Another evening cruise on Loch Fyne with Steve. Conditions were less than perfect - a 18mph crosswind and choppy water. By hugging the shore to minimise the weather effects we travelled around 12 miles down the west coast. The waves when crossing the open end of Loch Gair were pretty big! To travel in a straight line meant keeping the craft at around 30 degrees to the direction you wanted to go in. Both craft were fine even under these quite testing conditions
Went for a UH18 cruise on Loch Fyne with Steve in his Vanguard. We stopped at the Otter Ferry marker buoy which was completely exposed as the tide was fully out
Weather was clear and water flat calm. We carried on around the point and landed on a big sandy beach opposite Tarbert. It started to cloud over so we headed back (about 18 miles to home). The black clouds rolled over and the rain got steadily worse. Eventually it turned into a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. Visibility closed in to about 100metres and Steve's engine started to play up (not surprising as the rain was absolutely pelting down!). We stopped for a bit of WD40 then carried on. The rain continued unabated until we got back. Finding the landing ramp was very difficult due to the poor visibility and the fact that there had been a lightning strike on the power system which had blacked out all of the shore side houses. Another interesting cruise!!
Attended a local vintage car show with Prospector and Scout. Weather turned very wet by lunchtime - the rain was so heavy I even got belt slip at one point!31/5/08 - Last day of Hoverin
Chris and Jenny heading home early. The rest of us took off up to the head of the Loch for a last cruise before heading home. The water was like a mirror - not even the slightest ripple. Temperature was in the mid 20's C - absolutely spectacular!
We all met up and took off down the Loch towards Lochgilphead. After a quick refuel at the local filling station we heading further south towards Tarbert. The wind was blowing directly against us and was picking up speed so we stopped on a sandbar. After some engine trouble with Chris's craft I had to give him a lift back. We stopped in a lovely bay on the way home and had a champagne picnic (leftover food from the wedding).
Steve and Gills wedding had been arranged for today so the rest of us cleared off in the morning to avoid the last minute preparations. We met Chris and Jenny up the Loch past Inveraray. We then travelled under the old stone road bridge, and the new steel bridge, up a very narrow twisty stream to a small inland loch. The local warden told us that it was a managed fishery and that we weren't welcome (he wasn't too worried and almost accepted a ride around the loch!).
We arrived back home just before the wedding was scheduled. Steve and Gill were married on the lawn surrounded by hovercraft. They then took off onto the loch in Steve's craft - suitably decorated with streamers and 'just married' stickers.
The weather was excellent so we decided to hover 7 miles up the Loch to Inveraray for the wedding meal in the evening. The return journey at dusk was spectacular!
It was wet and windy during the day but flat calm in the evening - we had to impose a hover curfew of 10pm to keep the neighbours happy!
A bit windy but it turned flat calm in early evening - time for more cruisin'
Weather was a bit windy but we all met up and visited Castle Lachlan down the Loch.
We then travelled up the Loch to the Creggans Inn - blue skies and hot sunshine
25/5/08 - Hoverin official start date!
I visited Chris And Jenny Campbell at their campsite on Sunday morning - weather was rough and I managed to break my front side skirt attach strips from hull when hitting wave troughs - waves were around 4 feet peak to trough in places
Weather settled later in evening so Trev, Steve and I had a nice 20 mile evening cruise on Lcoh.
15-16 & 21/5/08
More exploring around Loch Fyne - this time with Steve in his Vanguard
Did some solo exploring with UH18 around Loch Fyne prior to the Scottish Hoverin 2008
Novice training event weekend held at Charlie Peaches' place near Blackburn. The event was mainly organised by Ian Brooks to let new craft owners get a chance to try out their craft in a safe(ish!) environment and also benefit from the good advice and guidance of established hovercraft users. The field we used is used as a hovercraft race course normally so we set it up using cones into several little 'test' areas (slalom, round the pole, hill traverse, ramp emulator, etc.).
I arrived on the Friday and helped Ian set up various things ready for the Saturday start. The training started with a one hour presentation of safe cruising and was then followed by a whole day of practice. The event was very well attended (8 trainees, and many 'instructors' and helpers). The instructing bit is actually quite stressful!
On the Sunday we had arranged to meet on the river Lune near Lancaster to give the newbies some water cruising experience. I got to the launch site an hour earlier than anyone else ( thanks to a 5am wake up call from National Express coaches!!! I cruised up river through Lancaster and also down onto Morecombe bay for an hour or so until a couple of others arrived. Only two of the 'trainees' turned up (and only one trainee craft - the others had broke!) - there were 9 craft present eventually.
We set off and had a nice cruise up river (5 up in the Prospector making it a bit ponderous to control) as far as the wier in the centre of Lancaster. We parked up and watched a boatr race taking place on the other side of the weir for a bit before setting offf back down river to Morecombe sands. As it was low tide, the river meanders all over the estuary before reaching the open area. The sands themselves were not as flat as they looked - they had small gulleys and undulations as well as wood post remains and various other bits of debris scattered over them. combined with the high speeds you can get over wet sand it was less than ideal hover territory (that and the 5 miles of open sand area).