Life at the end of the road

August 22, 2017

Just Rambling :-)

Well, that’s it, another fortnight aboard the good ship Hallaig has flashed before my eyes and the nights are starting to draw in. I’m still commuting between sunrise and sunset during the week.


Saturday is a different story though and by the time I’m back at work in September there’ll be a big difference I’m sure. It’s never a drag at work, the two weeks fly by and I’ve a whole fortnight off to look forward too. Mind you, the ‘to do’ list is so long that I’m not actually sure what I’m gonna tackle first, perhaps a little concrete mixing tomorrow for the day ahead looks good. Well if the forecast is to be believed that is, apparently it’s gonna pish down through the night and be fine and sunny tomorrow.

Anyway, that’s me just chillin’ with a glass of fine red wine donated by a grateful motorist who needed a ‘jump’ recently and with not much to report for today I’m just gonna trawl through my  camera.

This will be last Sunday’s anchor drill in a deep muddy hole to the north of North Bay, we just let out 4 ‘shackles’ each ‘shackle’ being 15 fathom, 90’ or 27m, whichever you prefer.

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Here we have a cat and the wee rabbit that it just released from it’s jaws.


The rabbit ran off shortly after with the moggy in hot pursuit.

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This will be my wee pal Bonzo who I walk regularly for a friend in the village. Dunno the name of his cat right enough but it does look very comfortable atop the warm radio Smile


This will be Majestic Lines MV Glen Etive heading south. She was built recently for her owners by Ardmaleish Boat Builders on Rothesay . I spent many a dry docking at Ardmaleish with the MV Loch Striven and saw them build some fine steel boats too. Ewan Ferguson has a good team there and seems to plough all his money back into the business which has the last ‘Patent Slips’ on the Clyde


Here’s another Majestic line vessel, the MV Glen Massan, this one heading north a few days later. The Massan and Tarsan being converted wooden fishing boats rather than steel new builds.

Duck eggs now available on Raasay so treated me shipmates to boiled duck egg and ‘soldiers’ one morning.

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Long range views of the Storr on Skye taken from the ferry,




I just couldn’t make my mind up which one to use Smile

My mate Bill Cowie from Rona coming to collect the ‘Grump Digger Driver’ from Raasay.

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Hugh Mackay is no stranger to this part of the world and has done the founds for just about everything on Raasay and Rona.

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That’ll be him hard at it here at Sonas

and here on Bill’s amazing house on Rona.

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Some things never change, here he is in 2008 Smile


MV Hallaig ‘doing a twirl’ at Sconser.

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Fresh livestock arriving on the ferry and some fine ‘iron age’ pigs . I’ve always fancied a couple of these wild boar/Tamworth crosses but just never quite managed to get any. After seeing these two fine girls I’m gonna redouble my efforts.


August 1, 2017

Ticket for Bella anyone :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, for sale, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:26 pm

Not the brilliant day they were promising right enough, at least not in the morning, in fact it was pretty pish AM considering we’d been promised a good day. I was up as usual at ‘stupid o clock’, put on a pot of coffee a little after 6:00AM and gazed westwards over to Skye full of enthusiasm for the day ahead. Five minutes later it was pishing with rain so without touching it I left the Brazilian ‘blend in the pot on the hot plate and went back to bed. Almost three hours later I had another go, the coffee having benefitted from it’s long gestation on the 300W hot plate ‘hit the spot’ and I trudged forth in the midge infested morn and fed the zoo.

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It was not actually raining then but within minutes of me stepping through the door into the house it was Sad smile I was not impressed, XC had promised a good day and this was certainly not, at least what I’d seen of it so far didn’t live up to much.


Sure there was a nice rainbow or two but I was wanting a little sunshine and to forego the oilskins for once.


Luckily I have a shed so got on with finishing off a few jobs on the ‘Old Girl’, yesterday’s winch repair for one. I fitted a new motor on Monday, a ‘Goodwinch’ one and not a genuine Warn one as I have in the past. This motor is direct replacement for the Warn one and a third of the price, not only that but the brushes are larger and fitted in brass holders. The Warn holders are steel and rust, which makes the brushes stick and burn out the commutator. This I know cos it’s happens every couple of years, usually when you really need the winch Sad smile


Also changed the gear oils in the axles and transfer box using this vintage gear oil pump that I’ve had at least 30 years and it was an antique when I got it from me mate at in ‘Accy’ all those years ago.

The birthday boy Smile

Sure enough it did finally brighten up so The lad and I went out for a dip.


He’s been pretty sick this last couple of weeks, fever and now a cold but the worst of it seemed by with so off we headed to Port Arnish.


There was a bit of a traffic jam on the way with a certain ‘birthday boy’ going in the same direction as us Smile

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Our plan had been to search for a large anchor below the Torran Schoolhouse that I once used as a mooring for the Conqueror. This we’d been searching for ‘on and off’ now for over a month without success but we had cleared the ground of four smaller anchors so planned to grapple for it after our dive. First though we anchored off the white house at Torran to search for the chain we’d found last month. The chain had been marked with an orange buoy but that had mysteriously vanished. Whilst we never actually found that chain we did find yet another massive anchor and even more BIGGER chain!!! Seems like Loch Arnish is a bit of a chain mine and anchor dumping ground Smile


It’s pretty good for clams too Smile bit like riding a bike this scallop diving, you just never forget how to do it and I wasn’t even trying Smile

As well as the clams we picked up a bucket of cracking mussels from a sunken trawl float that had returned to the surface after a long stint on the sea bed. I guess the float had gradually sunk under the weight of marine growth and mussels but after lying in deep water for so long much of the growth must have died off due to lack of light. Eventually it floated back to the surface where we found it, covered in its bounty of mature grit free mussels.

Whilst out in Loch Arnish we met up once more with the ‘birthday boy’ and managed to unload some of our ‘ocean bounty’ on him. By the the time we finally got home, his mum, Raasay’s oldest resident was ensconced in our  living room awaiting her taxi.

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Methinks the cailleach will be 95 this year and is just learning the art of quad riding to Torran. Jessie normally walks!!! I kid you not she usually walks the mile or so rough track to her old home without ‘batting an eyelid’.


Just as Jessie was leaving Arnish the 81,769t MS Zuiderdam was leaving Portree Dunno if she’s the largest vessel to visit Skye’s capital but she cannae be far off, that is a seriously large ship.

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Almost as large as the ‘birthday boy’s’ selection of drink Smile

A spare ticket


For sale at ‘face value’ £150 a Belladrum 3 day camping ticket and parking pass

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