Life at the end of the road

March 15, 2019

Rumour has it :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:57 am

Methinks April has come early here at Lochaline, could be the rest of Scotland for all I know as I don’t even have my regular dose of Radio4 or Radio2 in LA Smile Last year I brought a radio with me but the reception was pish so I never bothered this time, sure I could listen via the Internet but I only have a small allowance of data on my MiFi contract. Never actually used it all up right enough but I’ve been burned, nay, scorched before with going over contract limits. When I was down at the Nautical College in South Shields five years ago I got hit with a £200 bill from Vodafone after me having a £15 or £20 contract for yonks. Sure, I’d gone over me minutes big style cos I was away from home for months but it came as a serious shock when I got the bill. Fair play to Vodafone though, when I spoke to them they shaved £50 or £100 off it cos of my ‘history’.

Of course there is a TV on the ship but ‘I’m not a fan’, seldom watch it and on this route we don’t even get free ‘titty papers’ as I call the ‘red tops’. Never really understood the newspaper thing, me Pop got a paper every day (a thick one) with all the weekend supplements and read them ‘cover to cover’. If the papers arrive late on Raasay, or worse still not at all, it’s like there has been a death on the island. The highlight of the week is Thursday (West Highland Free Press day). I just don’t get it. In my experience ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ most of what you read is written by someone who has no grip on the subject and nearly all the media is controlled by a handful of eejits or megalomaniacs. I always find that news is better served up many years after the event by someone without an axe to grind Smile

Take my epic journey down here a week ago had I not had all that ‘news’ at my ‘fingertips’ I would have just driven down here and probably been stuck for half an hour or an hour at Cluanie. As  it was with Traffic Scotland, the BBC, Facebook and other media outlets ‘keeping me informed’ it took me all friggin day and a fifty mile detour. Sometimes it’s far better to be kept in the dark Smile

Anyway, where was I ? Well it’s been a day of what can only be described as ‘April showers’ one minute brilliant sunshine and the next pishing rain and wind. One minute oilskins, the next shirt sleeves, well not quite cos it’s been cold at sea but LA itself has had its moments, sheltered as it is from most of the weather.


Nordica Hav a small Antiguan registered cargo ship heading for the LQS sand pier up the loch. She has been anchored off Mull for a couple of nights sheltering from the weather or something.


Seems to be minus her stern anchor too.


George Leslie Plant making a fine job of their site for he soon to be started harbour works, that would be a fine site for a house there Smile


Some survey work on the old pier.


And I thought my Subaru was a ‘skip’ inside Smile

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Some mighty big trees leaving Mull and some fencing materials going there.

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Another coaster the 3500t Anne Dorte from the Netherlands. LOTI heading to somewhere, not sure where.


Fish farmers at work in the Sound of Mull.

Anyway, that’s it for now, tis 5:45 and time to go and ‘flash her up’ and perhaps catch the latest Brexit nonsense on TV, it’s bound to be on Smile I was gonna post this last night but guess what, I was in bed early with a good book. What’s more it looks like we may well be here longer than expected, I hear that MV Lochinvar may delayed a day or two Sad smile Still there are much, much worse places to be stuck working than sunny LA Smile

March 9, 2019

The weekend has landed :-)

Well, I did intend scribbling a few notes on here last night, not that there was ‘much to write home about’ right enough but I was full of good intentions. Trouble being that once I got showered and settled in me cosy caravan with ‘wee dug’ I just started ‘nodding off’ and that was well before 21:00, in fact, truth be known, I think it was before 20:00. I never even heard a cheep from the Lochaline Social Club which is just at my ‘back door’ so to speak. Not that it’s usually noisy but I do generally hear the odd car pulling up or conversation from the outdoor smokers. I keep expecting to hear the big black dug in the car barking her head off, she usually does at home Sad smile but Leah has been ‘as good as gold’ in that department.


Apparently all second hand Subaru Foresters have a tow bar fitted and smell of wet dogs. Well the ‘Egg chariot’ had neither when I bought it four years ago and now, at last, it ‘ticks both boxes’ Smile


Despite it only being a few hours ago I can’t remember much about it,

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but it was busy with two articulated lorries on the first sailing and one car left behind at LA and Fishnish. Having said that, the Fishnish one arrived late and would probably got on had he been on time.

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Took the dugs out for a walk at lunchtime down by the sand loading pier where the Swedica Hav was still being loaded with the fine Lochaline sand.


Then, as it was still pishing down I gave the deck drencher and fire pumps a good testing Smile


As ships go by

I guess not much else happened really, a few boats ‘crossed our path’ as we plied the Sound of Mull but the greyness of the day made for dull pictures.

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Briggs Marine’s MV Kingdom of Fife  passing by. Quite often on charter to the MoD she’s a regular visitor around Raasay and the North West. One of her Masters even skippered our very own MV Hallaig for a while and a pleasure it was to work under him.

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The MV Isle of Arran heading to Oban from Lochboisdale on South Uist and the MV Isle of Lewis on her way back from Castlebay on Barra.


Swedica Hav, now full of LQS fine sand heading out of Loch Alainn as we finished for the day.


Allegedly there’s a real bout of carp weather on the way, snow this afternoon followed by gales early next week, dunno if it has a ‘name’ yet but if the charts are to be believed it deserves one.

Sunday 12th

Not that there was any sign of it this morning at the Lochaline boat graveyard Smile

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The Gaelic Rose headed out this morning with a load of divers destined for the SS Rondo off Eilean Glas in the Sound of Mull.


Rondo was sheltering from a blizzard in January 1935 when her anchor parted or dragged and she drifted onto Dearg Sgeir, the ‘Red Rock’ north of the ‘Green Island’. She now lies virtually vertical down the north side of the reef with the stern in 9m and bow in 50 plus! Not much left of her right enough as she was well salvaged before she slipped off the reef. However she’s quite a spectacular sight.

The ‘Screen Machine’ arrived at the West Pier for tonight’s showing of Mary Poppins and the Favourite .

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A regular visitor to Raasay the ‘Screen Machine’ is a proper, warm seated venue that folds out from the trailer to produce a proper cinema. Were I not so tired I’d wander along myself to see The Favourite but it doesn’t start until 20:30 and I’ll be in my bed before then I’m sure.

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A nice house in Lochaline with a name from Raasay, Kyle Rona it’s called, I wonder if there is any connection? Nice view from up there Smile


The tide ebbing at a good 3knots on the Loch Alainn ‘port hand’ marker buoy.

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LOTI and Isle of Arran heading south.

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Finlay and Jim doing the weekly soundings of the void spaces, peaks and dry tanks. Serious bits of the ship that should not have any water in them Smile As usual, they were dry Smile

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