Life at the end of the road

June 3, 2018

Baking elsewhere :-)

Just after eight fifteen PM here at the ‘end of the road’ and the end of a rather grey day, which is, in fact why I’m here at the laptop and not outside ‘tinkering’ Smile The ‘wall to wall’ sunshine we’ve been having of late never materialized.


That was what greeted me this morning


and that’ll be tonight’s feeble excuse for a sunset Sad smile Having said that, just ten miles south in Inverarish it’s been baking with blue skies Smile Can’t complain though it’s been an awesome spell of weather for the best part of three weeks now and we’ve been ‘lapping it up’. Tools left outside, car windows left open and double watering the garden every day. We didn’t even see a midge until June arrived and I can count the number of bites I’ve had on one hand. That gentle north wind we’ve of late keeping Sonas on the whole ‘midge free’.

Hence the lack of activity on the blogging front, truth is I’ve not been in the house until after 21:00 recently, whereupon a glass of red in front of the ‘one eyed monster’ with darling wife has been the ‘order of the day’.

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Well, with most days ending like this, it would be a crime not to have a glass of red wine hey Smile

In the water at last

Camilli’s current obsession has been getting the Avon Searider, getting ready for sea and making a place to recover it safely at Arnish. The latter is still very much ‘work in progress’ but we’ve been ‘on the case’, despite it being a little warm for concreting.

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Still, I took the opportunity of ‘press ganging’ my mate into helping for one good ‘mix and pour’ of a couple of tons. Looks pretty rough but that’s deliberate so as the next batch will get a good key to it. On a 5m tide I’d be able to get the Searider out here with the Land Rover or dumper but going down just past that mesh means 4m would be doable.

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I spent an inordinate amount of time fitting a Garmin 95CV sounder to the boat, a job I could have done in a couple of hours but managed to string out for two days. To be honest I was just enjoying the weather and doing things at a very leisurely pace. The month’s holiday had been quite physical and the ‘two weeks on’ had seen us working manically painting the Hallaig so it was good to just ‘potter’ about. The Searider actually came with a perfectly adequate sounder for finding good ‘scallop ground’ but there’s a few  wrecks I’m planning on looking for and visiting and the new Garmin’s ‘side scan’ facility will make this far easier.

Flat out at Raasay Distillery

It was great to get my son back from Heriot Watt for the summer but no sooner had he arrived home than he was ‘head hunted’ for a job with R&B at Smile OK, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration but they have started letting out some rooms to the public and it has been doing very well. No surprise really cos the rooms are absolutely beautiful and the setting idyllic. And, who wouldn’t want to stay in a distillery hey Smile


    So, my son and I aint been doing quite as much of the ‘male bonding’ I’d have liked, him being working pretty much full time since he arrived Sad smile Anyway’s, we did at last manage to get the Searider launched on Saturday and headed north to Loch Arnish for a spot of clam diving Smile

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Nikon Coolpix W300

Sadly, not much in the way of photographs cos my Nikon Coolpix W300 died again Sad smile

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The very expensive camera I purchased as Christmas present to meself last year is friggin useless, at least in the water. I could have got something better for half the price but this camera is allegedly good down to 30m. Aye right, the first one flooded in less than 7m and this one died at 25m. You can see the yellow seal by my thumb nail has failed. I am most dischuffed Sad smile

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Still, seeing the boat sitting happily on its mooring a ‘stones throw’ from home made up for it,


as did our bag of clams.

Scallop recipes

Guess what we had for dinner Smile  Having made a living clam diving for much of my adult life I’ve tried them most ways but that was afore I had the Internet Smile Now you can just ‘Google’ for inspiration, so I did came up with a variation on that.


Never been much good at following recipes so I just melted a quarter of a pack of butter, fried 5 rashers o chopped bacon in it, added basil, oregano, chili flakes and three cloves of garlic, cut the roes off the clams, chopped em up and threw them in the pan for the last 30 seconds or so then served with linguine. It was good but missing some cream and salt, I figured the bacon would be salty enough but was wrong. Today we had something similar for Sunday dinner but used all the roes, mixed in some Munro’s black pudding and half a pot of double cream at the end with some chopped parsley. Now that was awesome Smile

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And the weather has improved too Smile


February 12, 2018

Engineerless :-(

Sunday already and chance to get of blogging in at last, just cannae manage work and posting, it’s just too much for an old fart like me. Truth is, that apart from last night we’ve both been in bed before 21:00 every evening. Darling wife is too feeling the strain of full time employment, mind you she smells lovely when she comes home from work Smile 

Work got off to a great start on Tuesday with me heading off to see me Mammy first.

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Gotta say I was a little surprised when I drove down ‘The Avenue’ on my way for the 8:55. Last time I was down there, only a few days previously there were considerably more trees standing. There was a John Deere harvester and forwarder working just by the Raasay Sawmill (convenient hey) and a truck coming off the ferry.


After a pleasant few hours with Mum and Leah the Labrador it was onto work to join the 15:00 ferry and start my ‘two weeks on’

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Looking towards Glomach from Ratagan over Loch Duich. The Storr, Raasay and the Moll fish farm. Ronja Commander at Caridh fish farm in Loch Ainort.


‘Work’ arriving to collect me Smile

Two dogs walking Smile

So, now we’re both out at work all day, at least when I’m ‘on shift’, we now have a ‘latch key’ wee dug, or at least we would have if I didn’t take her to work. Molly accompanied me on Wednesday morning and now lives in the car until lunchtime when she joins Bonzo and I for our afternoon stroll. I can’t say she was too impressed with sitting in the back of the car,


but she sure did enjoy the walk with Bonzo and they seemed to get on well enough.


I guess not needing to put Molly on a lead makes her ‘boss dog’ so she was just fine with that.

With the weather for the foreseeable future involving showers and a cold wind I decided the engine room was the place for me this week


so concentrated on some cleaning and painting of the aft engine room bilge.

Being buried in the engine rooms certainly beats the carp out of clam diving at this time of year but that didn’t stop these two in the Inverness registered, INS94, ANT IASGAIR, (The fisherman)


At least the Sarah has a cabin.


Don’t think Ant Iasgair will around for long after Sarah has already been here for a couple of months now and those boys really do know their stuff Smile

Me, when I was doing it, I surfaced to a nice warm boat with an insulated cabin, two heaters and a sleeping bag for a ‘wee rest’ between dives. These dudes are much, much hardier than I ever was!

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Yup, give me the bowels of a nice warm ship at this time of year any day. Having said that it was a great way to earn a living and it was only age, responsibilities and a few ‘near misses’ that stopped me doing it.

Battery operated cars and ferries Smile

Well, that went a little ‘pear-shaped’ I accidentally posted the above prematurely, pressed the publish instead of save! Anyways, the painting kept me occupied for most of the week, which was pretty quiet, I guess due to the weather. Not the weekend though, far from it, Raasay seemed to be overflowing with visitors this weekend. No doubt helped by some good deals at Raasay House, the great weather and the new Distillery’s ‘Whisky club’ which seems to be getting well used.

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And you don’t have to own a Tesla model S to be able to afford to join Smile The wife took me around a few weeks ago and the rooms are just lovely.


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The next best view on Raasay, after the one from Sonas of course Smile

Raasay Engineering is no more Sad smile

It will be great missed by both the inhabitants of Raasay and the ferry in particular, Simon was always at hand for the odd welding or fabrication job and often pulled us ‘out of the brown stuff’ with some of his ingenious repairs. However he’s relocating to France this week and we all wish him, Lynn and the dogs all the best. The ‘Macleod Hauler’ name and business lives on, though now at Kishorn Mechanical Services Ltd . The only ‘upside’ of this being that Simon kindly gave me a whole heap of steel and fastners that I now need to find room for in my shed!

Sunday was a lovely drive to work in daylight with the sun rising on fresh fallen snow.

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The extra weekend traffic made for the the busiest ferry of the year so far and the battery powered Tesla departed along with 17 other cars on a fully battery powered ship.

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The day wasn’t all ‘rosy’ right enough


though most of that is the ‘deck drencher’ system. A little while later the sun was out once more.

The Eberspacher

Having some time on my hands I ran some tests on my Eberspacher D1LCC, heating up the flame and temp sensors with a heat gun then checking the resistance using multimeters and an IR thermometer.

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They supposed to conform with the tables below.


and whilst my temp sender did, my flame sensor didn’t but in my experience with these type sensors. If the value alters smoothly as the heat rises then everything is usually peachy. I’m certainly not going to fork out £75 for a new one on the ‘off chance’. I’ll give it a good testing as soon as I can find the rheostat switch. The thing about old age is, you spend half your time looking for stuff you’ve put somewhere safe!!

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Clouds clinging to the north shore of Loch Sligachan and Ben Tianavaig.

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