WOW - impressed! I din'nt know Mike G and Brian were going up and back by sea! I intend to drive the many 000's of miles with a SIB in the boot.
Mike (the second)
I notice you are in Herne Bay - where do you go and when - i'm often in that neck of the woods and never spotted you - we should meet up at recolver or somewhere. The set-up looks quick quick, how far can you and have you cruised?
Time for another factoid folks. This time it's John O'Groats.....
The sign above the harbour at John o' Groats says it's 874 miles from Land's End. And while Dunnet Head to the west extends further north, and Duncansby Head to the east is probably a mile or two more distant from Land's End, John o' Groats is the place you start or finish if you want to cover the length of Britain playing hopscotch or pushing a pea with your nose. And like all extremes, it's attracted quite a following over the years.
Most of the guidebooks are unflattering about John o' Groats. It is true that for many years the most common response by first time arrivals was "is this it?" Nonetheless, the magic of the name continued to draw visitors in ever greater numbers. And it is good to be able to report that there's been considerable investment in the place in recent years, improving it considerably.
No longer are you greeted with just a windswept car park, a hotel and the odd souvenir shop. The new tourist information centre and the community of high quality shops for craft and other products that have arrived of late may not suit all tastes. But they do at last provide something to appeal to the majority of visitors.
Coupled with the now well established John o' Groats ferry that carries foot passengers across the short distance to Orkney between May and September, and pleasure and adventure rides from the harbour here, you begin to find, at last, a destination worth the journey.
An additional attraction to the area is the opening of another ferry route to Orkney, this time for vehicles as well as passengers, by Pentland Ferries from the pier at Gills Bay, a few miles west of John o' Groats.
The only real remaining regret is the continuing closure of John o' Groat's most striking landmark, the John o' Groats Hotel. This white, Gothic building is due for renovation, but it's unclear when this will happen. If the hotel does come back to life it will complete the transformation of a once rather shabby shoreline into somewhere to enjoy in its own right.
Walkers or cyclists approaching John o' Groats from Land's End reading of the closure of the hotel on their laptops need not despair: the hotel's bar remains open so you don't need to miss out on that landmark drink when you arrive.
John o' Groats is named after a Dutchman, Jan de Groot. In 1496 King James IV granted De Groot the ferry franchise between the harbour here and Orkney, which were at the time still a relatively new acquisition by Scotland. It is also suggested that De Groot gave his name to the silver coin, the Groat. This was the level at which his fares were fixed by the authorities to curb his efforts to cash in on his franchise.
De Groot also started the development of the area, building a house, reputedly octagonal, and located where you can now find a flagpole atop a grassy mound near the hotel.
Whether he chose this shape to provide better protection from the elements, or to ensure - as one story would have it - that every guest at his octagonal dining table could believe themselves to be sitting at its head is debatable. Either way, it is interesting to see the shape reflected in parts of the design of the John o' Groats Hotel.
A few years ago it would have been hard to conclude this page with any recommendation to visit John o' Groats. But if you've not been before you will find things to do whatever the weather: and if you have been before, you will be pleasantly surprised by a return visit. And it will be better still when they've reopened the Hotel.
so far all I have done is go round sheppey and out past the forts plus round to sandwich inland.
The range should be good as I have 250 litres and only use abut 4/5 gals hourly if I go mad . that should give me 12 hours running at full rpm.
I plan to go to France and to southampton in the summer .
the best I have done is 55 mph off the gps and 52 off the wheel.
Only got the boat in october and had a few!!! difficulties (its a very long story)
Just buying the last few bits and bobs,
if you wanted to meet that would be good email me OK.
back to orkney,
sadly it appears I will struggle to get there but I am still working on it .
The site will be a focal point for the expedition and expeditioneers and those interested in our progress can log on and get all the latest details.
My own computer is away on holiday (getting a new cd writer) at the moment, so I have been unable to get some of the photos of the crews and boats sent to me. I expect to be online at home again on Friday.
If you have not yet sent me your photos and details take a look at the site so you can see what is required. Just add a few details about yourself as well please. The list of crews and boats is not complete yet, so if you want to get on, get sending those photos!
So folks, take a look at the website please, and if you fancy joining our illustrious band, just email through the link on the site and get onto the list.
Feedback would be helpful so let me know if there is anything else you would like to see featured.
The website has been updated again, with more information links, places to visit, boat details, video clips and route sheet downloads. If you have visited the site before be sure to 'refresh' your pages so you get all of the changes.
Keith, I would love to join you guys (and gals) more than anything, as I have never been to Scotland and it is on my definite list of places to visit at some stage. I am, sadly, not able to make it.
ps-My boat is run in well enough though
Mike, this bash will be bigger and better, as I have said, the theme would be relaxation ! I think Brian ought to meet his wife at Brighton, jump aboard and then MA + Cyanide should set a course for Herm.
Believe me, I too would just love to come over to Herm etc on the way back.
But it isn't quite like that.
After having been away from home for about 3 weeks I must go home to double-house and dog sit while my wife and her family go up to York for a family wedding. You know the sort of thing, clog dancing, lots of "eh, by gums" and biting the heads of whippets. No thanks I prefer to house and dog sit as that is the only alternative.
Will DEFINATELY be over to see you anyway.