Okay chaps let's get back on track here...
Yes, John a trip around Garve Island would be great for any big ribs on the expedition (bombing permitting of course!)
Okay some information:
I was thinking about sometime in September as this would give me time to fully recover, get my little SIB all spruced up ready and also it is in the breeding season for a large colony of grey seals that use the island (Eilean nan Roan is after all Gaelic for Island of the Seals) - great photo opportunities. Furthermore it gives time to get everything organised and I can leave a week free in my diary for the expedition.
I've had a 'declaration of interest' from a couple of VERY experienced ribbers from a previous mad SIB expedition...
I am in contact with a local person Iain, who lives locally in Melness and has been there about two years ago. The island belongs to Sutherland Estates and is a SSSI but access is no problem, however camping would require permission. I would assume that my Pal Ian (a different Ian than the Iain from Melness) and I would stay the night on the island (probably the first people to overnight there since 1938) and others may stay on their boats or local B&B.
Skerray Harbour would be suitable for the RIBS to moor in. The nearest diesel from a pump would be Scrabster apart from that it would be refuel by jerry can!
I have attached two photos of the jetty on the island. You will see that at the bottom the steps are quite damaged but climbable with care. You can also see that the small bay adjacent, Mol na Coinnle (Candle Lit Beach) is suitable for anchorage. To quote from the most excellent book by Hamish Haswell-Smith, The Scottish Islands - The Best Selling Guide to Every Scottish Island, (Canongate Books ISBN 9781847672773)
"Anchorage: Beware low water rock of NE extremity of island and W coast is foul. E and S sides clean to within 1/2 c. 1. Mol na Coinnle. The most southerly small bight on SE side. Shelter from W and NW winds. Anchor opposite corrugated-iron roofed hut near shore. There are steps up the cliff."
Skerray Harbour (courtesy of Boatlaunch.co.uk) :
Nearest Place: Bettyhill
Ramp Description: Long straight ramp into sheltered harbour.
Directions: From A836 follow signs to Torrisdale and Skerray. Harbour is at end or road and ramp is in corner of harbour.
Ramp Type: Concrete
Upper Area: Harbour
Lower Area: Harbour
Suitability: Large trailer needs a car
Ramp Length: All of tidal range
Facilities: Parking near slipway. This is a surprisingly large but almost deserted harbour in a VERY remote area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty where you will see, golden eagles, red deer, seals, and whales. This rocky and spectacular coastline requires a great effort to visit it but it is WELL worth that effort. This is the last wilderness in the UK.
Charges: £3.50 Highland Council, but no one to take money.
Cruising Area: North Scottish Highlands coast.
Navigational Hazards: Rocks in left of harbour entrance.
This is a small remote island off a very remote coast, it is way away from all the usual RIB cruising grounds. Attached two photographs of the harbour/jetty.
It would be a real adventure...
Keith (hoping not to be hopping for too long) Hart