Life at the end of the road

November 18, 2018

The warmest place in Britain :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:06 am

OK, it wasn’t actually Raasay right enough but it was pretty close, Kinlochewe, is only 22 nautical miles away ‘as the crow flies’.


Whilst Raasay was getting battered by a seasonal and ‘un forecast’ southerly gale that reaches storm force at times, on the 14th November, Kinlochewe was a blistering 17.6 degrees!!! the warmest place in Britain!!! Sure it was up to 15 degrees here at the Raasay Ferry Terminal when were ‘storm bound’ for a few hours too. XC Weather, the BBC and just about everyone else getting the forecast spectacularly wrong, a breezy 24knot day being predicted with gusts of gale force being the general consensus amongst the experts. What actually arrived was a steady 40knots with gusts of over 50 even 60 on one occasion.


Cancelling sailings on Thursday had been not even been considered, contemplated or even thought about but by 10:45, with the wind rapidly increasing and the tide high, skipper decided to ‘knock it on the head’ for an hour or two. One thing all the forecasts had agreed on was that it wasn’t going to last very long. Just as well cos ‘Darling wife’ was stuck at Sconser with the dugs and she was due at the Raasay Distillery come 14:00.

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Though we were not the only ones ‘caught out’, Raasay’s Lustre headed in early and just in time. Donald rounded Goat Island just after we tied up and from the warmth of the wheelhouse on Hallaig we watched him expertly find the only bit of flat water between wind and tide.

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Whereupon he skilfully brought her about, manned the outside helm and parked the Lustre ‘nice as you like’ astern of us.

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By 14:30, with the tide falling and the wind abating somewhat we were back ‘on the run’.

Just like summer but no midge Smile

Saturday night now and what a day it’s been, as good as any in the summer but shorter and minus the tourists and midge Smile I left the house this morning just after 6:00AM, with Orion watching over Portree, the Plough behind me and Venus shining brightly to the east. The sky was as clear as I’ve seen yet it was 12 degrees outside!!!!!!

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By 9:00am the sun was high enough to clear Scalpay and the Creachan Mor was out clam diving under the cliffs at Braes. The incoming tide would be sweeping the divers nicely south eastwards along its edge, I remember it well Smile

The fine spell even saw me bringing out the paintbrush on deck and almost going ‘snow blind’ and getting ‘sunstroke’ at the same time Smile I kid you not it has been beautiful here and looks ‘set fair’ for a week at least.

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Bit different to the first day back (Wednesday) when poor Hector and his ‘sidekick’ were getting drowned building his new takeaway and bunkhouse. Hope he does a good mocha and bacon sandwich Smile

The tourist trade may have fallen off somewhat but it’s fantastic to see all these signs of the commercial activity that will keep the island alive.

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The articulated lorry from MacArthur delivering barley to the Raasay distillery, a huge stack of fish boxes, ropes and wire on the pier for the fishermen, Creachan Mor working clams near the Penfold Rock and of course Sconser fish farm’s workboat Beinn Fhadda.  As we left the Hallaig last night with Orion the hunter  just appearing over Raasay,


Well ‘that’s it’, it took me three days to write that! it’s 7:00am now 8 degrees outside and the sky is crystal clear. Orion was staring in through the bedroom window this morning and it’s gonna be another scorcher Smile


November 12, 2018

incommunicado :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:12 pm

Well, that’s it, a whole month by with already, where did it go? tonight will be my ‘last sleep’ before returning to Hallaig after four weeks off and I gotta say, I’m feeling pretty smug. Tis almost 20:00 now, around 12 hours since I left here (the laptop that is) and I’m pretty chuffed at what I got done today too. Sure, I’ll have most of tomorrow off too but I won’t see much of that at Arnish. Officially I don’t actually start back until Wednesday morning but I’ll let my relief away tomorrow cos he’s a long way to travel and I’ll be heading to Portree in the morning anyway. The ‘wee dug’ is needing her rear offside foot looked at and we’ll be needing pig feed for the two darlings.


I’m really gonna miss these two but they’ll be hams, salami, chorizo, cotechino, black pudding and bacon this time next month. Shock horror, well, if you are gonna eat meat then better you know it’s had a full and happy life is what I say and these two certainly have. They are actually the first two of the dozens we’ve raised that we’ve not named. People often recommend or at least avoid naming then so as not to get too attached to them. We didnae name them cos we’ve done so many that we couldn’t think of any more names Sad smile I was gonna call the one on the left Boadicea cos she’s an ‘Iron Age’ pig which is a cross between a wild boar and a Tamworth, allegedly the closest thing you can get to the very first domesticated pig. However, it doesn’t really ‘roll off the tongue’ does it Smile 

I mean, it would have been nice to catch a week or two in the sun but darling wife only had a week off her work at the Isle of Raasay Distillery and most of that was set aside for the Girvan trip. OK, I may not have been enamoured with that but I did get hunners done at home before and after. The Subaru got welded and MOT’d, the slip got concreted, the Bug fixed and all manner of work got done with Calum and the dumper. All in all it’s been a damn fine splendid holiday that’s gone out with a bang!

The last full day

After the usual ritual of many cups of tea, breakfast, animal feeding and dug walking I turned my attention once more to Lachie’s 500kg tracked dumper


refitting the hardware I’d removed to fit the micro switches, giving a good greasing then testing it in action.

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What better way to test it than use it to fill in some of the boggy ground through that gate out of the hen enclosure. I had made that gate wide enough to ‘track’ Calum through but it was only just wide enough so using the tracked barrow was a wise move really.

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If nothing else it would give the barrow a good testing even if it wasn’t as quick as using the digger.

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Though I did use Calum in the end, he was wide enough to stop the pigs getting into the hen field.


Methinks one of these would make a nice ‘stocking filler’ Smile I do like it.

Back to the ‘Bug’

With the HT500 dumper given the ‘seal of approval’ it was ‘back to the Bug’ and a good testing down to the village. The camper had a couple of minor issues that would need a good run to sort out and I’d some work to do for Callum at the Raasay Sawmill too. Not only that but all the phones had stopped working and the Internet was down so I figured that at least I’d be able to speak to someone if I headed south. The ‘wee dug’ needed the vet and I needed to order stuff for the ‘Bug’, Lachie’s dumper and the pigs.

When I finally did ‘break radio silence’ it seems that there’s been a big landslide on Skye that’s put the power out. This obviously includes many mobile phone masts and the Applenet Internet masts Sad smile Still, apart from our lack of Internet I cannae say it’s a problem, we’ve not had a power cut in thirty years Smile The joys of living ‘off grid’ Smile

The Isle of Raasay Distillery

After tinkering around with the accelerator pump on the Bug’s Solex carburettor

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I headed for the Isle of Raasay Distillery . The Camper had a little ‘flat spot’ so altered the stroke on the accelerator pump to give it a little more fuel which seemed to sort it. Darling wife was at work there and I wanted to let Norman, the manager have a shot in the ‘souped up bug’. Fatal mistake that cos he ‘suckered’ me into fixing their fork lift whilst I was there Sad smile

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The ‘intrinsically safe’ Mitsubishi forklift was needing a new alternator belt and ‘could I just fit one whilst I was there’ Smile Hardly a chore really cos it smells just lovely in there (hence the need for an ‘intrinsically safe’ fork lift) not only that but darling wife was working in the warehouse too, sampling.

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I’m not sure exactly what she was up to but it was fascinating and looked awfully technical. That barrel was a red wine cask and you could see the whisky had already taken on a pinkish hue.

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Once the forklift was fettled I headed for the Raasay Sawmill and Callum’s ‘skid steer’ loader that was very reluctant to start. Now, I have a vested interest in this cos he’s cutting wood for the car/boat shelter Smile

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Anyways, after much grubbing about methinks it just needs a new battery and a few cables making up.

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The battery was organised by Callum and I’ve just made up some new cables in me shed. Dunno when this’ll get posted right enough cos I’ve still no Internet. It’s 21:20 now and I’m ready for bed bed but I cannae go cos Wifey is till at work so it’s pointless cos the friggin dugs will bark like mad when she gets home Sad smile

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