Life at the end of the road

April 8, 2018

The Lochaline Triffids

A fine Sunday evening here at our berth in Lochaline, with ‘wee dug’ and meself just back from a good walk along the shore of the loch towards Ard Tornish House .

Wikipedia’s picture and not mine Smile Me, I left the good camera back in the caravan Sad smile

We do like it here the ‘wee dug’ and I,


she gets lots of attention from the public and crew, and we can go for leisurely walks in the evening and at lunch. Not only that but I can roll out of bed and onto the ferry in a matter of minutes Smile

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Even though the working day is much longer here with a 7:00am sailing, I don’t actually need to get up any earlier and am ‘home’ much sooner. There’s a great village shop just a two minute walk up the hill and loads of great local services even a self service fuel pump. At this time of year there’s much going on and if I was ‘so inclined’ the Lochaline Social Club is ‘just outside my door’ so to speak Smile Perhaps that’s not a good thing come ‘chucking out time’ right enough but I’ve certainly no complaints.

Lochaline Boat Charters operates out of here


with their two Aquastar boats, Brendan and Peregrine both of which will drop divers on awesome wrecks, reefs, cliff and drift dives in the local area and beyond. As a destination for diving holidays Lochaline could not be better equipped and that’s coming from an ‘anorak’ who spent much of his early adult life and beyond doing the ‘trainspotting’ equivalent of scuba diving Smile Sad I know but I’ve always had a ‘soft spot’ for this little corner of Scotland. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d actually get paid for staying here Smile


So, despite the normal Sunday service here at Lochaline not starting till 8:45, the skipper and I were aboard the good ship Hallaig at 6:30.

One of the very expensive ABB motorized battery switches had failed and we were going to change it prior to sailing.

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There are four of these on the ‘hybrids’ and at almost £900 apiece it’s a fecking disgrace that they fail with such regularity. Allegedly ABB say they are good for 5000 cycles but ours fail regularly at half that. Luckily we carry spares aboard and had it all sorted prior to sailing.


Failure of one or more of these switches does not stop the ‘hybrids’ from sailing but it does mean you cannot utilize the 600kWh LiFePO4 battery banks Sad smile Anyway, that’s all sorted now, and a sternly worded email is winging its way to ABB Smile It’s not like they have these things in stock, there’s a six to eight week ‘lead time’ which I think is ‘ABB speak’ for camel ride from ChIndia or wherever they churn these things out from! No kidding, I pulled the old one apart and it’s made out of the same ‘Micky Mouse’ metal

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that my Dinky toy Morris Minor was made of.

I kid you not, here we have an £11,000,000 ferry with a £1000 switch broken cos of a 3pence part which the manufacturer refuses to supply separately. The world has gone mad!!!

The Triffid

Anyway’s, we got that sorted, sailed on time and had pleasant enough day here at Lochaline, after which the ‘wee dug’ and I went for that walk I mentioned earlier.

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Along the shore, past the sand mine towards Ard Tornish House.

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It was here that we spotted the Triffids!!! never seen anything like em before but they were growing on the shore and pretty much what I’d imagined John  Wyndham’s plants to look like Smile OK, perhaps not exactly but they were odd and that’s for sure.


The damage I could do with one of these Smile A proper ‘dumper’ from the sand mine.


This really is the ‘Rolls Royce’ of sand Smile

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The ‘office’ Smile

February 2, 2018

I’m a Seaman :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, reading, shed/house, stonework, weather — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:05 am

Well, I didn’t think I’d be back at work so soon but here I am as a seaman right enough and not a motorman but at work nonetheless. Still at least I’ve got the Internet here so can catch up with everything in cyberspace in relative comfort.


Better than being sat at 90 degrees in the car with the engine running and heater on at Brochel, or is it? at least in the car I can go home when I please. Having said that I’m actually at home now in my PJ’s giving my eyes a rest from ‘Wonders of Salvage’ by David Masters, first printed in 1924 but I’m reading the 1944 version with photographs, though I also have a 1929 copy.


It aint all bad being Internetless and I’ve a very large bookcase to go through.

Anyways, after the brief spell at Brochel this morning I returned home and got on with a little path work.

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You would think that with a 3ton dumper and digger I’d have given up on picking rocks by hand and putting them in a bucket.

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Not a chance, I found it quite therapeutic, hunkered down with my back to the wind picking up just the right sized stone into a plastic bucket and lifting it into the trailer. Sadly, or was it luckily my mate Donnie from DDK design was needing both quad and trailer to do some work so I only managed one load. Then I set about lightening the garden gate and then strengthening it. This was actually a temporary fix some years ago using the pallet that my Rolls batteries came on. It worked just fine but was a little on the heavy side so I cut it in half and fitted a brace. It’s still ‘work in progress’ but at least I don;’t have to worry about pigs getting in the garden as we’re busy eating them Smile

It was also time for ‘number 2 breakfast’ so I retired for into the house for a couple of fried eggs and a warm.

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Trouble with a view like this from your table, it’s kinda hard to tear yourself away.

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This will be the ‘Wilk’ or ‘Bonnet’ reef just south of Grian s Sgier and you only ever see it breaking when it’s stormy like this. There is one to the north of Grian a Sgier too and I always get them mixed up, one is supposed to break like a bonnet and the other is supposed to look like a whelk. Methinks that it’s the one to the north that looks more like a winkle than a bonnet but you can’t see it from the house.


That’s Grian a Sgier, the ‘Sunny Rock or Skerry’.

Back to the Eberspacher

After running out of rocks I once more turned my attention to the diesel heater in the Land Rover.

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It’s very straight forward to pull apart, just 6 plastic clips and half a dozen M5 Pozi set screws, though the screws do require care WD40 and even heat to remove them. That heat sensor in the middle image had come out of its clip so that may explain poor performance and frequent shut downs.


More likely though it was just the fact that it was pure coked up with carbon but much scraping and hoovering sorted that.

Right that’s it, I’m at work Smile

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The wind is away, the swell is still here and I’m a seaman for the day Smile

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