Life at the end of the road

October 25, 2019

That’s more like it :-)

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:19 am

A busy old day at the rock moving yesterday had me in bed at 8:30 pure wacked after the previous night’s restless sleep. Apart from a phone call that drew me out of the depths of slumber around 21:00 and Molly wanting out at 3:00am, that was it, I slept like a log Smile Right through until 6:00am, so here I am on me first pot of coffee listening once more to the wind and rain. Which, judging by the sound must be coming from the west, my fourth weather station died some weeks ago so I cannae be more specific than that. I really must stop buying these Chinese ones and get a decent one this Christmas Smile


Despite that inauspicious start it turned into not a bad day here up at the North End. Sure, there were a few showers but with the extra water, wind that accompanied them and sun that interspersed them it was a record day for electricity production here.


72kWh for the day and that doesn’t include the big wind turbine which has not generation meter, being twice the size of the smaller Proven/Kingspan I guess it would have done around 40kWh. Excluding the 6kW Proven 100kWh is my best kinda day but they few and far between and usually on really stormy wet days. What was so good about yesterday was the good spread of energy production for the time of year. The solar hot water of 8kWh is really good as the tubes are in a far from ideal location, pretty soon they’ll be loosing the sun altogether and won’t do much until next spring.

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So, Molly and I spent most of the day hauling rock and dumping it on the track I’d made so I could haul more rock up the hill to bury my water pipe and redirect some water.

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Some fish farm ‘feed blower’ pipe being chopped up to allow me to cover a pipe in a drain.

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Larger diameter pipe would have been better but you just gotta make do with what you have hey.

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After some 20 or 30 tons it was time to go get Calum the Kubota and track him back along the road, a slow task that I did with leap frogging my last load in the dumper and walking the dug. The small Cannon Ixus 220 HS failing spectacularly to capture the lavender blue sky and amber rustling aspen.


That’s more like it Smile

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I gave up when it started getting dark by which time Calum was perched precariously close to edge of the burn and I wasn’t feeling too ‘lucky’ Smile I always find it better dealing with potential problems at the beginning of the day rather than the end Smile Common sense had me reverse outta there for tackling today. Though my first task today will be to head south and collect the 1000lts of red diesel that was finally delivered yesterday Smile

August 30, 2019

Better flash up Harry :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, life off grid — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:45 pm

What, with me banging on about how little I use my diesel generator this morning I thought I’d better check. Turns out, the last time the HR2 Lister ran was for 5 hours on 30th of May, a full three months ago!!!

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Since then I’ve generated 3250 kWh by wind/hydro and PV, or around 36kWh per day average, though that table is a little misleading as it has ‘Proven 6kW’ in the header but those figures in that column relate to something else completely and are not included in  the totals. The large Proven isn’t actually producing electricity as such, at the moment it is just heating up the ‘Bunker’ which is my plant, freezer and drying room.


And just now it’s drying out my Northern Diver dry suit which has acquired a hole in the bum. Dunno how that happened right enough, ‘twas fine when I last had it on two days ago. Anyway it’s hanging in the warm bunker with a dehumidifier running so I can plug the leak later tonight.

Water water everywhere

Much to my surprise, Ross was up pretty early and keen to go diving despite the weather and having to go and work later. Oh the joy of youthful enthusiasm, I used to be like that once Smile I mean, it was truly wet, grey and miserable, consequently we headed through the Fladda Narrows as the tide was still high enough to go over the causeway and I figured that Loch a Sgurr would have less fresh water ‘run off’ in it.

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Well, at least it wasn’t as windy as they were saying, in fact it was glassy calm but boy was it wet, the water was just poring off Raasay. The burns where swollen and peaty coloured ribbons of water cascaded off the rock and heather. That’s us departing our slip, heading into the South Fladda anchorage then passing by the shepherds hut by the Fladda causeway.

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Loch a Sgurr though was blissfully calm and without the brown layer of freshwater lying on the surface, pretty clear. Ross and I did around 23 minutes at 30m for a couple of dozen decent clams.

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Before he went down to work he made a chili dip and we’ll be having scallops and black pudding for a snack later. They were gonna be tonight’s dinner but one of our neighbours gave us a fine venison stew just as Ross arrived home. As it was still warm, we just ate that Smile

That took us nicely up until midday when the weather improved a little, Ross went to work and I pottered about the croft filling diving cylinders, weeding the drive,

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painting some steelwork, extending my remote winch lead and chasing pigs. OK, getting chased by pigs Smile


I just could not believe how much water had collected in their dishes since I fed them 8 hours earlier, a good 100mm!!!! OK the dishes are slightly tapered but even so, that is a lot of water.

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Interesting, that’ll be the two cylinders going on at 15:01 when the sky was really overcast. There is a 2.4kW discharge on the inverter and the batteries are at 99% ‘state of charge’. After running for almost an hour and a half with the sky brighter but still 99% cloud cover the batteries are receiving 900W and are at 100% SOC.


And true to form on the West Coast, the evenings are always the best part of a miserable July or August day Smile

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well, apart from the friggin’ midge that is Smile



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