What is BIBOA?

BIBOA Ltd is the UK RIB club for those who like to cruise and socialise in Rigid Inflatable Boats. Read more.

Why BIBOA?

To take part in any BIBOA sea-going event the skipper of the boat must be a paid up BIBOA member and there must be valid 3rd party insurance for the vessel. Non BIBOA Members are very welcome indeed as crew accompanying a BIBOA skipper. 

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Friday
Jul242015

First cruise for new BIBOA members

BIBOA Scottish Cruise May 2015

“Throttles down at 10.45” was the phrase that ended the briefing  on day one of our first cruise with Biboa.  Douglas, a Glaswegian with expert local knowledge of the Hebrides,  had gone through the days itinerary – rendezvous at Dunollie Castle for a quick coffee and to ensure all OK then onto Eigg for lunch and then on to Tobermory with a planned return to Oban around 6.00pm.   Sure enough at 10.45 am 8 ribs set off at full speed toward Eigg and so began our 5 day cruise.    It was quite a sight, 8 ribs of assorted colours and sizes racing down the strait towards our first rendezvous.  As we couldn’t all moor alongside the wall at Eigg some of us picked up the buoys and were ferried in by one of the ribs.  Lunch gave us the chance to meet new faces and have a brief wander around Eigg.  Onto Tobermory for chocolate and a quick drink before returning to Dunstaffanage for a debrief at the Wide mouthed frog and then left to our own devices for dinner.  One of the group recommended the Oyster Inn which was just up the road and where we had the most fantastic langoustines.

At the briefing on Day 2 Douglas produced a bag of hats and proceeded to explain their meanings and what to do if we saw him wearing a particular one whilst at sea.  He also had 2 hats to be awarded on a daily basis.  The captain’s hat for good seamanship and the “d...head”  cap for those daft actions you really wished no-one had noticed.  Day 2’s itinerary was first to the Isle of Seil for a coffee break and then onto Ardfern for lunch.  En route the radio suddenly blasted with a message that we were going to Corryvreckan and for “All ribs to proceed with caution” .  I had no idea what Corryvreckan was and probably just as well as, I freely admit, I found the whole experience of the  world’s third largest whirlpool terrifying.  However a stiff drink and lunch at Ardfern sorted me out.  One of the ribs had a leg problem and ended up leaving their rib at Ardfern to be taken out on another day.  Back to Dunstaffinage past some truly amazing scenery, too difficult to describe with words.  Dinner at the Waterfront restaurant – astounding.

By now getting to know the group and everyone is very friendly.  Tim has rigged up a rope for me to cling onto should it get rough but Day 3 looks good weather wise and the sun is shining.  First stop is Easdale, old slate mining community with truly spectacular views where some indulged in tea and cake.  Plan was to get to Jura for lunch but we did get waylaid by a colony of seals basking on the rocks in the Sound of Islay and just made it before the kitchen closed.  Being a Bank Holiday the distillery was shut but we did manage a souvenir bottle of whiskey from the distillery shop.  Arrived back at the Wide Mouthed Frog too exhausted to go out so ate there – good pub food.

Day 4, we set off as usual down Loch Linnie and stopped off at Glencoe for a coffee and to wait for enough water to moor alongside the wall at the Seafood Cafe at Loch Leven.  The mountain peaks were covered with snow and  the sight of 8 ribs  going under the Ballachulish Bridge was spectacular.  The best food yet was had at the Seafood Cafe and again we got the chance to get to know other members of the group better.  We stopped off the The Pierhead Hotel at Port Appin on the way back to warm up by the log fire.

Last day we headed off towards  Loch Aline, seeing more seals on the way.  Back into the Sound of Mull and we stopped off for lunch at Salen.  Rain was bucketing it down so after  a quick stop at Tobermory we ran for home and a hot shower.   Farewell dinner at the Oyster Inn gave the opportunity to swap rib stories and to thank Dougie and his sidekick Brian for looking after us and showing us places we would not otherwise have got to visit.

I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, felt safe in numbers and knew support was there if needed and look forward to the next one.

Sue Whittam.

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