Life at the end of the road

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.


December 26, 2017

It’s the thought of ‘Corry’ :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:53 pm

Well it’s 20:00 just now on Christmas day and I’m wrapped up in my waterproofs sat in a freezing cold room drinking my mate’s Oakheart rum Sad smile


Sad I know but I can’t bear the prospect of going home to Corry!!! I feckin hate the soaps, strictly, I’m a third rate celeb and just about every other friggin popular program on the TV. Unfortunately for me I seem to be in the minority on this and know that MiL and darling wife will be glued to this pish if I go back home before 21:00. Call me ‘elitist’ or snobbish if you want but I feckin hate that carp, give me some ‘Scandi Noir’ with subtitles any day Smile In fact give me anything with subtitles cos I’m deaf as a post Smile

Heavily redacted Smile

Boxing day now and the Oakheart certainly brought out the worst in me, hence the heavily redacted text. Well, I wound my way home on the quad last night and promptly fell asleep reading ‘The Most Formidable Thing’

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by William Jameson, just one of the ‘anorak’ like titles from my bookshelf of a gazillion sexy titles like ‘Axis Submarine Successes of WWII’

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Pure riveting stuff I can tell you Smile Sad I know but along with the ‘Dictionary of Disasters at Sea During the Age of Steam’

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this was my staple diet in the book department for years. Though in most honesty all these books have been in storage for years and have only recently made it into the house. Thankfully so, for in the last six months we’ve had severe Internet woes and it’s been great to wade through them once more. Probably thirty years or more since I poured over these titles in the quest of fresh shipwrecks to dive on and it’s been good to refresh my addled brain. Not that there are many shipwrecks around Raasay but come the summer who knows where the Dude and I will go. Perhaps go and visit my own 2500 ton cargo ship off Mull.

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after all, he will inherit it when I die Smile Smile Smile

Boxing Day

Today we only had the one sailing at 12:30 from Raasay and 13:00 from Sconser and it was a pure peach of a day.

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Fladda, Eilean Tighe, (House Island) and Loch a Sgurr all looked amazing as I headed south early to see my pals Bonzo and Peter.

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Bonzo was needing a walk and Peter wanted a lock fitting to his shed, so obliged both of them prior to heading to Hallaig for the first and only crossing. That’ll be the Hallaig at the pier and Ben Tianavaig behind the pines, birch  and beach trees of Raasay.

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We were not the only vessels working on Boxing Day Wester Ross Diving Services were out, as were a few of the Portree fleet.


Me, I’d arranged with my son to go for a dip over by the old ferry slip at Suisnish, the tide would be ebbing and we could go in at the old slip and swim north.

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Worked a treat, we collected around 50 scallops ‘pectin maximus’   and dozen or so queenies . The regular scallop or clam is well enough documented on here but his much smaller relative the queenie isn’t. That’s mainly cos we don’t see many of this more mobile and much sweeter cousin ‘up north’ and to be honest it’s not really a viable catch as far as diving goes. Having said that, if you can be bothered the queenies are much sweeter than your regular scallop.

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Sure, you can shuck them like your regular scallop

but it’s much easier to peel off the whole mantle, stomach and gonad with a knife. OK, so you loose the roe but at this time of year there’s not much in it anyway.

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