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Old 08 February 2004, 04:03   #1
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The full monty?

Having circumnavigated the UK, thanks to Brian and Cyanide, in company with Mike and Di on Magellan Alpha, I became interested in 'islands'. Particularly in those small and remote islands that are a part of the UK, but that remain largely unknown to those outside the boating community.

I'm talking about such islands at St. Kilda off the Western Isles, or the even lesser known Flannan Isles perched about 20 miles off the top of the Hebrides, from where the 3 lighthouse crew dissapeared without any trace in 1900. About 40 miles north east of Cape Wrath is Sule Skerry and nearby Rona with it's lighthouse.

These islands, though no longer inhabited, are all a part of the UK. And of course the UK also includes Orkney, Fair Isle and Shetland.

My imagination was whetted by the descriptions of these loneley outcrops of our country and I have decided that when I move permanently to Scotland and get my next boat I will endeavour to visit these isolated islands. After all having done 300+ miles in a day with Brian I think that a trip out of 50 miles or so should be manageable.

Any way, I digress so back to the main subject - circumnavigation of the UK.

I began to wonder what about if someone were to do a REAL circumnavigation of the UK? Not just the mainland but of the whole UK, with all those islands included. Just imagine starting from some point on the south coast and travelling 'clockwise'. You'd have to go out around Bishop Rock in the Scilly Islands then in order to go around Northern Ireland you would have to actually go around the whole of the island of Ireland. Then continue up and outside St Kilda, turning north east past the Flannan Isles and the aforementioned Sule Skerry and Rona. North past Orkney, Fair Isle and Shetland. Now you could at last turn south back past the north isles to the mainland again.

Having reached the English Channel you would then have to take in the Channel Islands (or would you as they are not a part of the UK?) before returning home and completing the circumnavigation.

What a journey that would make!

So, at (very) long last, my question is...has anyone ever done this in a RIB?

Keith Hart
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Old 08 February 2004, 05:07   #2
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Keith,

I think Alan Priddy has done something very similar, but I can't remember if he included the Channel Islands.

You have overlooked one UK island which may prove a bit tricky in a sib - Rockall

Allen
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Old 08 February 2004, 06:36   #3
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Further info on the going's on on Rockall can be found in their own on-line newspaper

http://www.therockalltimes.co.uk/

Enjoy......

Jools
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Old 08 February 2004, 08:19   #4
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KH, St Kilda and another off Cape Wrath are RAF bombing ranges. You might get a nasty suprise especially when the new Eurofighter need practise time. Afterall there aren't that many places in Central Europe were you can let rip with some of the deadliess killing machines man can think off. However NW Scotland with its outstanding beauty, unspoilt scenery and wildlife well thats just the place then.

Great newpaper though.

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Old 08 February 2004, 13:26   #5
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They don't actually bomb St. Kilda, Pete!

-----------------------------------------------

Well Mr.Hart, just to whet your appetite.

Arriving St. Kilda in a sib.
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Old 08 February 2004, 13:28   #6
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Village Bay. Looking east towards the mainland.
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Old 08 February 2004, 13:29   #7
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The old Main Street. The renovated houses can be recognised by the new, black roofs.
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Old 08 February 2004, 13:32   #8
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The St.Kilda Airport Departure Lounge is the hut in front of the wind sock, bottom left.
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Old 08 February 2004, 13:33   #9
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There's even evening entertainment.
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Old 08 February 2004, 13:35   #10
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Leaving in a rib.

Left to right; Hirta, Soay, Stac an Armin and Boreray.

Cool place.
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Old 08 February 2004, 13:52   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete7
KH, St Kilda and another off Cape Wrath are RAF bombing ranges. You might get a nasty suprise especially when the new Eurofighter need practise time. Afterall there aren't that many places in Central Europe were you can let rip with some of the deadliess killing machines man can think off. However NW Scotland with its outstanding beauty, unspoilt scenery and wildlife well thats just the place then.

Great newpaper though.

Pete
Just like Sir Charles during the Round Britain Rib Raid in 1999 when he apparently decided to beach for a brew and a Harrier hovering above just kindly advised him on the VHF to bu*ger off as bombs would be soon falling on top of him . Well that for sure spoilt one cup of tea

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Old 08 February 2004, 14:20   #12
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. . . and another off Cape Wrath are RAF bombing ranges.
That's Garvie Island.

I wasn't aware that Charles Blois had had a disagreement with Cape Wrath range control, but they weren't terribly impressed when a trail of 20 or so RIBs were heading towards the exclusion zone.

"Powerboats off Cape Wrath, this is Cape Wrath range control. You are approaching Garvie Island and I have two Harriers in the air preparing to drop 1000 pound live, I say again, LIVE bombs on Garvie Island. You are required to maintain a course four miles off shore."

This wasn't really what we wanted to hear -- with a stiff southerly blowing and a steep 5 metre swell it would have been good to get a bit of shelter! It wasn't too much of a problem though, apart from the French crew who had lost their VHF aerial and were blissfully unaware of any problem. When a Harrier buzzed them to try to persuade them to change course they just gave the pilot a friendly wave!

In the end they went ahead and dropped the bombs which looked quite impressive from four miles away, and rather more impressive from the vantage point of the French RIB!

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Old 08 February 2004, 15:04   #13
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That's Garvie Island.

I wasn't aware that Charles Blois had had a disagreement with Cape Wrath range control, but they weren't terribly impressed when a trail of 20 or so RIBs were heading towards the exclusion zone.

[John
John, this is according to the write up in RI following the event but not so sure of the exact location

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Old 08 February 2004, 15:55   #14
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They don't actually bomb St. Kilda, Pete!
JW, True but Eurofighter isn't on line yet. However spent long enough with the Royal Artillery firing missiles in the general direction and we know how accurate they are

Good dive site though.

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Old 09 February 2004, 03:18   #15
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Interesting pics jwalker. What where you doing there?

Okay so back to the original question. Has anybody done a total circumnavigation of the UK in a rib?

Keith (I need to know) Hart
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Old 09 February 2004, 06:42   #16
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Interesting pics jwalker. What where you doing there?
A bit like your Pentland Firth thing, just had to do it. Problem is, with St.Kilda, you just have to do it again and again and again......

Okay so back to the original question. Has anybody done a total circumnavigation of the UK in a rib?

No idea but some of the places are just a rock. It's a long way to go just to see a rock.

Unless, of course, you just have to do it.
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Old 09 February 2004, 08:04   #17
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Dropping Ordnance

Hi Pete7,

I just hope that when the euro fighter come into service the RAF pilots are better at dropping bombs than the Navy were.

Some ordnance got a bit too close for comfort when we were down South

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Old 09 February 2004, 08:27   #18
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Originally posted by Keith Hart
Okay so back to the original question. Has anybody done a total circumnavigation of the UK in a rib?
Yes, Alan Priddy, Steve Lloyd and Clive Tully did it in June 2000.

Timeline - includes location, distance covered and average speed during each preceding 24 hours

3/6 10.00
Depart Cardiff

4/6 10.00
Off Inishkea, small island off west coast of Ireland
- distance covered 426 nautical miles / 490 statute miles
- average speed 17.75 knots / 20.42 mph

5/6 10.00
Off Lewis, Outer Hebrides
- distance covered 298 nautical miles / 343 statute miles
- average speed 12.42 knots / 14.29 mph

6/6 10.00
Off east coast of Shetland, passing Lerwick
- distance covered 363 nautical miles / 418 statute miles
- average speed 15.13 knots / 17.42 mph

7/6 10.00
Off the Norfolk coast
- distance covered 468 nautical miles / 539 statute miles
- average speed 19.5 knots / 22.46 mph

8/6 10.00
Passing Land's End on our way from the Scillies back up the Bristol Channel
- distance covered 454 nautical miles / 523 statute miles
- average speed 18.92 knots / 21.79 mph

8/6 4.05pm
Arrive Cardiff
- distance covered 137 nautical miles / 158 statute miles
- average speed 22.52 knots / 25.97 mph

Total 2146 nautical miles / 2471 statute miles
average speed 17 knots / 19.6 mph

Picture is Muckle Flugga, northernmost point -- about halfway between mainland Scotland and Norway!
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Old 09 February 2004, 08:56   #19
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Keith,

I think Alan Priddy has done something very similar, but I can't remember if he included the Channel Islands.


Allen

So did he?


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Old 09 February 2004, 12:21   #20
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No, they weren't included.

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