Life at the end of the road

October 31, 2018

The engine is oot :-)

Filed under: daily doings, stonework, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:48 am

Managed to stay in bed until 5:30 this morning and slept right through the night, so that’s a result, still pretty tired right enough. It was another magnificent day yesterday and boy, did I make the most of it.

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The Storr and his Old Man didn’t have Monday’s fiery red glow, just a fluffy white hat, but was magnificent as usual and once it was fully light we went out for a walk.

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The tide was just about right for us to survey our handiwork so that’s where we went, disturbing this fine young stag on the way.

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That would be the end of the slip at around 3.0m of height and still I’d be able to get the Searider in or out, which is all I was ever aiming for. This means that I’ll always be able to get my boat at every day at high water, even on the smallest of neaps Smile


Even Leah was impressed,


unlike a few hours later when I switched on the heating at 18:00, she went into an instant sulk, wouldn’t eat a treat then went and hid for four hours.

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My task before the hot smoked salmon and scrambled egg promised me by Wifey was to do some tidying up on the slip access. For that I had to go and collect the dumper a mile away past the old sheep fank at Tarbert. Using the natural stream that runs through it and making abundant use of the readily available rock this is where sheep would be sheared, dipped and marked back in Calum’s day. As with most dry stone construction hereabouts it carries the signature of several masons in its stonework.

The brief visit home for the most excellent brunch was somewhat tempered by a blocked sewage pipe Sad smile


Still, it cleared easily with a length of alkythene water pipe as a rod and at least the sun was out, the last time I had to do this it was dark with a covering of snow Smile

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After doing that and washing Wifey’s car as a thankyou for the salmon I returned to levelling my turning and parking area.


How did it happen

I pottered happily away at this and some dumping of rock up on the croft until around 16:00,

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when my next job was delivered to me on a trailer Sad smile I dunno how I got suckered into this right enough, probably nostalgia but what started off as “can you have a look at the Distillery camper, it’s not running very well” has grown ‘arms and legs’ as the repairer of my Land Rover would say. The badly misfiring and spluttering bus has no compression and all the cylinder head bolts are loose Sad smile Had it been a modern vehicle that was spluttering or not starting I’d have said no but seventies vintage petrol engines are what what I cut my first teeth on and these old flat four Vee Dubs are bombproof. Well most of them Smile

I’d already been tinkering with it out the back of the distillery in my lunch breaks and discovered the lack of compression. As the cylinder head nuts were loose and further investigation would require the engine removal I’d said to Norman the distillery manager that if he could get it to Arnish I’d investigate further. This I can honestly say is the only time I have been glad not to have the ‘Old Girl’ Smile I was kinda hoping he’d be too busy and get someone else to take it to a proper garage Smile

Ah well, that didn’t work so I changed tack, I figured if I reversed it into my shed, then I’d have to fix it!!!!!

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The camper is in amazing condition for a 45 year old vehicle and probably came off the production line around the time I left school and started work as an apprentice mechanic. Having a decent workshop with all the tools turned a relatively easy job into a breeze and I had the engine out in not much more than an hour (about 45 minutes longer than an expert Smile ) Truth be know, where it not for the seized heater cables it would have been half that but hey, it is almost half a century old.

November 4, 2013

Confused :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry, wind turbine — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:40 am

Almost six AM now but I’ve been awake since 4:30 and up for over an hour, why oh why do they mess about with the clocks???? Am I the only person who’s body clock goes pear-shaped twice a year?? I must be, for when we had ‘The Purser’ around for dinner last night I was the only one falling asleep at eight PM. Himself, wifey and the Dude were all wide awake, right up until 8:40 when the ferry got called out, he rushed off and then I went to bed, I really am a ‘morning person’.

Anyway, whilst Sunday, as far as I was concerned finished at twenty minutes to nine, it had started early enough and fine enough some fifteen or sixteen hours earlier. Something that I have missed this last 14 months is being ‘late’ for work on a Sunday Smile I’m always ‘late’ on Sundays. Not actually late as in late but late for me. The extra hour or so at home always has me getting distracted prior to setting off down Calum’s road to the ferry. Especially  so at this time of year when Sunday is the only day that I see sunlight at home,

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so, after feeding hens and pigs I climbed my mast again. The Yangzhou Shenzhou was still whirring away despite me having removed the tail yesterday, not as much right enough but still smoothly and still producing a little power.


A 24mm spanner, hide mallet and length of rope soon had the blades off however and I lowered them gently to the ground just leaving the generator up on the pole. I’m hoping that there is just a burnt out connection under the cover and not a serious failure of the windings but I’m encouraged by John’s experience with his.



Another reason for the tardy arrival aside the MV Hallaig was the day itself, definitely a ‘pottering down the road’ day. How I’ve missed the daily commute to work this last year or so, this certainly beats the 5h1t out of driving through Greenock or walking through South Shields. Deer, woodcock, rabbits, eagles and not a single bit of chewing gum, fag packet or broken bottle of Buckfast.



The only other vehicle I saw was another Land Rover that followed me for eleven miles on my right hand side Smile



There was even a tiny hint of snow on the Storr.


Not only that, but I wasn’t actually the last to arrive at work for a change Smile



That sure is a big lump of a boat


and we now have a proper means of access after almost forty years of climbing ladders.


On the whole the day was lovely and much ‘touching up’ of the paintwork got done as well as  another rescue boat launch.



The 40hp Yamaha propelling the Zodiac up to Oscaig and back  at I guess, well over 20knts.


We weren’t the only ones at sea either


the Dunan Star was busy hauling creels!!!!!



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We also took the opportunity to clean all the weed off our 765kg anchors as all our practice at using them had left them festooned in weed.



That’s it really, we had the first ‘big breakfast’ on the Hallaig, another ‘tradition’ that I’ve missed this last year or so. Not the ‘fry up’ itself but the ‘craic’ around the breakfast table.


We were just short of a little birthday cake to finish it off Smile I dunno which baker made this lovely cake for the grandson of one of our skippers but I’d have loved to have seen it ‘in the flesh’. I’d also have loved to see Jack’s face because he truly is ‘ferry daft’ Smile

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