Back in 2010 when about to embark on the Great British RIB Rally circumnavigating the UK mainland and Ireland I made the decision to follow in the path of those on the RB4 (Round Britain in 4.8m RIBs) and document our progress.
At the time it seemed a nice idea to write up our travels and travails each night and whilst it was a little tough some nights after being battered to write up the blog/post I am really glad that I did. I have read the entire post only a couple of times but every time I do it brings back memories of what a great trip it was.
The GBRR post is here - Great British RIB Rally - one story
And Alan’s RB4 post here - RB4 - Spirit's story
I forget when it was that I first spoke to Hugo about the event and I probably thought about doing it myself in a 4.8m RIB having always hankered after being on the original RB4 event. Sadly we had just sold what would have been a perfect 4.8m Ribcraft so I suspect I chatted out loud to Hugo about doing it and seeing if we could fit it in to what is always a rather busy business and family calendar.
Precisely how it came about I don’t recall but my daughter Hannah and Mo Montgomery-Swan came to find themselves in a Seaswift Honda powered RIB for the event. Not being one to be outdone by the girls we decided to enter Top Hat our school motor cruiser as a support craft. Top Hat is a Botnia Targa 30 fitted with twin 260Hp diesels which we have owned for about 8 years. It works very hard as a school boat and is fitted with the usual range of electronics including dual Icoms, Raymarine e series (the new touchscreen version), radar and AIS. Most importantly though it can deal with just about any weather you care to throw at it and it has 4/5 berths (assuming you like small cave like spaces). The idea with Top Hat is that it joins the rally in its own right but if needed can tow one or more RIBs.
Over the past few months I have seen people post here in the dedicated RI13 thread about their planning and preparation and even their waypoints – I have been extremely impressed and a bit jealous about how much time people have spent . For us it is perhaps a bit easier as we will be staying each night on the boat (We being me, Viv, Sammy and James (Sammy’s mate) so we haven’t had to worry too much about accommodation and the like. Equally as a diesel boat I figure we can refuel pretty much anywhere thus alleviating the real (but inevitable) pain in the butt of forming part of a very long queue for petrol.
For us the trip starts tonight as we plan on doing an overnight leg to Falmouth, relaxing in Falmouth then probably an overnight trip across the Bristol Channel to arrive Neyland (Milford Haven) on Thursday morning.
So am I looking forward to it? Undoubtedly yes. If you read my GBRR10 thread you will see that we had ‘some issues’ off southern Ireland last time which resulted in a lifeboat and an amended journey so scratching the itch that is going round the outside of Ireland needs sorting. If we manage to make to the whole way round Ireland having previously done the whole of the UK mainland it will be really pleasing.