Gosh there has been a flurry of activity (mainly from Brian), so just to put things into perspective here are the plans so far.
As Brian has suggested the whole crossing is very weather dependant. What do we do if we all get up to the North Coast and find that the wind is not favourable? Do we just sit and wait? Do we have an alternative (plan B) expedition in mind?
I know the North of Scotland well and I can tell you that there are some great places for SIBs and RIBs up there, so even if the Pentland Firth was out of bounds for the SIBs there would be alternative adventures to be had. I would imagine that anyone going up for the expedition would be making a week of it in any case. So how about this then?
We set a definite week for the expedition to Orkney. Say Sunday to Sunday. We meet up at my house (Hilton of Cadbol) http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.sr...=newsearch.srf
on the Sunday evening/afternoon, chill out a bit, discuss the expedition, check out the charts etc. eat, drink and stuff like that.
On the Monday we take the boats out together from Balintore and do a bit of a trial run into the Cromarty Firth or even just in the Moray Firth.
The next day, Tuesday, we set off for John O'Groats (JOG) to begin the expedition proper. Assuming the weather forecast is favourable that is. If not we take a run out somewhere else, Ullapool for example on the West Coast.
Anyway assuming that we make the Orkney run on the Tuesday we spend the night in Orkney where we eat (oh yes, I had to mention food again), drink and be merry.
The following day, Wednesday, we take the boats out around Scapa Flow, perhaps across to Hoy and South Walls. I can tell you that the little cemetery where the lifeboat crew from the 'Longhope Lifeboat Disaster' are buried is one of the most atmospheric places I have ever been to. We spend that night in Orkney again and, yes you've guessed it, we eat, drink and be merry.
On the Thursday we plan to travel back over the Pentland Firth. Right, so having got there with the SIBs what happens if the weather is not favourable to get them back to the mainland. Well we just stay there 'till it is! No, that's a joke. I have a cunning plan Baldrick. If, for example, David Manning and Mike Garside manage to come along as 'support boats', we deflate the SIBs and bung them into the big RIBs. Yes, it might take a couple of trips but I'm sure we could get the tiddlers back to the mainland that way.
We then make our way back to base (Hilton) where we (you are getting ahead of me here) eat, drink and be merry.
That will then leave Friday for any other day out people want or for travelling home again. So we have a couple of days at the beginning and end of the trip as a weather 'buffer'.
I can arrange B&B at a very reasonable cost at Base Camp Alpha (Hilton) and my pal Ian can look into the logistical support on the Orkney side (I haven't asked him yet, but he is down here (Birmingham, and he and his lads are staying with Marjory and me) for the 'Bike Show in a few days time and I will drop it on him then!).
I am up in Scotland for the New Year and as Brian (he's bloody good you know) has suggested I will take a trip up to JOG and do some recognisance (I hope the spell checker sorts that one out).
Brian has found a couple of good links re JOG and B&B for you to check out.
So who do we have interested so far .
Keith Hart - 3.4m SIB 15hp
Brian Elliott - 3.1m SIB 6hp
Matt Brown (Narked) - ? or crew member and ballast for Quicksilver if no one else is brave enough
David Manning - Avon Searider 5.4m 115hp Yamaha
Richard Bateson (Pepper) - 3.6 SIB 18hp
Mike Garside & Diana - 9m Ribtec
Natalie Hart - Expedition Photographer
Dates, obviously very important. August, but when, which week, any suggestions here please?
Right that's you lot up to date so far.
Keith (Merry Man of Mey) Hart
PS You'll need to check out the charts for that one!