Intrepid drinkers on hundred mile pub crawl
AS PUB crawls go, it’s not one for the more thirsty, with nearly five hours between drinks.
However, a group of friends believe they have achieved a record after deciding to split their time at the bar between the most remote pub on the British mainland and the most remote in Europe.
The plan was hatched by nine residents and friends on the Knoydart peninsula, where the local, the Old Forge Pub, is regarded as the most remote in mainland Britain, accessible only by boat or via a long walk over mountains.
They decided to make the trip to the Puff Inn, situated on St Kilda, 112 miles off the Western Isles in the north Atlantic and 120 nautical miles from Knoydart, which is considered the most isolated "local" anywhere in Europe.
The journey, undertaken on Monday this week in an open eight-metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB), was completed in four hours and 45 minutes.
The group, who each paid 100 for the experience, believe it is the first time a RIB has made the trip in one continuous journey.
Mark Woombs, who owns the boat, said: "The actual journey time was slightly longer if you included cigarette breaks. I hadn’t anticipated the fact that every time we had a seating changeover, the packets of fags would come out."
The idea emerged after Mr Woombs, who runs a firm supporting divers, took delivery of the new RIB and wanted to test its fuel economy. One local suggested visiting St Kilda, as she had always wanted to go there.
The route took in the treacherous Sound of Harris, made even more perilous by the fact that it was low tide at the time.
The average speed of the journey - 32 knots - dropped to 23 knots after passing through the Hebrides due to an oncoming Atlantic swell.
About a third of a mile from St Kilda, the vessel’s engine ran dry, but the group had spare fuel on board, while another boat was ready to provide help if needed.
The party arrived in St Kilda at about 3pm and, after an evening in the Puff Inn, camped overnight before heading back to Knoydart.
The return journey time on Tuesday was slightly quicker due to prevailing winds, but a lot more uncomfortable as Mr Woombs struggled to keep the boat from "submarining" as it descended into the troughs of waves.
In all, more than 500 litres of petrol was used, although it was not revealed how much beer was consumed.
On return to Knoydart, the record breakers received an enthusiastic welcome home from the local midges, a pest that is not common on St Kilda.
Tommy McManmon, who took part in the trip and helped to write this article, is a barman at the Old Forge in Knoydart. Last year, he won the inaugural Young Communicators Award, sponsored by The Scotsman in association with Orange, to find new writing talent in Scotland.
Mr McManmon won the first prize for an article on a new hydro scheme in Knoydart which brought a regular electricity supply to the peninsula.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West