Life at the end of the road

October 6, 2019

All quiet on the Western Front :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

Unfortunately ‘yours truly’ has forgotten to bring his power supply for the trusty Del Latitude Rugged 5404 that serves as the tablet upon which I chisel out my posts. I say that cos this laptop is something of a brick and weighs as much as several. I got sick of breaking laptops a few years ago so bought this gel filled monster that is not only bombproof but virtually waterproof too. More importantly for me, it also has a serial port so I can use it to interrogate my various inverters and charge controllers. Sadly, being something of a professional standard your average £6.99 Chinese power supply doesn’t fit it. The battery life is pretty good but I have been rationing its use until I can get mine sent or brought down from home.

Much as I like my iPad and Chinese ‘spy in the pocket’ my thumbs are not dextrous enough to be blogging on a touch screen. However, it be 7:00am on Sunday now at the Willowbank Hotel in Largs and I’m at a bit of a loose end so thought I’d ‘have a go’. There are only two sachets of Nescafe left, breakfast aint until 9:00 and I don’t do newspapers or TV Smile Truth is I’ve been missing you all as well as ‘wee dug’ and home Smile

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Well, we arrived safely in Largs around 19:30 on Friday evening, put our vehicles off at the slip and tied up alongside the west or is it south side of the pier.

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Out of the regular MV Loch Shira’s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Loch_Shira way with 125A power supply to keep us ‘live’ without the need for running generators. Cold Ironing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_ironing they call it for some reason,

Cold ironing is a shipping industry term that first came into use when all ships had coal-fired engines. When a ship tied up at port there was no need to continue to feed the fire and the iron engines would literally cool down, eventually going completely cold, hence the term cold ironing.

good old Wikipedia Smile

me I just call it ‘plugging in’ Smile

Yesterday was spent preparing for docking and that’s what’s on the cards for today, just not quite so early Smile

March 12, 2019

Blown off :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, weather — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:36 pm

It’s a scabby old day here in the Sound of Mull for sure, we are getting a right pelting from Gareth at the moment and it’s been pretty boodly fresh all day. Having said that methinks it was worse through the night, at least in me caravan with the ‘wee dug’. I’d be lying if I said ‘I didn’t sleep a wink all night’ but I’ve certainly had more peaceful kips. We’d put out extra ropes but Hallaig, just a few yards from my bed was heaving and groaning under the strain and I could here it clearly from my berth. There had also been a few flickering lights prior to me ‘turning in’ and that is often a precursor to a power cut or glitch, both of which can cause havoc with the ships systems. Any modern electronics come to that, the people that design these fancy ‘touchscreen’ systems for controlling valves, machinery and other processes obviously live in cities than don’t suffer from an unstable grid.

Anyway, I need not have worried, all nine of Hallaig’s massive mooring ropes were just peachy and the power surges hadn’t done any harm. Even if they had we’re well able to ‘recover’ and sail on time these days, we’ve had plenty of practice Smile The first such incident in 2014 took me six hours to recover all systems Sad smile the second one two hours and now somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes Smile

  In fact, to be quite honest, it was actually a bonny morning, fresh right enough and with a hellish hail shower or two but nice.

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The west wind was so strong it was pushing the waterfalls at Innin Mhor Bay back up the hill and there were hail drifts in the mess room,

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but it was no a bad day, yet!!!!

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What did not ‘bode well’ aside from the BBC, XC Weather, the Met Office, HM Coastguard, the Shipping Forecast, Met Eireann, Magic Seaweed and just about every professional body in Britain and Ireland was the tide. The tide was waaay too high, now I’m no expert by a long chalk but when the tide is this high at neaps there’s some very low pressure and serious carp out in the Atlantic.

We ‘soldiered on’ until 13:45 but many routes had cancelled  earlier, some for the whole day.

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Buffalo burger for lunch

It’s a long story but the bones of it is that I didn’t actually realize that mozzarella cheese was made with buffalo milk. In fact I didn’t even realize they had buffalo in Italy  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Mediterranean_buffalo . Sure, I guess many folk don’t, but me, well I’m half Italian, have been eating Mozzarella since I was weaned and lived on a small holding there as a child. OK, it grew olives, grapes and made wine but that’s not the point. This nugget of information came to me via Admiral Sandy Woods, our skipper down here. The upshot being, I got straight onto the Internet https://www.thebuffalofarm.co.uk/buffalo-mozzarella

Home

last week and bought some buffalo burgers

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which arrived today Smile So we all set about making em for lunch, Admiral Woods being in charge of roasting the sweet potato with me making the ‘brush on’ oil, chili and garlic baste, Finlay grilled the burgers and I made a tomato and olive salad.

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Sure, some feta cheese would have been nice in the salad along with some fresh basil but ‘hey ho’ it was friggin delicious and I will defo be buying more Scottish buffalo Smile

Soon be bedtime

So, that’s it now, almost 19:10, the caravan is rocking big style, Molly has taken refuge beside me (a rare thing indeed)

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and the lightning is pretty regular but the thunder a long way behind. Molly is not an affectionate dug (unlike Leah) and rarely sits beside or on anyone’s lap but I guess the storm has got her feeling insecure. Leah, well she’s always insecure and is just trembling in the car refusing to come out Sad smile

Earlier on I took them for a walk around Innin Beag bay just south of Ardtornish Point, it’s only a mile or two away ‘as the crow flies’ but a ten mile round trip by land. Needless to say we took the Egg Chariot on account of the carpy weather.

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Sadly I didn’t take a decent camera Sad smile

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Only the Victorians could build a magnificent boathouse like this on a beach in the middle of nowhere Smile

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The CEG Cosmos ‘hard pressed’ against the West Pier and some pish pictures of Hallaig from the other side of the loch, it really was carpy Sad smile Whilst heading round there I saw this coaster beating up and down the sound.

Nordica Hav

Looks like it’s now anchored off Mull, probably gonna call into Lochaline for sand when the weather improves I guess.

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:145815/mmsi:304334000/vessel:NORDICA%20HAV

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