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Old 07 September 2011, 14:36   #61
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Even a video:







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Old 07 September 2011, 16:53   #62
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and finally...

The RV was Redbay Boat's yard at 0900. I had arranged to meet fellow Ribnetters Tim & Gavin (remember them?), Tonymac and donegaldan. All showed up and we attended the briefing in the new Boardroom (some of us got bacon butties at Redbay Powerboating first - thanks Bríd!). Paperwork sorted, we evicted the crews who were using the 850 as a mooring taxi and the big 35Nm leg to Islay started. Good speed was made up the Antrim coast and soon we entered the North Channel where things got a bit "sporty". We had been promised 2.5-3m swell and we were not disappointed. However, the rain held off and we soon saw some blue sky over the distant Islay. The wee flotilla of 15 boats passed a tanker at close quarters and proceeded northwards (east of Rathlin). At this point one unfortunate boat had a catastrophic gearbox failure and was towed into Rathlin by one of the 11 meter cabin ribs. The rest surfed on making 25kts in beam on seas that were topping out over 3m, with the odd monster. Running alongside Corryvreckan we frequently "lost" all but the upper ends of her antennae. No photos here as I was holding on for dear life. Tonymac got a few stills though
It was impossible to see all the boats at one time but with a Lead boat, a Sweeper boat and a First Aid boat, good comms ensured a safe and stress free passage.
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Old 07 September 2011, 17:20   #63
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I was very pleased with the handling of the 850 on the passage over. With five lads and a full tank, she held her own and was up there with the big boys in the cabin ribs, arriving at the head of the pack with crew (and ZT-370) intact. The new leg was a marked improvement, gear change wise, from the previous one and passed the Test Monkey Challenge with full marks, eg, it brought us home

We gathered up and began the tricky entrance to Ardbeg quay. There are a lot of rocks in there so we slipped in single file behind Corryvreckan. I had put this precaution down to Tom liking first pass at the huge tray of free Ardbeg "shots" on offer, but after one unfortunate boat had "an encounter of a topographical nature", I realised that he was doing the prudent thing

We rafted up and made our way up to the visitor center. There we found the aforementioned whisky, a cracking buffet lunch (biiiig spread) and a live trad band. There were around 100 pax for the lunch. Some Ardbeg "Corryvreckan" was purchased and after some more "refreshment" and for some, a tour, we returned to the ribs.
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Old 07 September 2011, 17:21   #64
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Lordy .. well if it was that quiet I'm glad I stayed at home with a cucumber sandwich watching the snooker No ourageous beer/whisky drinking stories ? No wenches underwear found in the cap'ns map locker?

ah just as well ye put that last post in .. I was gettin worried
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Old 07 September 2011, 17:43   #65
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Gavin took some mighty photos here and I videoed the fleet for posterity. We headed south after lunch and set course for the north west corner of Rathlin. The WX had settled somewhat and we made a steady 28-30kts. We all "enjoyed" donegaldan's enthusiastic driving (I blame the RNLI). Soon we rounded the head and slipped into Church Bay for a pint or two. I really like Rathlin. For the last leg back to Redbay quay, Tim and Gavin hopped over to the only other 850, Hirta, Charles Stewart's new training vessel. Nice boat - more of her elsewhere on here later...

Pics l-r of the 850, a 7.4 and the 8.1 open boats. The 850 is a big girl
Also a pic of Tom cutting out an 11m that had the cheek to show up Corryvreckan by mooring her teak decks alongside.... Never diss the Boss
Music back at Joe's, Cushendall.
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Old 07 September 2011, 17:45   #66
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A bit of footage of the arrival at Ardbeg...

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Old 07 September 2011, 18:02   #67
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So all in all, a very good day. My luck just kept getting better though. The following day, Tonymac took me out exploring the Antrim coastline on his Humber in preparation for our Advanced Powerboating course with Charles at Redbay Powerboating. This ran over Monday and Tuesday, hence my total exhaustion after the drive home.

I have far too much fun

Mind you, there was one hairy moment. On tying up at Ardbeg, a bloke from another boat approached the 850 and asked "which one of yis is willk?"

I thought I was sent for...

...so I pointed out donegaldan! :-)
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Old 07 September 2011, 18:57   #68
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Hi R
as usual your post on the day/days were well worth waiting for and I enjoyed reading and looking at the great day. Really glad u all enjoyed the experience and completing the journey without outside help this time!! Your extra days seem like fun and u obviuosly enjoyed the complete package. Tx again for sharing. Till the next time my friend. I am heading up tomorro for the w/end hope the wx changes for the better.

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Old 08 September 2011, 08:57   #69
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Thanks for sharing details and pictures of the trip ..This is part of a journey I have wanted to do with the last 2 years, but its a long haul to the North before I'd even start,maybe next year..
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Old 14 September 2011, 17:52   #70
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I enjoyed the day, its always a good run to Islay, Ardbeg is worth the Annual wait, I was a little bit worried on leaving the Distillery this year ,just how much I liked the taste of the whisky this time, prehaps its my new tipple!
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