2017 Report

​Easdale RIB Rendezvous 2017
Colonsay as a destination for the Easdale RIB Rendezvous appear totally incompatible. For the third year in succession we were thwarted by the weather. Had we departed a day earlier seas were calm but the wind for Saturday strengthened to F5 to F6 SSE so Colonsay was a non-starter. We claim there is always somewhere to go cruising from Easdale so we reverted to Plan B.
0930 Saturday RIBs gathered in Easdale Sound heading south through the overfalls and into Cuan Sound. It was a bit of a wakeup call for the navigational exercise heading north through Seil Sound. Approximately 30 RIBs in close proximity squeezed under the Bridge over the Atlantic out to open sea heading to the west of Kerrera and on to the Stevenson built Lismore Lighthouse.  Dodging the wake of the two Calmac ferries en-route to Mull and Barra and dealing with the steep overfalls between Lady’s Rock and Lismore, seas calmed as we headed up the west side of the island and further north to Loch Leven.
The road bridge at the head of Loch Leven is considerably wider than the Bridge over the Atlantic. The fleet made for the SeaXplorer pontoon at  Ballachulish. Jill Mills of SeaXplorer had kindly agreed to us visiting but she was taken aback when around 30 RIBs appeared from the distance as we decanted for coffee and cakes from the café or beer  and chips from the pub. For some the temptation of the latter was greater than heading further up Loch Leven to the old aluminium town of Kinlochleven. As the town is off the everyday track even some local Scots had never visited. Kinlochleven was hosting Pre 65 motorbike trials. The town was buzzing.
Back aboard we estimate most stopped for a further cream tea break at The Pierhouse Hotel at Port Appin before returning to Easdale circa 1800. A fine day.
Sunday the wind had backed easterly F6 so Loch Buie was out of the question. 1030 departure everyone headed for Crinan – again a coffee stop. Is there a theme here? Heading west with the seas on the stern the fleet went through the Gulf of Corryvreckan. Whilst it was slack water some still found the odd haystack of water interesting. Heading up the west side of Scarba, Lunga and Rio Fiola most visited Cullipool on Luing. Some who were staying for Monday went ashore to visit the new Atlantic Centre whilst others returned to Easdale to recover their boats. Whilst Monday is a bank holiday in England it is not the case in Scotland. It is one reason the event works so well.
We have noted that more RIBs are staying for longer. This is great news for the area. Please tell all your friends we do have good cruising from Easdale whatever the weather.
We don’t normally mention individuals in the report but a special mention to Jeff Stevens in his 4m SIB who covered 50 miles on Saturday. He came as far as Lismore, through all the rough stuff before being tempted by the Pierhouse hotel. Speedsters of the weekend go to Seamus and Jack on their Caesar catamaran.  No RIB accepted the challenge to keep up with them except in the rough bits.
All in all a great weekend.
Photos and videos etc to follow shortly on here and on the website.
2018 – could it be the year for Colonsay?
Best wishes from all at Team ERR.