3 day diary , Birkenhead to Islay

I started this diary a few months ago but cos I’m a lazy git, I’ve just got round to finnishing it. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

It should really be 3½ day diary but since the run down and delivery on Thursday was uneventful we’ll start on the Friday morning.
After an overnight in Carnforth the run down to Birkenhead was no bother even the M6 was quieter than expected.
The load is a 32’x10’ steel cabin and loading is pretty straight forward via an overhead crane.

Since the jack legs take the width out to over 11’ and my tail end overhang is more than a meter marker boards and rear light boards are fitted. I don’t trust the magnets on the markers so I run a strap round the back to help them stay in place

The police had been notified for this part of the journey but since they hadn’t replied every thing was good to go. Northbound M6/M74 was just a typical busy Friday and apart from the narrow lanes on the numerous amount of road works everything went well, unfortunately my timing wasn’t the best and I hit Hamilton right in the middle of rush hour so the 2 miles from the motorway to my depot took 25 minutes instead of 5, but never mind it’s Friday so I don’t waste any time getting parked up and out the gate.

Monday starts at 5am before I even leave the house, this part of the journey requires a movement order from Strathclyde’s finest and since they require notice before the journey starts they get the call while I’m still eating my toast.
In the depot for half 5 I grab another quick coffee get my checks done and I’m ready to roll for 6am. I’m allowed to travel from my depot in Hamilton to Tarbet on Loch Lomond side unescorted so leaving at 6 should see me through Glasgow before the dreaded rush hour. I make Stuckgowan laybye just south of Tarbet for 7.15, this is where I’m due to meet up with the ■■■■■■ we’re not due to leave here until proper daylight so plenty time for another coffee. Normally we would just use the police to ■■■■■■ us but this time because I need to be in Kennacraig for a specific time we’ve hired Mckerral’s ■■■■■■ ,we just couldn’t take the chance of the police getting called away to another incident, leaving me parked at the side of the road and missing the ferry.
Daylight arrives and it looks like it’s going to be a good day

The ■■■■■■ arrives bang on time so we don’t waste any time in getting moving, I fitted a CB recently so its channel 19 and we’re off.

Sorry about the picture quality on this one and a few of the others, there still’s taken from the truck’s CCTV camera. Don’t want the whiter than white moaning about taking pictures while driving.
A couple of hours and not too many close encounters later we arrive at the calmac terminal Kennacraig , I say thanks and cheerio to the ■■■■■■ and go for a walk.
For early march the weather is tremendous, still cold but bright sunshine

The terminal is now a bit busier as the ferry comes into dock

Now the difficult bit, the entrance through the bow doors is meant to be 3.5 mt and my load is 3.5 mt. First one of the deck hands comes and measures the cabin, they obviously don’t trust him cos 5 minutes later an officer comes and measures the cabin again, neither thinks it’s going to fit so it looks like it’s going to be plan B which means getting everybody else on board then turning the boat round and me having to reverse on the stern, but before we go to all that hassle they decide to try and see if it will go, Now I’m nervous, with some of the car passengers remaining on the car deck to watch and with most of the crew there as well, I’ve got an audience , oh the pressure but with mm’s clearance we manage to squeeze on , the round of applause was appreciated

This next pic was taken on the return but it shows the narrow bit I had to pass through.

A couple of hours later sailing up the sound of Islay ,Port Askaig comes into view

On the island now and although the roads aren’t the best I don’t encounter any problems. It’s a much calmer way of life over here, if you hold somebody up there’s no horn blowing or two finger salutes

Finally arrive at my destination and get the cabin on the ground, the island waste transfer station. Now normally waste transfer places are stinking holes in the back of some industrial estate but this place a bit different

I know the weather is good but how many waste transfer stations have an outlook like this.
Paperwork done and equipment stored its back to Port Askaig for the night. I’m not sailing until 10 am the next morning so after a microwave curry and a pint in the hotel I settle down with a couple of nice relaxing DVD’s ,”lock stock” and “■■■■■■” back to back, and with no phone signal ,total piece and quiet .
Sticking my head out the curtains in the morning I’m reminded again why I love working in this part of the world

Boarding is a bit easier this time and with good weather again the crossing is nice and smooth.

Back at Kennacraig it’s over the causeway and head for home but not before another coffee break at the aptly named Rest and be thankful, I don’t want to get back to early in case the boss man finds something else for me to do.!!

Hope you enjoy the read and the pics. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Great read alfa man, it was well worth the effort you put in :sunglasses:

Great read alfa man, it was well worth the effort you put in :sunglasses:

cheers mate , it’s only taken me nearly 4 months :laughing: :laughing:

enjoyed that very much, good pics as well. that must have been an interesting trip. :slight_smile: thanks for sharing it

Thanks a wonderful read and the pictures well
yes what a wonderful scenic area,

Nice read Alfaman, sweet trip that, photos are great too.

Fly sheet

Enjoyed that, worth the wait … :smiley:

Very nice read, thanks.

nice read that and great piccies

Great that mate. :smiley:

Hi alfa man,

Great read and pics, thanks for taking the time to post it all. :smiley:

Very nice.

Makes me wonder why the hell I continue to live and work in the south east! Nice pics ya jammy barsteward! :grimacing:

Good read Alfa :smiley: . Send more please. :slight_smile:

Great read and pics thanks for taking the time to share with us. :smiley:

I love these Scottish diaries, the scenery beats the hell out of the London surroundings that I get to see.

Excellent diary, cheers for posting it up.

Nice one alfa! More please :smiley:

enjoyed that mate, i know what you mean about the audience on the ferry as well, i went over to mull from oban a couple of times with some 65ft beams on a non steered trailer and backing up the linkspan with the all the passengers hanging over the top waitng for you to ■■■■ it up isnt a nice experience, but then i was allowed up onto the bridge for the crossing and that was a great experience :smiley:

Cheers guy’s,thanks for the positive comments. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
You done well with a load that length chaversdad cos if I remember right that Mull boat is quite tight.