Life at the end of the road

September 25, 2018

Better than expected :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, How I, pigs, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:47 pm

Well, I got me concreting done after all, though I didn’t start until much later, that heave in the sea didn’t moderate until early afternoon. A good gale of south wind flattened it sufficiently by midday so I decided to ‘go for it’.

I’d spent the fine dry morning creosoting the pig arcs and then finishing floor number two.

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I can’t remember exactly when we bought these insulated pig arcs but it’s way before I started blogging in 2007 so they’re at least 12 years old and this is the first repair work I’ve done on them. The company I bought them off is long out of business but it certainly wasn’t cos they made an inferior product. They’re 8 x 6 so plenty large enough for the biggest sow and a litter and insulated too so they’re warm in the winter and cool in the summer without any problems with condensation. Sure I could have made some myself but to be honest, by the time I’d bought the materials I would not have saved much and at that time I didn’t have the same amount of cordless tools to make these projects so much fun Smile

Once I’d sorted that I decided to at least go down to the shore and bond all my bolts and rebar into the bedrock by the slipway. It was pretty wild and I didn’t seriously think I’d actually be mixing any concrete but at least I could get some prep work done for tomorrow.

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I’d drilled some 20 or so 14mm holes yesterday to take 150mm x M12 galvanized bolts and 12mm rebar. With the tide now well out I washed out the holes again then blasted them dry with the Hilti hand pump. The RE HIT500 resin is then injected into the hole with a special gun that takes and mixes the two component parts. This resin is the ‘dogs bollox’ but boodly expensive. The first time I used it was 2005 to bolt my first wind turbine directly to Scotland. Back then I paid the full price for the stuff and hired a gun. Can’t remember what it cost but now it’s getting on for £30 for a 330ml ‘twin pack’

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Me, I just buy em off eBay now, just out of date for about a tenner and I bought the applicator kit for around £25, brilliant stuff and I’ve now used it on three wind turbine bases and lots of other projects. A word of caution though, make sure you buy the correct gun for the correct resin, they are not all the same Sad smile

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By the time I’d bonded all twenty odd bolts and bar I had manged to convince myself it was calm enough to mix and pour. At leas calm enough to grout some of the larger rocks to the bedrock anyway. So over the next 3 hours I mixed some two tons of aggregate with 20 bags of cement in my wee Belle mixer, a nice strong stiff mix for the lower section.

After dinner of sausage, chips and baked beans, yes really Smile I went down to check it out as the tide was rising and all seemed well.

Over the last month

So, that was it really for today and as I’ve no idea what I’ve been up to this last month since we got back from Lewis I’ll ‘ave a look at me pictures.


The shed got another coat of Leyland Paints Frigate grey floor paint, well impressed with it’s durability, only painting it cos it’s dirty Smile


I bought some fine Chinese waders with the feet on the wrong legs, you gotta laugh hey Smile

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The Portree Lifeboat Stanley Watson Barker racing to Kyle ‘on a shout’, some poor girl jumped off the Skye bridge. She was pulled out of the water alive three hours later but tragically died on the way to hospital.

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Cows on a mission in Inverarish Smile

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Another anchor recovered and dragged ashore to be checked out at low water.

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A prawn, a velvet crab and me boy with some scallops Smile

That was it really, got another couple of tons loaded onto the trailer ready for tomorrow and it looks like being a half decent day Smile


June 5, 2018

The ‘Red Caves’

Filed under: animals, Avon Searider, daily doings, pigs — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:41 pm

Well, that’s it, the boat is out the water and the caravan packed, we’re off to Eden tomorrow and it’s a bit of a trek Sad smile Rockness is no more, Belladrum caravan tickets sold out in February and my camping days are long gone Smile Never been to this ‘boutique’ festival in the Borders before but know plenty of folk who have and it gets great reviews. Didn’t realize it was a four day event right enough and I dunno if an old codger in his sixties can last that long Smile Still, I’ll give it a shot and who knows, perhaps I’ll even get my nails painted again Smile


Sure it’s gonna be awesome with the likes of the Peatbog Faeries

and Shooglenifty

doing the banging ‘Acid house Celtic croft rock’ thing and Groove Armada

heading up a headline DJ slot.

Sure it would have been nice to be taking a newly refurbished ‘Old Girl’ but she’s in the middle of major surgery just now so it’ll be Wifey’s Subaru pulling the caravan 330 miles to Moffatt via Girvan.


A long day

First task of the day was to get the boat out of the water, it’ll be at least three weeks before it’s used again and whilst the mooring is perfectly safe I don’t want to antifoul the Searider’s hull so there’s no point having it in the water gathering barnacles and weed.

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That’ll be my son trying out our ‘tender’ last night and the ‘wee dug’ trying on her lifejacket, she was not impressed. In fact she refused ‘point blank’ to move from the spot, probably not a bad thing really, perhaps she’ll no run about the boat like a wee dafty Smile

Anyway, whilst my son had a great paddle around Loch Arnish last night


I opted just to put on me dry suit and just swim out to the boat this morning.

After a few ‘start up checks’ it was off south at an economical 3500RPM and just short of 20knots, stopping only once to have a look around the ‘Red Caves’.


Directly east of Portree on Raasay’s western shore and carved into the ancient pink and white gneiss are a series of sea caves and arches known by fishermen as the ‘Red Caves’. It’ll be know as something completely different here on Raasay but that’s the way of it. Few locals on Raasay will refer to Kyle Rona, that narrow tidal race between Rona and Raasay as the ‘Blind Sound’ but that’s what all the trawler men and creel fishermen call it. Same with the cliffs on Raasay’s eastern shore south of Brochel, I think referred to locally as Cathedral rock or its Gaelic equivalent. Me, I call it the ‘White Face’ cos I worked with a Kyle fisherman long before I move to Raasay and that’s what he called the white sandstone cliffs.

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They really are spectacular and had the tide been high with the sea this calm it’s possible to put the boat inside them.

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When the tide is high that last rock looks like the head and shoulders of a man and probably has a Gaelic name that reflects that.


Not long after I was at the ferry terminal and dragged the boat out of the water easily using the Subaru that Wifey had deposited there for me. The 90HP Tohatsu TLDI (two stroke, low pressure, direct injection) was still running off the same tank of fuel as when we launched it there on Saturday morning. It’s a standard Quicksilver 25lt tank so not bad for all the running about we did around Fladda and Loch a Sgurr.

With the boat back home and washed out with fresh water I spent the rest of the day pottering about getting the caravan ready and making the most of what had turned into a cracking day.

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No wind for the turbines but plenty of sun, fine views towards Harris and Torran Croft.

No water Sad smile

The ‘secret well’ that serves our house is only ever a trickle but hasn’t yet (to my knowledge) dried up even in the driest of months. It may not be much of a flow but it is constant and well capable of replenishing even heavy usage over night. However, ‘your truly’ left a tap running today and emptied 4000lts of fresh water into the heather Sad smile

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So, no toilet flushing or showers until the morning Smile


The weather certainly brought the visitors out


which in turn kept Leah barking all friggin day Smile


The pigs did some epic roaming and kept ‘popping up’ everywhere,


even the septic tank soakaway, which I guess was working overtime due to the running tap Sad smile


It was hard work though, so they had a rest after dinner Smile

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And that’ll round up tonight.

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