Life at the end of the road

August 20, 2017

Water, Water, Everywhere :-(

Rain, rain and more rain, even today hasn’t been great and it was supposed to be sunny all afternoon, aye right Sad smile The forecast looks pretty grim too with nothing great on the horizon until next weekend, which being a whole week away could turn out to be completely wrong. I was just looking back few a few blog entries for the last couple of years around this time in August and it was the same then, pishing rain with the odd spell of sunshine in between the frequent showers. Much like winter really but a bit warmer with longer days and the dreaded midge when the wind drops Sad smile Tis no wonder I’ve felt a little glum this last week or so since we returned from Belladrum.

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The first whole day back being spent removing mud, cleaning the caravan and marking the frame of the awning with coloured insulation tape. What a nightmare that was trying to assemble that at Bella, with instructions in German and no Internet to find any, well it should certainly be easier next time. In my weakened state that took me pretty much the whole day and I’d to resort to using the wheelbarrow to move some diving cylinders round to the compressor for filling. Normally I’d carry a couple at a time without even thinking about it.


During the leisurely clean up operation of van and Landy I had four visitors, our Sasso ‘table birds’ were heading for the kitchen door prematurely having escaped from their small run in the garden.

Back to work


The Storr covered in cloud from home


and Glamaig wearing a cap of the same stuff from work.


During what was probably the only good day in August at least one crofter got some silage cut but that was all.

Two velvet covered young stags near Tarbert, by the end of the month that should be gone and the antlers visible.

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The Annie E workboat belonging to Mallaig Marine heading for a night alongside Raasay pier.


The first time this summer that we have berthed after sunset, methinks it would have been around 21:20 last Saturday when this was taken.


Last night, exactly a week later it was almost dark and the pier lights were on when we tied up.


The Maltese flagged motor yacht ‘Spirit of Fortitude’ passing through the Raasay Narrows.


The Italian flagged? UK Coastguard tug Ievoli Black 

The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has signed a 5-year agreement with the marine salvage company Ardent for emergency towage services off the north and north-western coasts of Scotland using the tug Ievoli Black.

This will be to replace the 4 that were axed in 2011 a decision made two days before HMS Astute ran aground at Kyle.

Stuck: HMS Astute is believed to have been damaged after a tug-boat tried to rescue it after it ran aground on mud and shingle banks

Despite a nuclear submarine running aground near Kyle of Lochalsh the Tory government still removed the tugs, I guess half of them being stationed around the coast of Scotland would not have lost them many votes Smile


The clam dredger Star of Annan ‘OB 50’ scratching away in the Raasay Narrows.

The superyacht ‘Sea Walk’ that’ll be my picture on the left as she left the Scalpay Narrows.

P1110914 Sea Walk Charter Yacht

The wet stuff

From the pics above you probably think I’ve been telling ‘porkies’ about the weather, well here we go.

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The sunshine and showers wasn’t so bad, at least there was a little respite and a rainbow or two by means of compensation but some of the days (and nights) it was just relentless.


This patch of ground between the east and west coasts of Raasay has a Gaelic name something to do with ‘The men of Oskaig’ it’s also the only place on this island that you’ll find that long grass in the middle of that lake. I can’t remember the name of that either, one thing for sure I’ve never seen this much water there,

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or there, or in that burn on the right.


It was pretty wet at the distillery too that morning and whilst it doesn’t look anywhere like finished outside methinks there’s a lot going on that you cannae see. There’s a delivery of grain next Friday and there’s an awful lot of activity even at the weekends, when this is up and running it’s gonna be a real ‘shot in the arm’ for Raasay.


There has been so much rain that much of the sea is brown with fresh water and peat, but only on the surface. As the ferry cuts through it you can see the lovely clear water below. OK, I know it’s not very obvious from the picture but that faint white line from left to right is the brown water from the Inverarish burn being pushed northwards by the outgoing tide.

Happy Birthday Ali

It did eventually stop raining on Saturday, just in time for Ali’s ‘secret’ 30th birthday party in the boatshed.

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I know the pictures are pure carp but that’ll be Ali in the blonde wig and Superwoman outfit. Me, I’m a pure lightweight and was working today so just called in on my way home and had 1 can of Strong bow. Methinks the youngsters would have been there until the ‘small hours’ Smile I just headed home to spend the night in the caravan with me wife, we’d given the house over to my son and some friends for the day. It was a belated eighteenth ‘birthday bash’ for him. Poor lad had to cancel the actual one on his birthday cos he had a terrible fever.

Our night in the caravan was pure brill, just like a festival without the mud and noise Smile Even better, the house wasn’t trashed and no one slept in our bed Smile Probably no one slept at all Smile

Man over board

Today (Sunday) was, as usual busy traffic wise and full of drills and maintenance in between.

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Dunkin the dummy fell in the sea and had to be rescued and I did some work in one of the battery rooms.

More eejits

I never did put up the sign on account of its poor punctuation


Wish I had cos since then I’ve pulled out two more cars !!!!!!


Luckily, this time they caught me in a better mood Smile


July 17, 2017

Two little girls

Filed under: animals, daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:37 am

Having survived another day of ‘17 Plate’ hire cars piloted by people who clearly cannot drive what I really need is a large glass of red to calm my nerves, but that’s not going to happen, on a working day at least. Seriously, you really are taking ‘you life in your hands’ at this time of year on highland roads and ferries. I really must start videoing some of the antics at Sconser, it’s frightening when it’s not funny. People stopping dead in a 60MPH zone to take pictures of the ferry, cars driving the wrong way down the carriageway, ignoring the no entry sign, jumping the queue, parking in the ferry lanes then disappearing for hours, even days!!!! I kid you not. And that’s before they get on the ferry, you would have thought that a flattened palm in front of any windscreen was an international signal to stop, clearly not judging by the number close shaves I’ve had recently.

So, not being able to calm myself with alcohol I thought I’d bash away on here for a wee while and try and get back into this blogging carry on. I’ve still no Internet right enough so there’ll be no links and it won’t go out until Monday but ‘hey ho’ I’ll give it a go. It’s Sunday and the miserable day that was prophesied didn’t actually materialize until after 17:00 and on the whole it has been a bright if not breezy day. At least the bits I’ve seen of it have been and it actually started out lovely.

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My first job being to feed the two ‘diggers’ that we got last week, Lulu and Cilla are Large Black x Old Spot gilts we got to fatten for Christmas. The wee girls are pure beauties and I’ve never had a pair so enthusiastic about digging. They are about the same size as Molly and already they are grubbing away like a pair of rotovators. Funny thing about pigs, some pigs dig and some pigs don’t, sure they all root using that snout like a shovel but some are just playing at it, well these two are very serious I can tell you.


After Lulu and Cilla I went to check on the new ‘table birds’ that we just got off ‘Donald the Hen’ over in Struan. Sure we’ve pulled the odd cockerels neck for dinner but these are the first birds that we have bought specially to rear for meat. They are called Sassos and should reach around 8lb in 12 weeks so ‘watch this space’ as they say.

After that it was off to work early so I could check my emails or at least the ones that have not vanished. I went online yesterday to discover nothing older than 14 days!!!!! Years of them just vanished from Thunderbird, Yahoo and the Windoze 10 client Sad smile They were there in the morning but after a Windoze or Dell update they just disappeared. Most of them still appear to be on the hard drive of my other laptop but heaven knows how I get them off there without losing them. Sure I’ve looked online but most of what I read is gobbledegook to me.

At work it was the usual busy summer Sunday and of course ‘BIG BREAKFAST’ which gave me the first taste of Ozzie and Django sausages Smile


And there is still room in the freezer for some scallops Smile

Once the breakfast and midday sailing were out of the way it was time for the regular anchor and boat drill and my favourite one, the monthly ‘black out’. I just love blacking out the ship Smile

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I seem to remember my son’s Xbox once having something called ‘The red ring of death’ well this is the Hallaig’s  version Smile At least it is until that baby on the right automatically ‘kicks in’ the EDG (emergency diesel generator) saves the day Smile Power can be restored and the main DG’s brought back online one at a time.

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The 375kW synchronous PMG motors can then be started locally in the event of any communication/power failure with the bridge.

So, after a few ‘near misses’ on the car deck and a late sailing from Sconser, due to an accident on the A82 (no doubt involving a ‘17 plate’ hire car or septuagenarian on a high powered motorcycle) I headed home.


OK, it wasn’t actually like that, that was last week but I forgot to post that picture the other day


and that one.


All taken from the same window as this one, which is a young finch of some kind, not sure which as we get quite a few. This wee chap was daft enough to fly into the window and got stunned for a wee while. So that’s it for now, with my new found enthusiasm for diving and not having any Internet to distract me I’m off to bed to read a chapter or two of Jacques Cousteau’s Silent World, the book I read first in the late secondary school and set me off diving in the first place. 

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