Life at the end of the road

November 27, 2018

Back to the ‘Bug’ :-)

Well, that’s it, the ‘two weeks on’ is by with and now the work can really begin Smile It’s only 19:00 and that will be my second glass of red in over a fortnight, thing is I’ve had em both in quick succession so have got a ‘real glow’ about me Smile Almost the end of November it is and what a spell of weather it’s been up here, sure the first day back was miserable and the second pretty draughty https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/the-warmest-place-in-britain/ but since then it’s been boodly amazing.

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Mornings like the one on the left, days like the centre and evenings like the right being the norm for the best part of a fortnight, I kid you not, I’ve never known a spell like this in late November.

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At least not for so long and not with such high temperatures. I didn’t even see the first sign of frost until Sunday morning and that was in a valley that’s renowned for it. Ice being first spotted by myself on Monday whilst walking the dugs.

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A wee bit of ‘stiff’ water in an old boat at Suisnish being my first experience of ice this winter. Sure, there has been frost at Sconser and even one or two places on Raasay but Sconser will not see sunshine now until February and there are one or two ‘frost pockets’ here on the island that are notorious.

November weather

Not here at Arnish though, just look at the temperatures, I even saw someone cutting their grass the other day!!!

Power chaos

We’ve no had a power cut here at Arnish in thirty years, one of the joys of ‘off grid’ life along with no ‘standing charges’ or utility bills. However Skye and the mainland were not so lucky with a landslide at Invergarry taking out a pylon and causing untold chaos throughout Skye, the Isles and the mainland https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/islands/western-isles/1607699/landslip-on-skye-wipes-out-power-supply-to-thousands-in-the-western-isles/ Just check out the video https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=invergarry%20landslide Anyway, this baby caused mayhem both here, on Skye and beyond, with much of Skye still running off generators even late last week. I had to laugh when we were bunkering Hallaig on Thursday, upon asking the driver how the power outages had affected the oil depot he said ‘you couldn’t make it up’. Half of Skye was running off generators that needed filling twice a day, the fuel depot had no power and SSE were screaming for more fuel Smile

Anyway the glitches sent Hallaig’s electronics a little ‘pear shaped’ too and I’ve spent the best part of my ‘fortnight on’ trying to fix them Smile 

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The battery charger and its fuses being just a couple of the casualties of the unstable shore power. Luckily I’ve now left that in the capable hands of my ‘back to back’ Smile

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Like I said, apart from the lack of phone (we have a mobile in the house) and Internet, Sonas wasn’t affected, but in the unlikely event of a lightning strike or other failure we have a back up system in the ‘bunker’ consisting of a 900Ah forklift battery bank and 3kW Outback inverter.

Tomorrow’s project

So, now I’ve bade Hallaig goodbye for a couple of weeks it’s down to my own projects, number 1 being the Isle of Raasay Distillery ‘bug’ which is having an alternator conversion. Next it will be Lachie’s tracked barrow which needs a heater plug (easier said than done) followed by a course in Glasgow on ‘Ship security’ and a trip to see Groove Armada play live for the first time in seven years.

I seen em live a few times and they are awesome, the ‘DJ sets’ are OK and we saw em at Eden and Rockness but live  is something else. Yours truly managed to get tickets for a sold out gig at SWG3 https://swg3.tv/ so that’s where I’ll be Friday night Smile ‘Supersylin’ and ‘shakin my arse’ Smile

So, that’s it really and I’ll just leave you with some pics I took in-between being buried in the guts of Hallaig Smile

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Sun rising in the mirror and moon setting in the windscreen. Beinn Fhadda at the Sconser fish farm.

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New fire appliance for Raasay arrives.

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Hallaig, Creachan Mor, Speedwell and Lustre at Raasay pier.

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Moonset over Braes, sunrise and Goat Island.

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A misty Cuillin peak but I have no idea which one Sad smile

1000 casks

There may have been chaos with the power outages last week but that did not stop the Isle of Raasay Distillery filling its 1000th cask today Smile

https://www.facebook.com/RaasayDistillery/videos/358545194950986/

Joseph and Iain busy filling number 850 of 2018 today, along with 150 from September last year that’ll be 1000 barrels of Raasay whisky in the making Smile

Poorly wee dug

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Molly wearing the ‘collar of shame’, she is not impressed Sad smile

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October 17, 2018

Floating my boat :-)

Home at last, it’s been a great docking but there’s nothing like home and a whole month off ahead of me.

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Storm Callum had left a broken whirligig in his wake but aside from that, a few less leaves on the trees and a scattering of misplaced buckets and plant pots, all seemed well.

Hallaig and Isle of Arran out Loch Dunvegan in

I would have got something ‘down on paper’ so to speak on Monday and Tuesday but Monday was a late one and yesterday I was driving through the night to get to Sconser. Like Sunday, Monday was a ‘pure peach’, just as well cos it was the day we ‘came out’ to let the Dunvegan in.

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It was ‘all go’ from our start at 8:00am with the sludge tanker ready to empty our ‘bilge holding’ and ‘dirty oil’ tanks.

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We received the ultimate complement off the tanker driver and sucker man who both said that our bilges were the cleanest they had ever seen on a CalMac ship. Mind you, I had spent the best part of two days cleaning them it should have been no surprise.

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No wonder I was mightily miffed when the service engineers from Tyco dumped a couple more hundred litres of water in them testing the various sprinkler systems Smile Still, at least they did the mess room ones into a bin and they did ask if it was OK Smile

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The upholsterers finished covering the lounge seating in a much more practical material.

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By early afternoon the dock flooding began and I got on with preparing the ship to sail, shutting and opening valves to let fuel into the generators and keep the sea out of the ship.

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As soon as we had water around the generator ‘box coolers’ I fired them up one at a time checking fuel pressures and temperatures constantly until I was happy all was rosy. Once we are floating and clear of the blocks we got the OK to start the drives.

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Unlike a regular propeller, the Voith Schneider unit turns constantly, even when the vessel is stopped so it’s important there are no blocks or debris in the dock to foul them.

Those are on the Striven, there are only 4 and they are smaller than Hallaig’s.

Boodly amazing things hey.

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As Arran and Hallaig prepared to leave Dunvegan arrived just astern of the fisheries research ship Alba na Mara that was heading for her berth next door in the James Watt dock.

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We came out under our own steam but Arran had a tug either end.

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The Bruiser and Battler pulling and steering her through the narrow entrance to the wet dock ahead of us.

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There wasn’t a lot of room to play with and the masters of all three vessels did a fine job.

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As soon as we were out Dunvegan went in under her own steam

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The dock gates and their hydraulic power pack.

It was a ‘late one’ on Monday with not much time for taking pictures but here’s Loch Dunvegan looking mightily small in the 200m long dock Smile

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Here’s the Border Force ‘Big Rib’ heading for her berth too.

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Back to Rainbows

So, that was it, I finally got home this morning to a newly decorated hallway Smile It grows on you Smile To be honest, I was so glad to be home I’d have liked anything Smile

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