HotRIBS - The online RIB Magazine
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  # 051
Over the Sea to Skye
Scotland's Inner Hebrides
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See: Photo Album for many more pictures.


The annual Zurrer Highland gathering met up at Oban, northwest Scotland over the May bank holiday week-end. Participants from Switzerland, Germany & England arrived but no one as yet from bonny Scotland. A quick phone call confirmed that original Scottish member 'Douglas was to arrive the following day for our planned circumnavigation of the Isle of Skye.

The weather was forecast to be very unsettled with a gale F9 expected within the next 48 hrs. It was essential for Douglas to arrive very early the following day if we were to complete our planned trip in good weather.

Duly, Douglas set off from Glasgow in the wee hours of the morning only to be beset with trailer problems. Not simply one wheel fell off his trailer but two! Fortunately he has a twin axle trailer, so two wheels remained attached.

At the bar, sometime later, Douglas was heard to ask, ' why do trailer wheels always pass in front of you when they come adrift'? I'm sure we managed to give a coherent explanation but only after the second 'wee dram'.

[ If anyone wants to prevent this from happening to them check out our hub bearing info].

Douglas kindly called to let us know of the situation so that we could make our early start without him. He later decided to abandon his trailer and come around the Mull of Kintyre to Oban by sea, only to endure awful weather which stopped him at Croabh Haven, but that's another story.

Our plan was to head north up the Sound of Mull and take stock of the weather situation at Ardnamurchan Point [the most westerly point on mainland Britain].

Our arrival at Ardnamurchan found a comfortable F2-3, a few porpoise and an easy decision to make straight line for Canna, passing the Isles of Muck and Rum to starboard. Canna was one of the islands that several members of the group had never landed on. Being "Hamish Haswell-Smith" island baggers [see the book, The Scottish Islands ISBN 0 86241 579 9], this was an imperative stop off. A short walk, soup and a sandwich and we were off again over to the western shores of Skye.

It was so clear and calm that we enjoyed both the rugged Skye shores and an excellent view over to the Outer Hebrides beckoning some 25 miles away. Flat calm waters stayed with us all the way over the top and then south down into Portree, our overnight stop. Our return trip the following day took in Kyle of Lochalsh, Sound of Sleat, Eigg, Muck and Tobermory.
See: Photo Album for pictures.

Kevin Goulding
May 2006