Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 19 June 2010, 19:16   #21
Member
 
Paul Glatzel's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Poole
Length: 6m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 406
Day 8 - Saturday 19th June. Portree (Isle of Skye) to Stromness (Orkney Islands) via Cape Wrath!

Yet again stunning scenery on a day that will linger long in the memory. It will also live quite long in my knees and lower back as for about 150 miles today we were pounded by initially a head sea running up to Cape Wrath then a beam sea from Cape Wrath to Stromness. Intermixed with these were some confused seas around the headlands and some very very big waves.

Mr Lemmer was with me again today which was fun and we kicked off from Portree about 9.30am punching north past the islands of Raasay and Rona then north east towards Loch Gairloch. We grouped near Rubha Reidh lighthouse before entering the North Minches and headed across towards Ullapool. We headed in towards Ullapool to get some respite from the pounding we were taking circling round behind the Islands to exit ready to continue our track due north. It was about 12.30 and we headed into Lochinvar with a view to finding fuel and food. We fed but couldn’t fuel as the office was unmanned so we were left with no choice but to crack on towards the Cape. Gordon in My Pleasure and me most needed to fuel as we only had comparatively small tanks (ours is 400 litres which equates to a range of about 320 miles). My estimates based on the fuel flow meter suggested I had about 120 litres left to cover another 80 or so miles - it was going to be tight!

We mustered short of Cape Wrath having already heard from Bluewater Raven that they had taken a huge pounding going through and had sworn never to go near the place again. When I mentioned that I was going round Britain those I know that were in the Royal Navy or Merchant Fleets always first commented on Cape Wrath - and never positively!! Indeed as Lord Tennyson wrote ‘into the valley of death rode the six hundred’ okay so he was a factor of a 100 out but who’s counting. To make life as easy and safe as possible we aimed to give the Cape at least 4-5 miles clearance however even so we faced huge seas interspersed with breaking waves which just kept coming at us until after about 30 minutes we made it clear. In terms of speed we kept the Yanmar’s turbo wound up and were generally running at about 16 - 22 knots - although sometimes vertically!

It was then a matter of cracking on to Stromness which was about 50 miles away with a large beam sea with breakers attacking from our port side. The northerly wind was bitter and left the crew on the port side constantly wet.

A big part of the challenge with long distance cruising is mental. You have to stay totally focussed so you don’t get hit by a wave that you judge poorly and when you do get hit (which you will - time and time again over a 2.5 hour passage) you need to be ready to take the hit. Coupled to this you have to deal with the fact that the next waypoint may be 50 miles away so you mustn’t let it niggle you or depress you that you are so far away. Think positive thoughts and crack on.

Like any passage when you finally see the cliffs of your destination your spirits rise but it then seems to take an eternity to get there. This is probably more so when the cliffs are those those on the western side of the Island of Hoy which are truly gigantic and make the Needles or Old Harry look like a speed bump in comparison. The chart into Stronmess highlights rough water in the approaches and we were provided a following sea for our last mile or two in. This reinforced the very real message that often the most dangerous part of any passage is towards the end as you relax and take your eye off the ball. The RIB we were following in stuffed a wave ripping the screen off the boat, completely filling the boat with water and most worryingly causing the crew to impact the screen before it disappeared. Thankfully they were wearing Geckos and lived to fight another day. That said they were very wet, as was their kit, and had a lot of cleaning up to do - it could have been far worse.

Once at the marina a few minutes later we fuelled up and then washed Evolution down ready to fight another day. In the morning we need to do some serious fixing of the steering wheel as it has worked it self almost off. For now we retire to lick our wounds and compare the size of the biggest wave we’ve been hit by. There is no doubt Bluewater Raven will win all such competitions hands down as getting a 11m Redbay almost on its side such that one crewman is looking out his side window as if he were in a glass bottomed boat beats allcomers! They also managed to get it totally vertical on one wave - but that’s another story. Until tomorrow.

Updates: Scooby Doo has retired with a defunct engine. The boat is at Redbay who are kindly looking after it and I’m sure resisting the urge to rebadge a Scorpion! Cool Runnings plan on rejoining in Ipswich having had to do some work on their tubes from an issue arising when running back to Falmouth on Sunday . Andrew from Evolution who was injured in the Irish Sea last Sunday plans on rejoing in Newcastle. Skellig is in Scrabster and aims to hook up with us tomorrow.

PS: Yes a cruise in company. The event is a Biboa event and whilst there is one support vehicle this was purely to facilitate refueling of the petrol boats - of which none survive. That said I would imagine that we would have had a real issue with fuel for the petrol boats as whilst we were covered in the planned stops the necessity to alter the course due to weather means the truck can’t keep up and even the marinas often don’t have shoreside petrol.
__________________

__________________
Paul Glatzel
Powerboat Training UK, Poole & Lymington & Aquasafe Powerboat School, Lymington

www.powerboat-training-uk.co.uk, www.aquasafepowerboatschool.co.uk
Paul Glatzel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20 June 2010, 04:52   #22
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Mighty Penryn
Boat name: Little Joe.
Make: Avon Searider
Length: 4m +
Engine: Honda BF50
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 8,841
Very much enjoying your blogs.
__________________

__________________
Mollers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20 June 2010, 15:56   #23
Member
 
Puffin's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Argyll
Boat name: Puffin
Make: Humber Destroyer
Length: 6m +
Engine: Suzuki 90
MMSI: 235075764
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 147
Really enjoying reading about your trip. Took the kids up to Peterhead for a sailing course and saw some big RBs headed out of the Marina about 3pm, was that some of your guys?

Paul
__________________
Member of the ebay EPIRB club!
Puffin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21 June 2010, 05:10   #24
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Southampton
Length: 5m +
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 14
Great war stories Paul, keep em coming. Very entertaining and inspiring. Good luck with the rest of the trip, Rach
__________________
floatyourboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21 June 2010, 18:17   #25
Member
 
Paul Glatzel's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Poole
Length: 6m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 406
Day 9 - Sunday 20th June. Stromness (Orkney Islands) to Newcastle

A very long day awaited with 250 miles ahead of us. The fleet had not been able to fully refuel the night before as capacity at the marina was 1400 litres - they don’t get umpteen diesel guzzling yanmars too often. I took 300 litres which I figured took me to about 360 litres and was going to run on that but the marina arranged a tanker for the next morning and we all got to fully fuel - I managed another 35 litres so confirmed my view that I had got to Stromness with about 60 litres to spare - tight but not too bad. The down side of refuelling was that we didn’t get away until 11am which meant an inevitable late finish. Averaging 25 knots we would take ten hours!

We left Stromness and headed down through Scapa Flow. Scapa Flow is one of those places that we have all heard of but probably don’t know why. As became obvious wandering round Stromness Scapa Flow is where the Germans scuttled their fleet during the second world war and it’s a huge area for divers.

The Pentland Firth separates the Orkneys from the mainland and can see tidal streams of up to 9 knots! Makes the 4 - 5 around Poole a bit wimpy really. We cut south alongside the cliffs which tower above us then head across the expanse of Moray Firth. The conditions are lumpy in a following sea. With the other open Scorpion having stuffed big time the previous day entering Stromness we’re on our guard both because we don’t want to be the butt of everyone’s quips but also because the crew came very close to serious injury through a momentary lapse - a mistake we have all made at some time.

We crack on and Evolution chomps the miles in a massively impressive way. We get glimpses of the coast as we pass headlands but most of the time its just water and more water. After about a third of the distance the wind eases and we’re faced with huge rollers and we run down them speeding up from our average speed of about 34 knots reaching 40 on occasions as we reach the bottom but then the next climb starts. The Yanmar chugs away but often we’re down to 23 knots by the time we reach the next crest - and so it all starts over again. The monotony is broken through comparing the speed changes on each wave. Simple things…………..!

We’re running next to the other open Scorpion (Quickflash) and they often disappear from view for a few minutes as we alternate between crests and troughs. Bizarrely though I can always see their wake so there is a stretch of white water but no boat to go with it - weird. Quickflash are one of the few diesel Scorpions fitted with a Volvo engine and the extra torque they have seems to help them up the ‘hills’ and they pull away from us. We’re all in radio contact so being out of site of another RIB is no real issue.

We stop at Peterhead for a break and hook up with all of the other RIBs except Quickflash. When we leave though we meet them - they have been bobbing around having a bite to eat. Even Skellig finally hooks up with us which is great - not least of all my co-driver for the last three days can now get a clean pair of undies. We exit a very tired looking Peterhead and point Evolution at the next Waypoint - 149 miles - ouch!

About two thirds into the passage and the conditions change again with the wind picking up. The rollers are still there so the waves are then on the rollers which makes it harder work and more punishing. We head inshore as we near Newcastle and visit Holy Island and pass inside the Farne islands. Pretty much all of our passages have been in deep water so I’m on my guard as the depth drops to about 5m.

Near the Farne Islands I spot a seal hanging around on a red lateral buoy. He seems a bit miffed we’ve disturbed him but is happy to pose for photos. During the cruise we’ve seen loads of seals and probably over a hundred dolphins. The shame with dolphins is that you only really notice them when its flat calm but when it is they seem very common. The puffins we see are so cool with little red feet and there are funny little brown and white birds that have big bellies and really struggle to take off quickly so that they either give up and dive below the surface or flap along the surface with their bellies dragging in the water. However many times I see them do this I still find it as amusing as when they first did it.

Finally Newcastle comes into view and we head up the Tyne. We approach South Shileds marina to refuel. The poor chap on duty probably thought he’d have an easy night but then we turned up and needed a few thousand litres and to lock in to the marina. Andrew is at the fuel berth, his back is better and he’s rejoining the boat which is great news. We hit the bar of the Premier Inn to find they stop dinner at 10pm so I order a load of desserts but then the guys from Bluewater Raven cobble together me a plate of food and I trade the desserts - we’re all happy but totally knackered. Patrick from Quickflash turns up and suffers a ribbing for missing the waypoint at Newcastle and going to Sunderland accidentally!

PS: Yes it was us leaving Peterhead. We were there for about 45 minutes for a break
__________________
Paul Glatzel
Powerboat Training UK, Poole & Lymington & Aquasafe Powerboat School, Lymington

www.powerboat-training-uk.co.uk, www.aquasafepowerboatschool.co.uk
Paul Glatzel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21 June 2010, 18:27   #26
Member
 
Paul Glatzel's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Poole
Length: 6m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 406
Day 10 - Monday 21st June. Newcastle to Ipswich (Suffolk Yacht Harbour)

480 miles in two days. It sounds a lot and is, after a 250 mile trip on Day 9 230 miles at least is less however the best result is clear blue skies and little wind. We meet for breakfast at 7 and Bluewater Raven and Skellig exit the lock at 8am as they cruise more slowly than the Scorpions so want to get ahead of the pack. We lock out at 9am and I finish off entering the waypoints. We get up on the plane in calm conditions and get cruising at about 35 knots. Andrew is chuffed to be back at the helm - it’s a real shame that he missed Scotland and Ireland.

We see parts of the coast with Whitby standing out majestically being a place I’d like to have a closer look at another time. We cruise alone most of the time often leap frogging the three Scorpion Stings (the Cabin RIBs) who keeping popping inshore for photos.

The north sea is placid today but you can tell from the swell that we are lucky and our 8 hour passage today could easily be 16 hours next week. We pass numerous gas platforms which are amazing and keep an eye out for big ships. We stop for a bite to eat with the Stings and Skellig stops too before we all head off to hit the Norfolk coast. We run round the Norfolk coast keeping an eye out for the numerous sand banks which could easily catch us out if we take our eye off the ball. We eventually enter Harwich and Suffolk Yacht Club Marina. We can’t refuel so will do so in the morning. This is no real issue as we only have about 120 miles to cover (how blasé I now am about distance!!) tomorrow so have time to do so.

The last two days have been very tiring but we’ve broken the back now of the trip home and are in the final stages . We’re all looking forward to hitting Portland on Wednesday.

For anyone interested we will probably pass through the Solent late morning on Wednesday arriving Portland between noon and 1pm Wednesday.

Updates: Cool Runnings is rejoining us in Ipswich for the run home having ripped the tubes off on the return to Falmouth last Sunday. All credit to them for their persistence.
__________________
Paul Glatzel
Powerboat Training UK, Poole & Lymington & Aquasafe Powerboat School, Lymington

www.powerboat-training-uk.co.uk, www.aquasafepowerboatschool.co.uk
Paul Glatzel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 June 2010, 07:47   #27
RIBnet supporter
 
Country: UK - England
Town: South Coast
Length: 7m +
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,445
A fab read Paul and what RibNet is all about. Our boat will be out all day tomorrow running from Poole to St. Albans Head and I have asked the crew & passengers to keep an eye out for you all. Give us a wave as you go by.

Well done to you and all the others

Steve
__________________
250kts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 June 2010, 08:18   #28
Member
 
Country: Canada
Town: Newfoundland
Length: no boat
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 2,097
Nicely written Paul (at least as good as the drivel referenced in your link in the first post.) and sounds like quite the adventure. Brings back some happy memories of RB4 and various West of Scotland adventures. Them were the days!
__________________
Out of the fog......
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 June 2010, 08:21   #29
Member
 
kerny's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Ashton-under-Lyne Lancs
Boat name: IMOGEN
Make: Air-Craft 5.4
Length: 5m +
Engine: Etec 60
MMSI: 235087492
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 7,040
RIBase
Send a message via Skype™ to kerny
A cracking read, thanks.
__________________
kerny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 June 2010, 18:27   #30
Member
 
Paul Glatzel's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Poole
Length: 6m +
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 406
Day 11 - Tuesday 22nd June. Ipswich (Suffolk Yacht Harbour) to Brighton

It’s funny really, if you’d said I’d come to consider a 116 mile trip in a RIB as pretty normal I’d not have believed you but after 480 miles in two days 116 miles really does feel pretty insignificant. We got to the marina early and headed straight for the fuel berth having not been able to refuel the previous night. We put in about 280 litres and then finished our prep to be able to head off early with Bluewater Raven. A Botnia Targa headed for the fuel berth and after it tied up I recognised a familiar face - Jon Broooks. A pleasant start to the day.

We exit the marina as I finish entering the days waypoints. Outside the harbour we get up onto the plane and head down then across the Thames estuary. Not much is going on and its overcast and pretty drab. There’s a short chop but nothing significant and we make good progress with North Foreland coming and going then Ramsgate and Dover. Past Dover we start to see blue skies and it eases off and we get glassy seas and blue sky. We chomp the miles, pass Dungeness and head for Beachy Head. When we get there it is beautiful and we stop for photos before heading on to cover the remaining few miles. The cliffs look great in the sunshine and Brighton comes into view.

We tie up on the berths allocated to the Rally and wash the boat down and fix a few issues. We still have a steering system that is just holding together, we have the odd fuse tripping and have had to remove the depth sounder module so we have permanent access to the back of the steering system. We are also concerned that the leg has some issues which are linked to the work we did on it before we left as its very noisy. That said if it fails we’ll paddle to Portland so its not a great issue!!! Generally speaking though the boat is going brilliantly. When you think of the pounding it has taken doing over 1600 miles in 12 days a few issues are to be expected.

We all meet it the bar for a bite and one or two drinks comparing the size the waves we have faced . Incredible to think that tomorrow is the final day.

The plan is to depart Brighton at 8.30 (say 9.00 in ‘Rally Time’) arriving Lulworth c11am then Portland around 12. Evolution will be undertaking a flyby passing Milford on Sea about 10-10.15 am. We therefore will be passing Lymington shortly before this.

Interestingly chatting to some of the guys who are far more experienced than I am there is a feeling that the rally is far tougher than the Round Britain Races (which go through the Caledonian). Whilst without doubt the racers are on the edge the races themselves tend to max at about 4-5 hours and there are always shore crews to fix bits generally ensuring the drivers park up then go off and relax whereas the GBRB10 crews have to do everything themselves and have longer days on average. I have no view on this opinion buts it is an interesting though

Updates: Cool Runnings arrived Ipswich last night and we met them on the fuel berth this morning. They didn’t depart though with an issue as to water in the fuel. Will it ever go right for them?

PS: Another blog to read about the trip:

http://bluewaterraven.blogspot.com/s...&max-results=7

and another

www.skelligofsark.com/
__________________

__________________
Paul Glatzel
Powerboat Training UK, Poole & Lymington & Aquasafe Powerboat School, Lymington

www.powerboat-training-uk.co.uk, www.aquasafepowerboatschool.co.uk
Paul Glatzel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:29.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.