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Old 09 October 2014, 11:40   #1
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Confessions of a SIB'oholic by The Gurnard

I have a confession to make ... Im a SIB addict... and even although I try to give myself to higher power, I cannot break this life long habit. Perhaps that is the reason I find myself here today... telling about my boating adventures.

I am also a human being ... and like many people .. when things are not going so well ..I tend to go into denial and run to the first stretch of salt water that comes to my mind.

It was the month on June.. and after a particularly stressful week on land .. I cracked and gave into the addiction yet again. The SIB was quickly loaded with camping gear, the trailer attached to the car, tanks filled with fuel.. and I off for yet another fix.

The destination was the Kyles of Bute ... for no other reason than it looked sunny and calm over there from the weather forecast. It was a spur of the moment lapse into addiction and a look on Easytide also indicated the tide at Tighnabruaich would favour my expected time of arrival. I badly needed a bit of variety too..and it had been a year or so since I last circumnavigated the Island of Bute.

Soon the noise of the city grew faint in my head as I reversed down “The Tank” ( The local name for Kames slipway on the outskirts of Tighnabruaich).. and was pleased to note that both the weather and tidal forecast were as predicted. The Isle of Bute looked pleasantly green on the other side of the Kyles, a far richer and fertile land that the remote places I was used to visiting.




It took me less than fifteen minutes to slip the SIB off the trailer... Attach the outboards to the transom .. and pin the boat to terra firma by jamming the small grapnel anchor into a crack in the concrete. As I went to park the car .. I felt the tight feeling in my head start to ease. The smell of the salt sea was starting to seep into my veins again.



Moments later ... I was like another person. Now in my element ... the sea.. I was about to get a fix of new adventure. The main engine burst into life on first pull. I tried my best to give it a moment or two to warm and allow the salt water to circulate its veins ... but I needed the rush badly. The throttle was fully opened ...and I was off on a new trip. The slipway slipped far behind .. along with my troubles.



Euphoria flowed in my brain as the SIB flew over the sea. I was heading south down the Kyles of Bute as fast as the 25HP engine would allow. A fresh but steady tail wind assisted the performance.



Only then did I started to settle and eased the speed to have a quick look in Ettrick Bay.




To be continued...
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Old 09 October 2014, 11:47   #2
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Old 09 October 2014, 12:24   #3
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Great pics and narrative as usual Gurnard. You're lucky... us guys from south of the border often only get to see it a couple of times a year on our hols.... and then only with the sun showing two days out of a weeks hols.
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Old 09 October 2014, 12:42   #4
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Lucky bugger. I've talked the wife into taking the gear for a week earlier in the year 2015 and leaving it up there on Kintyre until our main holiday two weeks in August........

Just need to work out the logistics of security/storage now !
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Old 09 October 2014, 13:52   #5
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Thanks for looking in guys.... I appreciate it...and I also appreciate the great scenery around the areas that I live in


I only glanced into Ettrick Bay on the Island of Bute. I had not long left land and even the beautiful sand of the bay couldn’t entice me to land again so soon. Besides .. I saw quite a few people walking and playing on the beach .. I wanted away from people .. to give me time to digest the bad news that I had received. I wanted silence and solitude on this adventure.

I turned the Quicksilver’s bow back towards the south and the sea. The mountains on the Island of Arran dominated the horizon ahead on me. The small island of Inchmarnock shimmered in the mid foreground off the west coast of Bute. The shallow sandy coloured water started to deepen and turn blue as I continued on my way. It matched the colour of my blue mood.



Like any addict.. I had no hard and fast plans for this trip. I was open to suggestions from wind , wave, time and tide. Somewhere in the back of my mind .. I thought of this journey being like a pilgrimage. I wondered about landing on the southern tip of Bute to pay homage at the ruined monastery of St Blaine’s. The walk would do me good too.



I tried to keep my mind off the news by admiring the stunning scenery that surrounded me. I watched the yachts sailing by and recalled long summer days with my father on his yacht. That was many years ago. Both yacht and my father are now long distant, but fond memories.



As I crossed the sound of Bute to the Island of Inchmarnock.. I noticed both SIB and my mind had slowed to cruising speed.



The uninhabited Island of Inchmarnoch was not surprisingly... deserted. I felt more comfortable landing here for a leg stretch. There are the remains of a bronze age woman’s skeleton, known as the Queen of the Inch, in a cist near where I landed. Because of my mood.. I couldn’t face visiting her this time round.



I headed back to the boat and soon left Queen Inch behind too.



To be continued ...
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Old 09 October 2014, 13:56   #6
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What a brilliant write up! I always look out for your posts!! Thank you!!


Sent from my iPhone using RIB Net
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Old 09 October 2014, 14:41   #7
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excellent again looking forward to the next instalment just sorry your saddened by whatever bad news you have had but I cant think of a better way to get your head around it .
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Old 09 October 2014, 15:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gurnard View Post
“The Tank” ( The local name for Kames slipway on the outskirts of Tighnabruaich)..
Ah I stretch of water close to my heart... it was following a small incident adventure there that Mrs P was convinced to buy a reliable boat with an engine!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paddlers View Post
Just need to work out the logistics of security/storage now !
A couple of years ago I was headed to Tiree for a week (without the boat) and then Tayvallich the following week. I towed the boat to Ardfern, left it with them to get serviced and then picked it up on the way to the second week. I'm sure some similar arrangement could be achieved!
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Old 09 October 2014, 15:23   #9
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Cheers Poly, that might work. Partly worried about leaving three outboards and some expensive bikes/sib etc so I'd have to be convinced they're safely tucked up or I won't sleep.... !
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Old 10 October 2014, 10:35   #10
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Hope you get somewhere sorted paddlers..I don't have much room at my pad..or I would have offered.


As I left the shelter of Inchmarnock, and eased around Ardscalpsie point into Scalpsie Bay, the wind shifted to the Sou’west and freshened a little. Time was getting on and it was now early evening. I needed to start thinking about looking for a suitable place to wild camp.



The freshening wind started a nice swell so I decided to continue the journey for a little longer. I enjoy surfing the bigger waves, adjusting the outboard throttle so that the SIB sits on top of the bigger ones until they break or dissipate.





All notions to walk to the ruined monastery left my head as I passed the landing bay. I didn’t fancy leaving the SIB on the rocky shore with a receding tide and in this swell. Besides I was enjoying the journey too much to stop yet.





I felt the adrenalin rush through my veins as the bigger waves picked up the SIB and accelerated it ever onwards towards Garroch head. The outboard was on tick over but I was still doing around 15 knots.





There is an old local saying that there is “No tide in the Clyde”..but every time I go around Garroch head.. I seem to meet a wind against tide and always think how wrong that saying is ? This photo is looking back at the confused water caused by wind and tide on the southern tip of Bute.. on a nice calm day. Its murder on a grey windy day





Surfing fun over..it was now time to think of landing and setting up camp. Glencallum Bay in the shelter of Garroch Head looked an ideal spot.. especially as I had the place to myself.




Moments later.. I was stretching my legs on the shingle shore, searching for a flat spot to pitch the tent.




To be continued ....
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