HotRIBS - The online RIB Magazine
 
 
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  # 033
Isle of Man
New ribster Martin Bywater recalls his journey for knowledge and discovery in the Isle of Man
 

 



Martin is a little camera shy so this modest photo
is all he would give us!

My friend (Tony West) and I decided to take a trip to the Isle of Man from Gatehouse of Fleet in Scotland on the Solway coast. The trip took place on the 27th of August the tides being ideal as high tide in the morning was at 9 am. The tide for the return journey would be at 8.30pm, and the weather forecast was for smooth / slight seas, light winds, good visibility for around 36 hrs with the pressure increasing.

My boat is a Valiant 4.5m Vanguard with a Mercury 50 BHP which was purchased from Ron Hale Marie at an inclusive price i.e. ready to roll.

I purchased the Rib in mid July and have clocked up around 20 Hours without any other mishap other than a loose earth cable on the engine (easily diagnosed). So as you can appreciate I felt fairly confident about a 37 mile crossing to Ramsey.


The equipment we carried was as follows Garmin hand held sat nav, Depth finder / fish finder, Richard Compass, Marine VHF radio, Coastal flares, mobile Phones, Johnson 3.0 BHP outboard, Marine Map ETC., and advice from one Gary Mc Alister, the local coast guard officer whom we met in the isle of Whithorn harbour previously, and considered that it would be quite feasible in such a small boat subject to a good weather window.

We set of at 7.15 am with the Sun trying to break through a slight mist, but the Mountains on the IOM being quite visible (pretty good when you consider that according to the local's the Island is only visible around 60 day's a year.

 

isle of man
We set of at 7.15 am with the Sun trying to break through a slight mist, but the Mountains on the IOM being quite visible (pretty good when you consider that according to the local's the Island is only visible around 60 day's a year.

The sea was like a mirror with hardly a ripple, quickly on the plain we went to around 28 MPH this being the most economical speed, passing the Isle of Whithorn, and the tip of the mull of Kintyre being visible in the distance as the mist lifted, about 40 minutes into the journey we decided to refuel the main tank from two 5 litre cans this nearly replenished the 25 Lt. main tank. we also took the opportunity to

take some pictures and have a coffee / biscuits we also had some visitor's in the form of Porpoises around five of them, cavorting around us but by the time I had retrieved my camera they had gone. After that it was quite a simple matter to carry on to Ramsey Harbour which you enter between two harbour walls then around a half a mile into the Marina properly, which is a very picturesque sight, we radioed in to the Harbour Master and then tied up near a swing Bridge at 9.10 am.


We spent a very enjoyable time looking around Ramsey but made our way back to the Harbour around 4.30 pm to find water already appearing around the Boat so we decided to head back and set of at 5:30pm by which time we had enough water depth.

When clearing the Harbour entrance we were surprised to find waves of around 4 ft and the wind around 20 mph but when we entered deeper water these reduced to a more manageable swell, when nearing Whither we took the opportunity to change to the auxiliary tank this also being 25 ltr's

We arrived back on the beach in the Fleet Estuary at 7.10 pm, feeling very satisfied and deciding the next trip will be to Northern Ireland but this will have to wait till next year.

 

ramsey harbour

In hindsight it all appeared so easy but I'm sure this was because we took every precaution possible, I know to some of your reader's that this is no great achievement compared to their trip's but this was done with budget equipment along with limited experience. Maybe the nicest bit of advice we received from the local coast guard officer, was if we did get into problems was to be polite on the RT when contacting the rescue services and they wouldn't mind a bit.

ramsey

Happy ribbing Everyone -

Martin Bywater.