Life at the end of the road

January 2, 2018

If all goes to plan :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, life off grid — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:12 pm

Well that’s it, 2018 is here and I’ve written down the date for the first time, not only that but I did it right, normally I’m well into the spring before it becomes 2nd nature. For the tenth ‘End of The Road’ Hogmanay it was quite civilized and chilled here at the ‘North End’, I’m sure it was pure kicking at the ‘boat shed bash’ but we chose the half mile quad trip over the ten mile drive that my son opted for.

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So he took the Subaru and we took the Honda Smile

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The Torran house was toasty and whilst it wasn’t the ‘full on sesh’ we last had here ten years ago


and there was no sword dancing with mops. It was great however great ‘craic’ up until 23:40 when we departed for home on the quad with a side of smoked salmon from the Wiz.


That’ll be the Wiz, second from the left, he’d grown quite a lot since that was taken at Port Arnish over 50 years ago Smile

Don’t think I ever got the Honda out of second gear and the normal 10 minute drive took almost double that. Still we made home for ‘The Bells’ despite not having a piece of coal Smile


Luckily ‘darling wife’ dissuaded me from driving down to the ‘boatshed bash’ and we all went to bed at a more sensible time than most folk. Methinks a good couple of hours and more before the normal time, even so when I awoke to this.

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I really wish I’d have not drunk quite so much cos,


Brothers point and the hills of Harris some 33 nautical miles away looked boodly amazing.

Harris hills

It would have been a perfect day for going out with my son to ‘bash some clams’ but he was on Skye and I was hungover Sad smile


Still I did do some prep work on the Avon Searider ready to launch her tomorrow if all goes well. The tubes got inflated, the brakes freed off, the fuel tanks filled with fresh fuel, engine run up and battery put on charge. It would have been nice to get out today but the weather was pure carp so I busied myself with some maintenance in the generator shed.

Battery care

Being as it’s probably the most expensive part of any ‘off grid’ system and the one that is most likely to let you down if not cared for properly I like to  look after my batteries.

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These are Rolls S540 cells are configured to give around 800Ah at 48V and I’m a little obsessed by them. Ideally I like to top them up every couple of weeks and check the specific gravity every month. Slap wrist here cos I’ve not done these since October, naughty me!!! Anyway’s, they were all in good health, well charged and balanced so I logged all the SG’s and topped them up with 12lts of deionized water. These Rolls batteries are seriously thirsty and do in fact require distilled water rather than deionized. However it proves impossible to get it delivered here, when I did phone up my supplier requesting distilled rather than deionized he told me that the water they supplied was both!! Personally methinks that that is a load of ‘dingo’s kidneys’ but ‘hey ho’ Smile

Lister HR2 stop solenoid

The other thing that was causing concern in the ‘Power Station’ (generator shed)


was Harry’s stop solenoid.

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This electromagnetic solenoid operates the fuel rack on the Lister HR2 and it had been needing a little help recently. When starting the generator to fill some diving cylinders recently I’d had to just use my finger to push the solenoid up. The fault turned out to be a loose connection which was easily sorted.

So that’s it really, my son has returned from Skye and with a bit of luck we’ll be ‘bashing’ the Royal Navy’s largest mine layer tomorrow Smile


December 31, 2017

Hogmanay it is :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 4:44 pm

So that’s it, 2017 is drawing to a close and it’s not that long since I got used to writing 2017 on cheques and the like. No kidding, some places still take them, PITA that they are. Sadly I still have to use the things now and then cos I’m not very good with cash, keys, pens, glasses or penknives. Don’t ever give me any of the former cos I’ll loose them and I suppose I should have hearing aids to the list, I’ve only had em two weeks and already I’ve lost one Sad smile

As I mentioned previously it’s been a whole ten years on here, which means it’s a decade since and the epic Hogmanay at Torran.


Whilst the old croft house is sadly missing dearest Jessie this year,


most of the clan Nicolson are there and methinks that is where we’ll be heading tonight Smile There is gonna be an epic sesh down at the Raasay boatshed with my crewmates providing sustenance, music, craic and jollification. Sure, we are torn between the two but it’s a case of stay sober and drive 20miles in the Land Rover or get wrecked and bounce along the Torran track on the quad with the wife on the back Smile Pretty sure it’s gonna be pure kickin’ at the boatshed

it certainly was last year Smile

However, I finished work this morning and came home to do a little ‘guerrilla road works’

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on ‘Calum’s road’. These puddles have just been getting larger and larger with all the rain and snow. Sure the Council should be sorting it but there excuse is lack of money, well it took me 10 minutes with a shovel and it’s the suspension on my cars that get fecked due to their lack of maintenance.

My son too was on the roadwork’s,

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he took Calum the Kubota down the Torran track and did some ditching.


He’s pretty damn good at it too, the Dude has the patience inherited from his mother Smile

Six months in the cage Sad smile

The poor ‘wee dug’ has been confined to a cage for six months in the hope her detached ligament will repair.


As you can see, she is far from impressed Sad smile

No more work this year Smile

So that’s about it really, the last couple of days at work were a little manic, especially getting in there with the treacherous roads but our local contractor managed to keep them clear, so no disruption on that front, unlike other places on the mainland and Skye. Much as I moan about HRC, considering all the financial cuts we get a pretty good service really compared to some.

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Ben Tianavaig, Dun Caan and Dun Caan covered in cloud.


That’ll be Emby and Ali gettin’ a little carried away with a pre 2018 clear up Smile Won’t be able to find a feckin thing next year Smile

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