This is a little background about myself to give you an idea of what I’m like.
I have worked in and around the marine part of the world all my life, from fishing a small clinker boat before school, before moving to Aberdeen at the age of 17 to serve my time as a loftsman in Hall Russell shipyard while attending Technical collage for 5 years. I had just completed my apprenticeship before Maggie Thatcher abbruptly shut down the shipyards. I was always interested in the construction of things from steel and I find this easy enough because if a mistake is made, you just weld it up and start again. Wood is a lot more challenging to work with because there is less room for error.
At the age of 21 I made the decision to travel back home and build a small steel creel boat (see ‘Duncan’s Backyard’ Page) which at the time was featured in the “fishing news” and on the “North Tonight” programme I fished this for several years, before joining my brother in-law in the fish processing business (MackayBros), as well as continuing fish grading on the local pier. During this time I joined the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and served 20 years as a volunteer on the crew. I have a great passion for being out on the sea. I love when the weather is wild, or as I describe it alive! During my time involved I learnt boat skills such as overboard drills, helicopter training, capsizing techniques, radio operating and basic navigation. I worked towards the assistant harbour master’s job in my local village and was successful in achieving this and worked at this post for 7 years. This included port authority, working on vessels, forklifts, cranes, fuel bunkering with a multinational fleet.
In my early 30s I made the decision, after a friend’s advice, that it was time for a career change. I wanted to get back involved with my true desire, which is making things. The sector that appealed to me and which fitted with my needs would be a Rope Access Technician, as this involves welding/plating/fabricating/burning/dismantling/painting/rigging. I completed the rope access level 1 course, which got me started. I have now been working as a technician for over 14 years, mainly offshore. This has taken me all over the world with different companies and on all sorts of strange vessels. I have had to keep up to date with medicals and offshore survival training, with practical ditching courses, first aid and rope tickets. This has helped me to keep in reasonable shape.
In my spare time I enjoy a variety of sports and outdoor activities. I am very passionate about is Motor Trials biking. I have taken part and completed the Scottish 6 days trial, which is known as the best trials competition on the planet. When I’m not offshore/working I enjoy making rough wood carvings with a chain saw. At the moment I am constructing a 42 foot totem pole in situ (on the ropes), which is a bit of a challenge. In the past I have carved 2 giraffes from trees in my garden. I have also made 2 wooden crocodiles each about 5m long. I have given one of my friends (owner of Achins Bookshop) a 23 foot totem pole, which is displayed outside his shop. I like a challenge, a few years back I walked up 5 distinctive local mountains in 21 hours. The mountains conquered were Stac Pollaidh (2008ft), Cul Mor (2785ft), Quinag (2651ft), Canisp (2779ft) and Suilven (2398ft). This raised £1000+ helping to kickstart the build for a local leisure centre.
I juggled all of these jobs/interests while raising three children Daniel, Franci and Clarke with my lovely wife Marianne. I always try to finish what I start and I’ve been told I am quite thrawn about this. I always say to my daughter “think Beyond“ and that’s what I’m going to try to do. Well that’s it for now and I hope in a year or so I can add another venture onto the bottom of this. Duncan Hutchison (a kind a normal guy) well!!! Not sure if everyone will agree but if we were all the same it would be boring.
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