered this unwelcome visitor on the croft helping himself  Smile


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