27 May 2008

Jet boats are go

Do you remember SwapShop? The seminal children’s prog that brought us Noel Edmonds’ rather nasty tanktops and Posh Paws? Well, Greygal would like to swap a 57ft narrowboat for a 20ft RIB please. Yes, I’m defecting to jet-boating after yesterday’s incredible 40mph skim across Pentland Firth and circular tour of the Isle of Stroma. You don’t see minkie whales in the Trent do you? Or big fat seals sunbathing amongst the guano? My god, that stank. Twenty thousand birds all doing their doings over the cliffs made for a ripe old niff, I can tell you. Highlights included the sheep ship – yes, the owner of Stroma still grazes sheep there and he is legally obliged to tend them once a week. He comes over in a big boat that can take his herd back to the mainland if required. Don’t know if he needs to provide lifebelts to his passengers...Mind you, he has had to take all the doors off the broken down houses out there because the sheep kept getting locked in and starving to death. Then there were the remains of a Danish ship that had run aground after the crew had got pissed and left it on autopilot...without telling it about the island directly ahead. There was the cove where the water runs uphill in one direction, downhill in another, a marine version of the Electric Brae and just as unsettling. And of course, there’s all the magnificent wildlife, from dolphins and porpoises to puffins and razorbills, not forgetting the rather excellent shags. Stop laughing in the back.

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