Life at the end of the road

December 12, 2017

I couldn’t resist :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:51 pm

Just in and showered after another spot of floor painting in the shed.

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Not that this part of the shed floor was that bad but the time is rapidly approaching when it’s likely to be covered in blood and hair so it will be much easier to clean up with a freshly painted surface. I dunno how many pigs we’ve raised but it must be hundreds over the years so I’m kinda hardened to the slaughter and eating bit. The whole family is and it’s all my son has ever known, he never batted an eyelid when he put a bullet through his footie partners head.

Ginger and Ross

Sure he came with me with me to collect young Ginger as he was then, and for the next five years the Tamworth boar was like part of the family. That was of course until his time came, the litters got smaller and he got lazier. Ginger started bullying the sows and soiling his bedding cos he just couldn’t be bothered going outside for a dump if the weather was poor. That was it really, I could have towed him to Munro’s in Dingwall to be slaughtered and turned into dog food but old Ginger was a poor traveller and I didn’t have the heart. Instead we shot him on the croft that was his home, skinned him and ate most of him. He had the last laugh right enough cos I slashed my wrist with a fish filleting knife taking his hide off Sad smile I gotta say that each spurt of blood as my heart pumped travelled several feet across the garage floor and made quite a mess Smile 160211 007

The hams were something else though, three weeks in cider, apple juice, demerara sugar, star anise, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt, boodly delicious I can tell you.

Anyway’s, I’m gonna really miss Cilla and Lulu cos they have been an exceptional pair of pigs.


So, before all the painting and pig distractions, where was I? Well, back at work for a wee while at least. The Hallaig was due a visit from RH Marine as part of her annual ‘health checks’ and I wanted to ‘keep my hand in’ so to speak.


So, after watching the Portree fishing fleet heading north I headed down to work to catch the 8:55 ferry.

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The sun was having a half hearted attempt at rising in the east but the 4 or 5 degree overnight temperatures experienced at Arnish were not replicated further south on Raasay. In fact in some places the previous day’s slush had turned to ice and driving felt distinctly ‘vague’ on some of the notorious sections of road. However I made it safely and caught up with Hank and Despina from RH Marine in Rotterdam.


They had the situation under control so after spending a couple of hours aboard with them I went off to see my pals Bonzo and Peter.

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Ole Bonzo and I usually go out for a walk when I’m working and I’d not seen him for a fortnight. As I wasn’t officially working he got an extra long walk to the old iron ore pier and back.

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The Portree creel boat Green Isle BRD 73 was out busy lifting velvet crab pots for the Christmas market in Europe and the scallop diving boat Sarah UL 565

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was out at the clams.

Bonzo and I wandered along the shore,

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finding the remains of the undersea electric cable marker. This big yellow sign, despite even now being clearly visible and marked on the charts is regularly towed over by clam dredgers Sad smile I have seen them ‘come fast’ on it on several occasions and have witnessed the damage to it with my own eyes. Some twenty years ago one dredger caught it and put the power off on Raasay for a week Sad smile Well not our power right enough, we’ve not been without power for 28 years Smile they beauty of making your own, smug or what.

A bit of a classic

Along at the pier we came across something that’s been on Raasay longer than me,

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a 1950’s 18’ ex army assault craft. These were hugely popular with divers in the 70’s before the advent of the RIB and many is the one I’ve hired or used. They were relatively light with a huge payload and would absolutely fly along with 25HP on the back. I guess being of riveted construction most of them ended up like this one with a fibreglass skin in their later life. I once saw one in Oban harbour with a 3lt V6 Ford engine and jet drive, now that must have been lethal for without a keel even the 25HP made them very ‘skittish’.

I managed to get home just before dark and just could not resist one more dumper load before retiring to paint the shed floor Smile


November 28, 2017

Let the real work commence :-)

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry, weather — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:03 pm

Well, that has to be the quickest fortnight ever Smile The old ‘two weeks on’ just rocketed by this shift, sure a coupe of the days where a bit of a drag but on the whole it whizzed by. I guess the few hiccups thrown up by the annual dry docking helped, work always passes quicker when you’re up to your neck in ‘muck and spanners’ not that the Hallaig is by any means mucky but we have had our share of ‘spannering’ this shift. Of course working with different ‘shipmates’ always helps too, a change is as good as a rest as they say. The ‘Rocket Man’s’ excellent bread and poached eggs also assisting to ease the passage of two weeks at work.

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And no, I’m not talking about Kim Jong-Un or even Elton John

but our very own VR pilot.

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He’s been practising for the ski slopes

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as well as giving me a first class haircut Smile


Aint that a ‘beezer’ for November Smile must remember to pick up a bottle of red tomorrow as payment Smile

So, that’s it, I’m home, it’s 19:30, the first glass of ‘19 Crimes’ red wine has just slid nicely down my throat and I’m getting ready for some serious work around the croft.


Since I last posted we’ve had a bit of a cold spell, and a spell of west and north  wind,

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Hardly the freezing temperatures experienced by many, the Gulf Stream sees to that, but it’s been cold enough for snow and the ‘wind chill’ makes it feel much cooler. I also abandoned the wee Terios in favour of the Land Rover for a couple of days. The Land Rover can get me into work even  when the snow plough and a JCB cannot get to Arnish Smile


The rear view of the amazing Suisnish boat shed

whilst out walking  Bonzo.


Ben Tianavaig with a dusting of snow and


a confused rhoddy. I guess flowering rhododendron aint unusual further sowf at this time of year but it  is here.

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Different ends of the same rainbow.


You wouldn’t believe it was the same day hey!


Just another ‘hiccup’ from the docking but we got it sorted.

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Well sorted in fact, the ‘drencher’ is aptly named Smile

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