Life at the end of the road

August 31, 2017

Testing the bag :-)

The old midge was pretty fierce this morning but once the sun was out and a wee breeze got up it was bearable. That didn’t happen until after 11:00am right enough but I managed to work my way around the ‘wee devils’ by staying inside blogging until almost 9:00 then going to visit my mate at the Torran Schoolhouse to blag some fresh sweet coffee.

P1040391 Walking the dug Smile

You know the stuff the Italians drink out of a percolator with enough sugar in it to stand your spoon vertically, well, not quite but you get the gist. Funny thing is, much as I love coffee like this, we never actually make it at home. Methinks if I started then I’d be drinking far too much of the stuff. So for now I’ll just keep scrounging it off me neighbours Smile

After arranging a ‘plan’ for the day’s diving and agreeing that afternoon would be best I headed back home. He’d ordered some mooring tackle from the usually very efficient Gael Force Marine  http://www.gaelforcegroup.co.uk/ However, despite several assurance it had not, as yet arrived, which is very unlike them. They started off making creels in Stornoway in the 1980’s and now are into everything from yacht chandlery to fish farm feed barges. I wouldn’t at all be surprised that if these fish farm anchors we’ve been lifting were made by them.

Back in the day when I was fishing I used to buy all my creels from them and much else besides. It didn’t matter how many years passed between my infrequent visits to their warehouse in Inverness, the directors would always remember me by name and ask how things were on Raasay. I guess that’s why they’re so successful because I kept returning and recommending them to others. I’m sure the stuff will be here tomorrow Smile

More path prep

Once back to Sonas and with the day improving I set about working on the path around the house.

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I just loosely arranged these, the wife will then keep adjusting them to find the best place for footfall and colour. Once she’s happy we can dig them in the chuckies and set them permanently. We’ve done some already around the ‘bunker’ and they look great, not only that but now the wee dug can walk around the house. The chuckies must be really unpleasant for dugs, deer and pigs, which at times is not a bad thing.

Once I’d unloaded those I set about making a border around the front of the house to separate the chuckies from the ‘meadow’. We don’t do grass cutting here at Sonas Smile

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Life is so much easier with a digger,

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you would not be moving these here by hand.

Just like riding a bike

That done we set off for the shore with our kit to go looking for another anchor by yet another disused fish farm site.

Smolt bin

Here it is some twenty years ago having smolts delivered, the chopper drops that bin in the middle of the cage then lowers it nearby to have the tipping mechanism reset before flying back to the hatchery for more.

This was once a cost effective method of transferring smolts to remote farms but now they’re all brought in by large ‘well boats’ which is a lot less stressful on the fish and staff. I had a few scary moments with those bins on a rope Smile 

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Here it is today with the picture taken from just behind where the cages would have been. The helicopter was dropping the bin on that outcrop of rock just above the centre.

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These two steel rings for the running mooring and a few more for the ‘land fasts’ being all that remain. We were thinking that there may have been some tackle left behind so got ready to check it out.

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The anchor hunting wasn’t very successful but at least the new scallop bag got a good testing Smile

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My boy is most definitely getting ‘his eye in’, we gonna really miss him when he goes to uni Sad smile

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Those are seriously good clams Smile

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December 31, 2016

The turkey is finished :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, pigs, stonework, weather — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:56 am

Well, that’s it, Santa has been, Christmas is over and the turkey is finished Sad smile Our turkey usually lasts until Hogmanay or there abouts but not this year. Of course the fact that we got a crown and not a full bird for the first time ever didn’t help, but neither does having a permanently warm house and small fridge. The house internal temperature has never dropped below 20 degrees and the outside temp has been between 9.1 and 12.7 degrees since the turkey went in the oven!!! I kid you not, even at night it’s never been less than 9 degrees, we struggle to achieve temps like this in May!!!  In the past we’ve stored stuff outside at this time of year to keep it cool but not this Christmas.

The crown was OK but only managed a Christmas dinner, stew and curry, one of Brian Green’s home reared birds is usually good for numerous sandwiches, turkey ham and mushroom pie, turkey and chips and several frozen pots of stock. Sadly Brian stopped doing them last year so we tried a crown instead, methinks we’ll have wild boar next Crimbo Smile Apparently it’s more traditional and where did this turkey nonsense come from in the first place? Methinks the same place as ‘Black Friday’, ‘Trick or Treat’, The Golden Arches ‘Grandparents Day’ and DJ Trump Smile Well, next year, despite ‘Brexit’ I’m gonna be more European in my outlook at Christmas Smile

The ‘run up’

The week up to Christmas was fraught with uncertainty for many travellers and I’m guessing a few just didn’t bother with all that talk of storms Barbara and Conner. Indeed the ferry was off all day on Friday and we didn’t sail until 9:55 on Saturday the 24th.

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Having said that, the day got much better as it wore on and everyone managed to get to Raasay before 18:30, even those that had booked the 21:00 ferry. The net result of that was that I got home for 20:00 and not the usual 22:30,

 

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so it was ‘Dirty black Russians’ all round https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Russian 5 x Vodka, 2 x Tia Maria, ice and Pepsi, hic.

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It was a very busy and civilized Christmas day with six adults and three dogs to feed, it also ensured we had a very warm house.

We only actually have the heating on in the living room and bathroom but it’s hardly come on at all, perhaps a couple of times during the night when there’s been little movement and no cooking. Of course it’s rarely been below 10 degrees outside but even so it’s pretty impressive. Every one else at the North End has been stoking their fires all day to try and warm up their draughts Smile It has been exceptionally windy of late,

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though you wouldn’t think so from the data on my new weather station.

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This can be seen live here https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=IHIGHLAN44#history . As with all the weather stations I’ve had it’s not capable of catching Scottish West Coast rain which travels sideways and doesn’t go into the collector. The wind figures too are, at the moment grossly understated but that’s cos I just screwed the sensor to a fence post near the house on Christmas day. It’ll be going somewhere higher and clear of obstacles as soon as I can stand up outside. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the Watson W8681- Pro II for it’s not capable of storing data and transferring it to your laptop ‘out of the box’. You have to connect the friggin thing to the Internet, which is handy if that is what you want to do, but you have no other option. Of course the Chinese instructions didn’t help and when I finally did set up my own ‘personal weather station’ the site crashed for two days!!!! Then it got repaired then I lost my Internet for  for 5 hours yesterday!!!

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Why can’t people get it through their heads that the Internet does not always work!!! More and more systems rely on it and it alone, the world has gone mad!!

The other thing I don’t like about it are the graphs on the station screen, for some reason they don’t include wind, which is the one I’m most interested in. The unit does take a micro SD card which I fitted yesterday and it has a USB port but there’s nothing in the Chinese translation that mentions these or the drivers required. Connecting it to my laptop just has it spending yonks looking for one without success Sad smile

Having said all that, I’m sure I’ll get it sorted eventually and for most people who don’t live out in the sticks it would be just fine.

Boxing day was a nice short one at work with just the one sailing at 12:30 to Sconser and 13:00 back. Why this was moved from its original 10:30 and 11:00 is a bit of a mystery but all the travellers I spoke to about it thought it was a bad idea. Driving at this time of year is bad enough, driving with two hours less daylight is even worse. Anyone travelling further than Fort William or Inverness is faced with the prospect of closed fuel stations and darkness Sad smile

Hogmanay

Sorry got distracted there, it’s NYE now, 7:34 and I’m not long out of bed, so far facing another miserable black morning.

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However, that’s supposed to changing later on with a shift in the wind lowering the temperature, clearing the skies a little and abating the incessant gales. This is all ‘damn fine splendid’ for tonight it’s party time at the boat shed Smile

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Methinks the entire population of the ‘North End’ will be heading down there tonight for what promises to be a great night out. Been a while since we went to a good ‘sesh’ and we’re all ready for it, specially after the last couple of days which have been pretty grim on the weather and achievement front.

Ruins at the North End

The first day of the ‘rest period’ got off to a cracking start right enough with me dragging my son out for a wander around the hills looking for one of the hinds that’s causing chaos around here.

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We were on a mission to nowhere really cos it was so windy you could barely stand in some places but we did have a great walk from Arnish, over Rainey’s wall and then back along the coast. Also found a few old ruins that I’d never seen before. The one top left being high above the wall facing west in what looks a most unlikely spot for the usual hen house that you see around here.

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Could be some kind of small enclosure I guess using the cliff as its back wall, who knows what these folk did in days gone by. I guess future generations will think the same when the come across my pipes, cables and concrete foundations Smile

 

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That’ll be the bin lorry heading off with their cases of beer and this will be a hen house at Tarbert. I believe it was built by Calum Macleod’s grandfather for the usual practice of moving the hens away from crops in the summer.

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These next three are all just to the west of our house between the road and the sea, dunno about the two on the left but the right hand one is most definitely a hen house.

Moving house

Once back home we set about moving the pigs out onto the hill.

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Whilst their current residence in one of the hen fields has had the gate wedged open for months they’ve seldom bothered to wander out of late. I guess that’s cos the weather has been pretty grim and their field was pretty boggy, methinks they just couldn’t be bothered. So I reckoned it was about time to find them a better spot and then lock them out of the croft. This would also save the post lady and I navigating the boggy field to feed them in the dark. With their house moved to a more sheltered and drier spot and their trough just over the fence near the feed store it would make all our lives pleasanter.

The two Tamworth certainly agreed and have been noticeably happier of late, even in the grim grim wind and rain of yesterday they were out for most of the daylight hours exploring. Quite strange really cos their shelter is only a few yards from where it was and they have always been able to walk out of that field they were in.

More breakages

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With the missing sheet of 3mm steel for my tipping trailer finally arriving last week my son and I got on with fitting it over the 22mm phenolic ply base. First off we bonded it with silicon and SikaFlex and then a few countersunk stainless Allen bolts for good measure.

During this operation I was ‘called out’ on a breakdown Smile my mate was going out in his boat to lift his lobster pots when he lost forward gear on his Yamaha 15HP outboard.

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I was convinced it was a very simple adjustment to the cables or gear linkage but it turned out to be rather serious.

 

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The gearbox drain plug was missing, the box had filled with water and everything was seized Sad smile

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Does anyone know where there’s a Yamaha 9.9/15HP gearbox? This one is pure wrecked!!

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Just thought I’d throw those two of Glamaig and the FV Lustre in for good measure, I’ve gotta go now and fix a digger!!

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