Life at the end of the road

March 2, 2019

Spring hey :-)

Can’t say as it feels much like spring today right enough but yesterday, the first day of it, was a cracker despite the forecast. XC said it was gonna be OK in the morning but gradually deteriorating in the afternoon with rain arriving and staying by 20:00. As it turned out, it was a great day and the rain arrived at 19:50 Smile Not only was it a good day but it was manic even by the yardstick of when I was in my thirties and not sixties. By my standards of the last ten years it was probably record breaking Smile 

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First off I managed to finish the gable end of ‘Callum’s shed’ and get the flashing on the roof. Then I wasted the best part of half an hour trying to get the Subaru onto the vehicle lift. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t cos me workshop was full of quads, a lighting tower and of course the Range Rover. However, having purchased a 2T single post vehicle lift last year for the sole purpose of stopping me crawling under jacked up cars I was gonna have a darn good try.

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I even went as far as jacking up the Subaru to try and move it onto the lift before giving up. I could have done it right enough by moving the lift sideways with tyre levers or something but ‘time was marching on’, it was 10:00am and I had to be down at the ferry terminal for around 11:00. Common sense got the better of me and I did what I should have done in the first place and just jacked her up at the front and placed axle stands under her. All I wanted to do was look at the CV joint and possibly order one up before the weekend.

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The CV joint boot had come off so I planned to clean it up, repack the joint with graphite grease and replace it with a new clip. However, as I rotated the wheel on ‘full lock’ so as to clean the joint I saw the ball cage was broken Sad smile Ah well ‘that’ll be that then’ and straight on the phone to buy another. Just as well really cos I had to get me finger out, gather me diving gear and go ‘see a man about a dog’ Smile

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OK, go and look for some lost moorings and check one for a Mate. Not that I’d been asked to do either of these tasks, just that I offered the next time I was in the area looking for dinner Smile Said lost mooring were close by where the MV Speedwell’s mooring was so we tied up to that and I went ‘a hunting’

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and landed right on top of a good sized scallop. It’s not until I see this picture that I realize how hard they are to spot to the ‘untrained eye’. It’s no wonder that when I do dive with other people that don’t fish scallops for a living, they swim over loads and miss them.

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Whilst I was using the mooring as a reference spot I did the decent thing and checked it, all the anchors were ‘dug in’ and shackles well wired so Speedwell would be quite safe.

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After a short swim I found the two missing risers, both of which had come undone at the surface, with one of them still having the pin in it!

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Then it was back to the surface a full 4m above me to collect two marker buoys to attach to the riser chains, that could be done by my companion in the RIB at his leisure on the surface. Me, I had a shed and car to fix Smile

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The MV Loch Bhrusda arrived on Thursday afternoon and had picked up the service from Hallaig on Friday morning. Hallaig having departed for Lochaline at first light or there about.

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Speedwell finally fishing and loaded with crab gear.

Feeling pretty chuffed with the morning’s effort I headed home for a rather unusual lunch. ‘The’ scallop fried with bacon, harissa and kidney beans, awesome, I kid you not Smile

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Not ‘in the plan’ Smile

After lunch it was back to the shed and the guttering,

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using my diving reel as a marker for the gutter brackets which need mounted with a slight fall in them so the water does not collect. Once I’d got the line really taught between two screws, (one at each end) I put in screws at each spot I’d be fitting a bracket.

Just as I was getting nicely ‘stuck in’ to this job my neighbour turned up with a wind turbine problem Sad smile Their Proven 2.5kW turbine had broken a spring!!! She was just after advice how to brake it but I reckoned we needed to sort it ASAP. The weather was going to break that night and the dry spell would come to a spectacular end. Better to get it lowered and fixed right away and back up in the air working during the gales rather than lying on the ground and using the Lister generator.

Proven/Kingspan spring repair

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I installed this WT2500 Proven in 2005 so it’s done 14 years service with just routine maintenance and a few springs, luckily I have plenty of spares Smile After taking the Tirfor and tools up there on the quad

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we set up the ‘gin pole’ and lowered to a working height using an oil drum and wooden block as a support.

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I then replaced the broken spring with one from my ‘stock’ using an old bolt to slide through the many bushes and washers as I drew the retaining bolt out. This greatly speeds up the task and ensures you do not loose anything. To be honest I should have removed all three spring sets, inspected all the bushes and washers and replaced as required but it was early evening and the weather was set to get wet and windy. I figured the sane thing to do was to get it back together and back up ASAP.

Sure enough, by 18:30 she was back up and generating, I called it a day, had a good hot shower and ‘binge watched’ three hours of Shetland https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shetland_(TV_series) . I love the islands having spent time diving there in the eighties and wifey went to the same school as Douglas Henshall Smile Not that those are particularly good reasons to watch anything but I enjoy it anyway Smile

Saturday

I gotta say I was severely surprised when I let the dugs out this morning and it was dry outside!!! sure it was windy but at least I could get on with the guttering on ‘Callum’s shed’, which is exactly what I did.

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I got all my ‘stand offs’ on, nicely lined up and screwed in just before the rain started, getting only slightly wet as I fitted the drain pipe. And that was despite a visit by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom I invited in for tea on the condition they didn’t try and convert me Smile Seriously, Arnish would not be the same without the occasional Watchtower through the letterbox Smile I don’t have much time for the Abrahamic religions   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religions who basically all think that their way of worshipping the same God is the right one and to Hell with everyone else. However I do admire these folk, who ‘come rain or shine’ visit this bastion of Presbyterianism with a smile on their face and not the slightest hint of ‘fire and brimstone’ knowing full well they’ll have little or no sympathy Smile As my own ‘Prophet’ of choice, Khalil Gibran https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahlil_Gibran said “Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking” Smile

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Before long it was pure pishing down with a howling gale as accompaniment, perfect weather for testing out the shed and I was well impressed. The gaps in the boards break up the wind but allow it to pass through keeping the shed well aired but not too draughty even in the gale. It is perfectly dry apart from the floor but even that could be sorted if I wanted as the slab is on a slope. So, if I did something at the eastern end like a gutter at the base of the boards or a ridge in the floor to shed the water to the edge, then I could keep the floor dry. To be  honest though I don’t see this as a problem, it’s prime function is to keep the Searider in and hang diving gear and washing to dry. Such was the rain that the frogspawn I’d spotted yesterday,

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had been washed 25m from behind the barn to under the large wind turbine.

Even in the ‘teeth of a gale’ with all the rain it was still possible to get the neighbours tank half in and crawl underneath to work on the transmission brake and anti-roll bar.

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October 2, 2018

In the dark :-(

Filed under: daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:51 pm

Oh dear, it’s all downhill now, I’ve just finished work, driven all the way home with me headlights on and it’s pitch dark. Can’t even blame the weather cos it’s actually quite a nice evening and I cannae even rant about the boodly clocks cos we’re still on BST Sad smile Truth of the matter is winter is just around the corner. Still gotta look on the bright side, at least the roads won’t be full of campervans driving at 40mph and sanity may well return to the ferry traffic at Sconser. I could write a book about some of lunacy I’ve seen this year, I swear it’s getting worse. This is the first summer I’ve seen a car try and drive on the ferry BEFORE it’s actually berthed and still has the outgoing traffic on board. It’s the first time I’ve seen someone try and drive onto the ferry as a passenger was halfway out of the back door. Yup, it’s been quite a summer of idiocy on the roads for sure.

So, prior to going back to work and despite aching from head to foot I decided to bash on with my drain and road building project in the wind turbine field. Calum the Kubota was in the quarry and I figure I may just as well bash on with the job in hand as it takes the best part of half an hour to ‘track’ him back along the road. As with most ‘digging days’ I started with greasing up and fuelling up and as usual I spilt some diesel whilst topping up. Consequently I was not worried by the smell of hot diesel reached my nostrils on the way back from the quarry with my first load. I should have been cos when I stopped to open the gate to the croft I noticed a puddle of diesel under the dumper Sad smile The 3 cylinder air cooled Deutz F3L1011F had sprung a leak from one of the fuel pipes. The picture makes it look obvious but that was taken after I’d removed half the dumper body and a cowing off the engine. Luckily there was enough length of pipe for me to just cut it and shorten it so after much cursing and ranting I got it sorted. Even managed to get another load in before breakfast as today I had no need to spread the loads.

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Having made an adequately hard track yesterday I was just able to dump piles of ballast and reverse out leaving large ‘cow pats’ of rubble in my wake. It was when I went in for my two fried eggs that I realised in all the excitement that I’d forgotten to walk the dugs.

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Well, that was soon remedied and instead of our usual wander down to the shore we set off for the north side of the valley where I notice the hydro turbine inlet was partially blocked. Output wasn’t affected but it was overflowing the wee dam, not that that makes much difference but I cleared it anyway and the header tank had a much healthier overflow as a result.

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The old croft was looking well cared for and the hawthorn trees have fair come on this last few years.

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In the foreground is the old barn that Donald Eyre repaired and he walked the entire distance from my old house (with the green roof) to that tin roof barn with 50kg of cement on his shoulder Surprised smile 

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The ruin of Number 4 South Arnish?

Back to work

After shifting a couple more loads, repairing some damage to the garden windbreak and clearing up the mess I usually leave behind me I set off south to relieve my ‘back to back’.

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We’ll be leaving for the dry dock on Friday morning so Raasay will be getting a much smaller ferry for a couple of weeks, better get in the queue early if you have important appointments Smile

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