Life at the end of the road

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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Harry

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.

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And just now it’s drying out my Northern Diver https://www.ndiver.com/ 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

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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.

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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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October 29, 2018

A green light :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:19 am

Well, that’s me body clock ‘topsy turvy’ for a few weeks now the clocks have changed, 5:30 now and the kettle is on but I’ve been lying awake for hours. Must confess though, part of that is the excitement of today’s big pour, there’s a lot of money getting poured into the sea today so I’m a little apprehensive to say the least. Having said that the portents are good, better than forecast or expected and everything has gone like clockwork really. Tide is good, weather is perfect, temperature just right, area prepared and the tools all ready. The only thing I haven’t done is consult my horoscope Smile but as soon as I’ve finished me cup of tea I’ll go down there and have a looksee.

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The tide should be around the same height just now as when the batcher arrives, 2.85m @ 6:04 and the same at 13:13.

After everything going so well yesterday we’ve moved the pour forward an hour and a half so I’d better shift the booking of Ross’ batcher from 13:00 to 11:25 as soon as the office opens. Say an hour and a half from leaving Sconser and Eyre Plant’s batcher should be here just after 13:00.

Sure enough, all is peachy down at the shore,

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the incoming tide is just lapping the stone ‘shuttering’ that will be the foot of the pour and my ‘forest’ of galvanised M12 bolts bonded into Scotland have not been covered by loose stones.

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The turning area I made for the dumper is still there despite having been ‘washed’ and Calum is sat on a pile of rubble held in reserve Smile

Could not have asked for better

Clock movements aside, Sunday was a ‘perfect day’ and despite having much to do I was chilled enough to take the dugs out for a long walk before breakfast. Instead of the usual wander down to the hydro turbine to check for blockages or slipway to look at progress, we went to Torran Schoolhouse  for coffee.

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The Storr had lost its cold white covering, Loch Arnish and Manish Point looked magnificent with porpoises in the loch and no white ‘fluffy’ breakers on the shore. The corrugated iron look of Saturday gone and a billiard table in its place. It was a truly awesome start to winter, at least my definition of winter which is when the CalMac timetable changes and the clocks go wonky Smile Yup, it was a ‘good to alive’ day and the prospect of the best cup of coffee beckoned. My Italian heritage has had me drinking STRONG black coffee on and off for over fifty years I guess and outside my Father’s homeland I’ve only ever had a decent cup twice. When I say ‘decent’ I mean in, as I had in Italy and that is so strong that you have to put three sugars in a tiny cup to make it palatable Smile I had a cup in Cafesia http://www.cafesia.co.uk/ in Broadford a couple of years ago that ‘hit the spot’ and I always get one at my Mate’s house over in Torran. I am talking cups you can stand a spoon in and leave you rattling right enough. Well after two of those with Andrew and family I was ready for anything Smile

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Once home I assisted Wifey in moving furniture for more of her unusual painting,

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seriously, it grows on you Smile

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especially when you find your son’s ‘stash’ Smile My oh my, my boy has good taste Smile

Slow roast pork belly

Still a little early for slip work I started prepping dinner, a slow roast pork belly.

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Sure I did do some Googling but in the end just used my initiative with the home grown pork and veggies from the Raasay walled garden. Just rubbed salt, pepper olive oil into the pork, laid it on a bed of carrots and celery, sliced garlic, apples, spuds and garlic on top but forgot the onions!! Then bunged it in the oven for 30 mins at 9 before turning down to S for 4 or 5 hours.

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That done it was off ‘diggin and dumpin’ again with not a breath of wind and both turbines having a well earned rest Smile

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When the tide did ebb it was a relief to see all my stone shuttering still in place and a pure joy to be walking back along Calum’s road to collect me dumper.

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Even the hens got let out for a wander in the garden Smile

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And yes, dinner was awesome with extra roast Rooster potatoes and gravy.

Anyway, better go, it’s 7:15 which to the pigs is 8:15 cos their clocks do not change Smile

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