Life at the end of the road

December 23, 2021

Christmas is cancelled :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:53 am

It’s bee a while hey, two weeks in fact since I last looked at the blog let alone sat down and wrote some mince Smile Truth is I’m kinda getting slow in my old age and needing all the sleep I can get. Consequently by the time I get home after twelve hours on the ferry, bed is never far from my mind, especially this time of year with little more than six or seven hours of daylight on an overcast day.

So that’s it another fortnight has flown by on the good ship Hallaig and once more I’M sat at the ‘puter in my kitchen. Unusually though tonight I’m sharing the table with a large glass of Tomatin Legacy single malt whisky, breaking my unwritten 1st Commandment of never drinking alone. One of the golden rules I have for staying sane ‘at the end of the road’, the other major one being to cook a proper meal every day. Though that comes far easier than leaving my choice whiskies unopened on a cold dark night Smile Especially when I have the choice of such good ingredients at hand, pork, venison, mushrooms and organic garden produce to name a few. Sure there’s precious little coming out of the Raasay Walled Garden this time of year but I just baked me a piece of a 30kg ling I had given the other day and that was boodly deelish Surprised smile

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It was so big I needed two chopping boards to cut it up and there are still three large pieces left in the freezer. Simply baked a good chunk of it at 200 for 20 minutes in a tray with a knob of butter two cloves of thinly sliced garlic seasoned with a little salt and pepper. Served with boiled spuds and steamed veg it was awesome.


It looks more like an eel than a fish but is actually related to the cod family, the rod caught record in the UK is 10kg so the 30kg one that I had half of must have been a monster Surprised smile Unlike monster lobsters and skate though this one tasted even nicer than the regular ones I’ve eaten before. The wee dogs didn’t get a single morsel of it despite their hopeful looks Smile


The Raasay fishing fleet of FV Speedwell and FV Mary M, the source of of much of my locally sourced produce Smile

The Ullapool registered Auk UL534


diving for scallops by the Penfold rock buoy off Braes on a good day.


Here she is a few days earlier on a poor day, when it’s much pleasanter underwater looking for clams than in the boat waiting for divers Smile Been there, got the book, video and T-shirt Smile

The ‘two weeks on’ flew by as usual, though I’m never sure these days if that’s cos I enjoy my work or I’m of an age where time goes by faster and faster Smile 

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Generators got serviced, paperwork done and dugs got walked at lunchtimes.

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The best made ‘plans of mice and men’

Perhaps one of the reasons the fortnight flew by was the fact that I’d be going down to Girvan for Christmas with my ex wife, family and son. However that’s gone all ‘tits up’ due to the rampant Omicron variant which has infected or put my family ‘in close contact’ with ‘significant others’ who have it Sad smile So now after a fortnight of eating everything in the fridge and not getting any food in for Christmas I’m gonna be having my first Christmas alone in over 65 years Surprised smile 

Now I appreciate that in light of the last two years and what everyone else has been through this is no big deal but it did kinda ‘upset my applecart’ and has left me with the unenviable task of going shopping tomorrow Sad smile

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With tomorrow finally here I’ll just leave you with some pictures of last Sunday’s dug walk over on the Arduish.

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August 11, 2020

Miserable, midges, wet and summery!!!! :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, weather — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 4:13 pm

A typical west coast summer I guess, Sunday I’m raving about clear skies, sun and a fresh breeze. Monday was the same, so much so that I’m rushing around at work like a demented fool and too tired to post when I got home. Having just demolished a Ross Camilli number involving monk fish, aubergine, green pepper and potato. Not that you would find that combination in many recipe books. My son is somewhat inventive on the cooking front, Sunday’s offering being a linguine with, nuts, olives, asparagus,  tender stalk broccoli and bacon. Anyway, after that and a 1 hour documentary about the Battle of Coronel I went to bed leaving this in my wake.


The weather over the weekend having been so clear that my 1500lt thermal store was pretty much uniformly heated to 80 degrees for three days. The store being heated by excess electricity and solar collectors on the roof. They don’t need the heat, just daylight and when the top of the tank reaches 80 degrees a pump starts to circulate the water within the tank to cool it.


It was such a nice day that much outdoor painting was the order of the day, ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’ as they say.


Or, if you are Highland Council, ‘clean slips whilst the tide is small and on the way in’!!!!! You could not make it up really. The one thing in life that you can predict with any certainty is the tide, it is like the sun and moon, indeed it is closely intertwined. You can look at a tide table or App years in advance and predict with a great degree of certainty what the tide is going to do on a given day at a given time. We use these slipways up to 18 times a day and every time the ramp goes down HRC charge CalMac £50, every night we tie up the ship it’s another £400!!!!! and on top of that they take ‘pier dues’ off every ticket sold. I kid you not. The entire revenue generated by ticket sales on the Raasay Ferry does not cover the cost of the pier and harbour dues yet they cannot keep the feckin slip clean.

Well’, that’ll be today’s we rant by with Smile so here are some pictures whilst I lower my blood pressure.


That looks very much like Ali Bruce in another clam diving boat, wonder what happened to the trusty MV Sarah?


The MV James on fish farm duties, she was in Loch Arnish last week?

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Ben Tianavaig and my old favourite the Storr from a different angle.


Both of them in the same shot and Raasay’s own Dun Caan below.


Speedwell heading off to sell her catch.


Tuesday’s more like it

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Cool, calm, wet and midge infested, that will be your regular West Coast August and that was what greeted me at 6:00am when I went out to feed the pigs. An hour later I was at work and it was pishing down on a sleepy Inverarish and Clachan.

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As we headed out at 7:55, Paul B a small workboat headed south.


It was truly dreich so I headed inside to do some painting.

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Firstly around the emergency diesel generator, a 63kW Volvo D5


Then down below to the aft engine room until the weather cleared and the sun came out.

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And then the paint brush closely followed by the dog’s dish Smile

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The Raasay fishing fleet and Ben na Cailleach behind Broadford.

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