HotRIBS - The online RIB Magazine
[ article ]
  # 027
Sirzapped! Page 3/4
Neil Elam, one of our American HotRIBsters, callsign 'sirzap', recollects fond memories of his great achievement in circumnavigating Great Britain.

Castles along the Loch sides



Coming into western Scotland has to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Here you pass ancient ruins; stone walls that come down to the sea, one sees and feels the history of this place. Fish and chips on the streets of Oban, watching the sunset at 10:30 pm. We laugh at what we call our international day: breakfast in Wales, lunch in Northern Ireland, dinner in Scotland.

1 June 1998 - Oban to Scrabster

Off to an early start, we team up with John Thomson and Paul Weaver, their boat Too Deep; who know these waters well.

We stop at the Lochaline ferry stop to experience the "burger barn" for breakfast of haggis and venison burgers; the cook asks if I want onions on my Bambi.

A beautiful morning if a little breezy as we cruise by the Isle of Skye as we move into the North Atlantic.

" British Harriers are inbound to
practice live bombing runs ... "

Burger bar n breakfast before the
North Atlantic
  <<     Scotlands - Sea & Sky

We have chosen to run closer to shore to avoid the large following seas, but as we round Cape Wrath channel 16 informs us that British Harriers are inbound to practice live bombing runs on Garvie Island just off our starboard beam. We are ordered 4 miles offshore immediately to wait out the bombing run where the seas are now 12 to 14 feet, the wind force 5.

Here we stuff the boat several times filling the boat to the gunnels and come off the top of one and land with a bone-jarring thud. Barry slumps and we fear he has a back injury, several anxious minutes pass and he assures us he is OK, but we transfer
him to Too Deep which has taller backs on their jockey seats for the remainder of the run to Scrabster. After we watch the bombs fall we are given the all clear to proceed. An exciting day to say the least and I am more confident than ever in the strength of these Ribs.

2 June 1998 - Scrabster to Amble

A change in plans from docking at Berwick - on - Tweed to Amble means an extra 40 miles, making the run over 260 miles today. Barry's back is sore but he continues on Too Deep as our two boats leave Scrabster.

A long day that saw us through thick fog and lumpy confused seas for the last stretch, we arrived in Amble as a light rain began to fall. Dinner and early to bed.

3 June 1998 - Amble to Hull

Because of the added miles yesterday today's run would be less than 200 miles. It's funny now that any run with a distance of a 100 miles to go is a breeze.

" QUEEN will arrive in Hull tomorrow "

Welcomed force 2 winds and smaller seas make for an easy day. After a 20-mile run up the Humber, we wait 2 hours for the tide to rise so the gates to the marina can open. For
  the first time we have time to walk around a bit and have a slow dinner of Indian curry food. We learn the QUEEN will arrive in Hull tomorrow.

North American Zodiac skippered
by Mark Philips affectionately known as 'Dog'
4 June 1998 - Hull to Ramsgate

A tough day for sure, Force 5 Southwesterly winds and steep head seas again make for slow going. No time to wait on the Queen today, we leave early. We decide to run close in to avoid the larger waves offshore, hoping to find smaller seas that really aren't that much smaller.