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14 Nov 2017

Gain-an-Hour 2017

Region 2's Weekend of the Year - the 13th "Gain-an-Hour" Weekend, was on the last weekend of British Summer Time at Connel Ferry, near Oban.

This year's Gain-an-Hour weekend took place over a weekend of mixed weather but unremitting good spirits at the Falls of Lora Hotel, Connel Ferry. Here's a brief summary of how it went, with thanks for photographs to George Mayson, Ian Thow, Mike Raeburn and Stan Fong. More pictures can be seen on the Region's Facebook Group and by following these links:

Ian Thow's pictures:

Stan Fong's pictures:

Most of the group arrived on the Thursday, and the car park began to look pretty special.

After a sociable evening, we retired to get prepared to take on the next day's adventuring. There are always suggested driving routes on the GaH weekend, but of course members are free to do their own thing if they wish. 

Friday's drive route started with a short run to Oban's ferry terminal, joining the line for the boat to Mull. 

We were lucky and had a smooth crossing in fine weather.

Once on the Isle of Mull we set off individually or in small groups (On an island where nearly all the roads are single-track, long convoys are best avoided!). Most made their way to Tobermory, the main town on Mull during the day.

We all made it back to the ferry in time for the homeward sailing having enjoyed a taste of the Hebrides.

While some took the opportunity to dine in Oban on the way back to the hotel, others found dinner elsewhere or headed back to base for another sociable evening in the Falls of Lora Bar where we welcomed the Friday arrivals to complete the group.

Saturday's weather was much less welcoming - wet and windy. The suggested drive route was for a tour of the Kintyre Peninsula as far as Campbeltown, but as far as I'm aware only one hardy couple made it that far. Quite a few of us went as far as the attractive town of Tarbert where we found shelter in the Bistro with hot drinks and scones, and a view of the harbour.

Meantime, Hamish Annand had organised an alternative option: A group of members embarked for a boat trip on Loch Etive to see the varied wildlife of the area. Mike Raeburn was along to entertain them by leading the singing of sea-shanties.

All returned to the hotel with stories to tell and time to prepare for the Saturday evening dinner, this year the theme for the night was "Sea & Shore". We ask everyone to incorporate some recognition of the theme in their rig for the evening, and though fancy dress is not specified it seems that we're quite a flamboyant bunch.....

The Group Picture

Liz & Graeme & Hamish (Beach bums & Shark attack victim...)

Skipper George with Sea Nymph Caitlin

Betty, bathers Karen & Paul, octopus Cherry and Andrew - nice yacht-themed tie, Andrew!

Diver Bruce & Jen, pirate Robin, and salty Ian

Pauline & Steve (The Cap'n and his Treasure)

At the end of our very enjoyable dinner, I took the opportunity to recognise the efforts of some members over the course of the year. George & Caitlin are new Region Stalwarts. They have proved to be very enthusiastic members, organising an event, helping at other events, and George's help with setting up our social media presence was much appreciated.

Also made Region Stalwart was Mike Raeburn, who has helped out at events and has also turned out some useful display boards to give our display event stands a more professional look.

Finally, thank you all for the very acceptable gifts presented by John Chesworth at the end of the evening. I look forward to Gain-an-Hour 2018!

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