Life at the end of the road

October 29, 2020

More of the same and indoors at last :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Land Rover — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:39 am

4:27 now and as yet I’ve failed to capture the awesome 95% full moon heading for Portree with Venus sitting in the sky above it Apparently it’ll be a Blue Hunters Moon and will fall on Halloween.

The next full Moon will occur on Saturday, October 31, 2020, at 10:49 AM ET, and is known as the Full Hunter’s Moon.

This full Moon will fall on Halloween night in all time zones, something that hasn’t happened since 1944, making it a super fun rare treat. And because it’s the second full Moon in the month, it also earns the moniker of “Blue Moon” (one of two definitions). That makes this full Moon a mouthful: a rare Halloween Hunter’s Blue Moon!

Probably why my enthusiasm is returning and I’m once more rising at ‘stupid o clock’, today being a ridiculously early one even for me. Though I gotta say, the awesome heavenly bodies and everchanging cloud about them were ample compensation. Probably pay for it later right enough by falling asleep before nine pm but I live alone and the ‘wee dug’ is quite happy to let me on ‘her bed’ at such an hour Smile 


At some point in the not too distant future I’m gonna have to disturb her to retrieve my clothes right enough but she’ll have warmed them nicely as well as depositing white hairs all over them and the bed Sad smile 

I know it was Wednesday yesterday cos I just Googled it but really it was pretty much the same as the rest of the week so far, me messing around with Land Rover whilst trying to dodge frequent and heavy showers. The clock changing nonsense has unsettled me, the dug, pigs and hens and the one thing I really ‘got stuck into’ (the Landy wiring) has been thwarted at times by the boodly rain but not enough for me to start another project less weather dependent. What I really should be doing is replacing my tired 800Ah Rolls batteries with 1000Ah of forklift traction batteries sitting in the shed just crying out to be working. Alas I’ve not quite worked up enough of the elusive enthusiasm to tackle that job just yet, but I do feel it is not that far away.

I suppose it got a little closer when I actually moved the traction cells from the trailer into the shed on Tuesday. Whilst that did improve the likelihood of a battery bank exchange it also meant that I could move the digger and trailer away from my shed door, which was my second task of Wednesday, the first one being to collect my tools and ladders from next door.



Yup, I’d finally given up on ‘The lumb’ which for those not following my dull life is the blockage in my friend’s chimney that I’ve been trying to clear for months. My many and varied crackpot schemes having come to nought Sad smile The internal avalanche of rock and rubble has finally beaten me and I’ll be passing it back to The Oxford Building Company who will more than likely take out the blockage through the gable end. A major task indeed but I’ve seen much of their other work and they are well capable, if not a little too far to go ‘home for lunch’ Smile


It was whilst heading over to get my gear that I noticed a Type 23 frigate what turned out to be HMS Kent . Dunno what she was doing there but whatever it was, she moved little and was there for most of the day.

Having donned my all in one waterproof Andy Pandy suit I then spent several hours outdoors in the pishing rain underneath the ‘Old Girl’ making exhaust brackets and checking all the oil levels, of which there are many on a Land Rover, most of them requiring a different type and viscosity of oil Sad smile

P1180701 P1180702 P1180704 P1180703

And finally,


with Calum the Kubota, trailer and batteries out of the way

P1180706 P1180707

I got her in the shed, a sure sign that the weather will now vastly improve.

As for the rest of the day, much of that was spent looking for my boodly phone which I’d managed to convince myself was either in the shed, over at the Schoolhouse or on top of a fence post out in the pishing rain, after two days of fruitless searching it turned up under the bed!!!! Well, it’s 5:30 now and whilst it’s pitch black outdoors, the waxing gibbous moon having been lost behind  thick  cloud, it is light in my shed Winking smile I’m off.

October 17, 2020

Torch time again :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, Land Rover, life off grid, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:56 am

Yet another fine day on Raasay behind me and another one ahead if the forecast is to be believed. Ever since returning from my two week spell in dry dock, the only time time in twenty years that I’ve done a full docking from delivery to ‘sea trials’. Usually my ‘back to back’ and I do a ‘hand over’ in dock, with one of us taking Hallaig south and the other finishing off and doing trials. For whatever reason the annual ship service and MOT seems to be creeping towards later part of the summer every year. No bad thing in my opinion, barring of course Raasay being stuck without her at busier times of the year. The better weather and longer days experienced before the clock changing nonsense generally making the rounding of Ardnamurchan and the Mull of Kintyre a less stressful experience. Then of course it’s often better weather for actually painting the ship in October than December, which is when we used to into dock.

Not even rustling

A whole fortnight away from home being the only real ‘fly in the ointment’ Sad smile Golly gosh, my wee dug was glad to see me Smile but what a difference two weeks makes to the season. Leaving on the last day in September and returning half way through October, the first thing that became obvious was the creeping darkness eating into the day. It’s now that time of year when carrying a torch has become essential for anything out doors after the earlier and earlier sunsets. Disappearing leaves, roaring stags and golden aspen being some of the more cheerful reminders that winter is only just around the corner.

P1180438 P1180444 P1180445

The Tarbert and Torran aspen already ‘standing out from the crowd’ of birch and hazel with their autumnal hues. The weather being so good and windless of late that they were not even ‘rustling’, they make a distinctive rattling in light winds, their Gaelic name translating as the ‘rustling tree’ critheann.

Indeed the weather has been so good I was tempted into launching the Searider to go diving, an idea I gave up when I discovered my drysuit  seals were once more perished Sad smile Me having only replaced them during the summer!!!! Methinks the Chinese are not very good at making latex seals Sad smile I swear I never used to replace seals so often thirty years ago. My son’s suit has neoprene seals and they have never been replaced since he started diving. The latex seals may be more comfortable and seal better but I’m so pi55ed off at having to replace them that I sent my suit back to Northern Diver for conversion to neoprene type seals.

A whole month

I was actually well into my shift at dock before I realised that I’d be finishing it just as my winter holiday started, a perfect chance to make real progress on the ‘Old Girl’ Smile

P1180450 P1180451 P1180452

New fuel tank, air vents, and lots of tinkering around the front door sills and seat belts being some of the ‘little jobs’ that I turned into an epic.

P1180471 P1180472 P1180473

Not satisfied with ‘Britpart shitpart’s’ Chinese paint I elected to give my fuel tank and guard several coats of black and spent an inordinate amount of time doing the same to my front seat belt mounts. How sad am I Smile

Just too heavy

Also on the holiday ‘to do’ list is a new 1000Ah battery bank for the house from Paul Byrne at PB Battery Solutions . Some of my Rolls cells were getting tired after only six years of use and I’d decided to move back to ‘traction cells’ having thought I’d get at least ten years out of the Roll’s ones. Having spoken to a few Rolls owners since fitting them and fitted some to another property I now realize that this is about as long as you can expect from this type of Rolls battery. Sure the ‘Series 5000’ are much better but they came in at over £6K the forklift truck bank I’d ordered from PB was half that delivered.

I had them delivered to Skye Express in Portree figuring that they could forklift my ‘forklifts’ onto my trailer for me and I could lift em off with Calum. So that was my first reluctant task of Thursday. I say reluctant cos I was loath to ‘leave the croft’ on such a fine day for ‘doing things’, still it was a pleasant enough day in town and the drive was lovely.

P1180426 P1180425 P1180427

A Brochel sunrise, a gloomy Type 23 frigate on the East Side and a serious crane at the ferry terminal. Not sure what the crane was for

P1180463 (1) P1180464 (1) P1180465 (1)

cos there was already one at the new EE mast. Though I did hear that the bin lorry went into a ditch on Wednesday.


Not sure what the Zodiac abandoned in the heather at Tarbert was for either but I figured it was ‘SAS related’ Smile

I collected my batteries, pig feed and managed to return on a packed 10:25 sailing from Sconser on the relief vessel Loch Tarbert. The batteries and trailer following me home nicely Smile

P1180468 (1) P1180469 P1180470 (1)

Sure enough, whilst I dragged my batteries home the SAS recruits were carrying their boat up the hill at Tarbert no doubt encouraged by shouty beardy types Smile Perhaps they were trying to imitate Vikings

Nevertheless, despite these fortifications, Viking raiders still held the upper hand. Sea power was so important that these lands were ceded to whomever could control them. In 1098, Magnus Barelegs, the King of Norway, was granted control by King Malcolm III, King of the Scots, of all the lands which he could sail around. So he claimed all of the Islands and he also claimed Kintyre… by having his ship, with himself at the helm, pulled across the narrow neck of land that is all that joins Kintyre to the mainland at Tarbert (Tarbert actually means "boat pull"). Smile

P1180429 P1180439

Home at last but at 1200kg they were just too heavy so I parked the trailer outside then generator shed until I feel stronger Smile


Well, it was ‘more of the same really, shouty beardies in Land Rovers, this time at the road end and the cliffs above. I’ve never seen so many vehicles there but they were at least well parked and not clogging up the passing places Smile



HMS Kent in front of the aptly named Sand on the Applecross Peninsula and Serco’s SD Northern River

P1180454 P1180459

A noisy ‘Royal’ (12 pointed) outside the back of the house yesterday morning and now I’d better go look for my pigs. It’s almost 8:00am and nearly fully light, the wee darlings never came home last night Sad smile The ‘dirty stop outs’ Smile

Create a free website or blog at