After the unhappiness of last season, Redbay Boats took no chances for the Inaugural Outing of the Redbay Cruising Club and ordered in a generous supply of Perfect Weather from the Solent and Special Water from Cork. The scene was set:
0530 Great Alarum
and Woe in Donegal – A Start is made.
0645 Donegaldan ripped untimely from his slumber and added to the pile of kit in the 110.
0930 Are last boat to arrive in Redbay for The Gathering. Glad to see lots of smaller open boats.
1030 The pair of John Deeres have launched the last “Heavy” and after a radio check, the first leg to Kintyre begins with Molly James
on Point. The 1050 (aka The Beast
) chivvies the stragglers. Corryvreckan
hosts a small group of Refined Boaters in Style. We batter on in Wellies.
1200 The fleet regroups off Earadale Point on the Mull after a nice 28kt run in a following F3.
1300 Arrive Ardminish Bay, Gigha under blue skies. Welcoming Committee of 15-20 dolphins put on a display under blue skies. Suspect Redbay of running a “Hearts and Minds” marketing campaign.
1400 Finish a buffet lunch in the garden of the Gigha Hotel (nice place, good people) – Check beer. Beer good, recheck.
1430 Attempt to depart Gigha for Rathlin Island. Starboard engine fails. Enter Kevin, Stage Left, (Marine Motors, Cork – top lad) who diagnoses a fecked fuel pump. Much head shaking and muttering about “more delay, less time in the pub” ensues. Corryvreckan
clamps a tow line on us (I prefer “assist line”) and we become the fastest 6.5m 90hp in the west. Discover that a 28kt tow in a F4 head sea is sporty. Don our man Sonar's old geckos. Are well pleased. Catch air. Catch water. Have good old laugh when Donegaldan's Halkey Roberts lifejacket fires. Yes Folks, it DOES happen!
1645 Arrive North cliffs of Rathlin. Cast off tow and give Tom “The Bird”. Make 22.5kts on one engine and are first in the pub. Change into dry kit.
1715 Steal a head start and begin a run for Redbay on single 90. Arrive first (suspect still Happy Hour at Rathlin).
1815 Attend a drifting Bowrider off Redbay quay – standby until Redbay RNLI 75 takes charge.
1830 Recover rib and RV in the Yacht Club. Check beer. Beer good, recheck.
2000 Dinner in Cushendall, beer, craic. Thanks Martin
2200 – Late. Pub, beer, three sessions running, auld chat, fierce scandal, mighty craic.
Thanks to all involved - good ribbers and good company.
Pics courtesy of DonegalDan