Well folks I'm going to bring this thread up to the top again at what I feel is an appropriate time.
Just now the crew of SoC must be at their lowest ebb, emotionally and physically. I know that all our thoughts are with them, especially with Steve. They will need an extraordinary amount of GUTS and LUCK to keep going now.
This reminds me of the following, which I wrote in my review of Alan's book:
Apart from helping me to pass a couple of dark, wet and miserable days this book did something much more important. The efforts of Alan and his crew INSPIRED me to have a go at my own boating challenge, which when compared with theirs is a mere triffle, but never the less for me it is a BIG thing, and 'Beating The Big One' has made me determined to meet my own challenge. Well done Alan and crew and thanks.
Well, I did it. Whilst Alan and crew were the other side of the world, I was thinking of them and I remembered my words. I had a go at my own 'challenge'.
That 'Kings Reef' bouy beckoned and Karen (you remember, eldest daughter and marine biologist) and I set off, gps in hand, for that small dot in the distance. Little quicksilver happily bounced through the waves whilst all 15hp of Mariner buzzed cheerfully behind.
We gave a lift to the skipper of a fishing boat which had just moored up outside Balintore harbour (honest) then continued on our way.
The sea had calmed a little and a seal followed us for a few minutes. The sun was shining and I could see a handful of boats in the area. Onwards we went but the little dot seemed to get no nearer.
After a few more minutes I realised that the dot had grown! We were now much nearer than I thought, much too close to give up now, and within a few more minutes there it was. The little dot had become a whacking great (to us anyway) east cardinal marker. Solar powered, yellow and black, up and down triangles on top, guarding the Kings Reef about half way between us and the coast, there she was in all her glory. We had done it. Now all we had to do was get back home!
The sea was quite calm now and we steadily made our way back to Hilton of Cadbol beach, stopping a couple of times on the way to enjoy the moment, the sea, the sun, the sky, the view, the sound of watter lapping at the boat.
It was a great day, I had conquered my own little challenge. I thought of Alan Priddy and the SoC and crew who were at the other side of the world battling a MUCH bigger challenge, and I thanked Alan for the inspiration.
Well, having gone out there once the next time was easy. We just pointed the bow and off we went, and you know it only took us about 25 minutes! However that time we waved to the buoy as we went past and continued on about a mile offshore along the cliffs of Nigg Hill. We saw the caves that for so many years had just been names on an Ordnance Survey map. On and on we went right up to the mouth of the Cromarty Firth and then back again. My furthest trip ever on little Quicksilver.
Thanks Alan. You deserve better luck than you and the lads have been getting. Good luck Steve, good luck Clive, good luck Alan and thanks again.
Keith (beating the little one) Hart