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Fife Regatta 2013

May 28, 2013

Dhu Craig buoy River Forth

With a social event ashore on Friday night, it was after lunch on Saturday before we made it onboard our 32ft Macwester yacht and out on to the River Forth for our first proper sail of the season. It was great to finally reacquaint ourselves with our old friend ‘Dhu Craig’ (typically our first navigational marker) after a long winter apart.

Macwester Malin 32 tacking

We were both feeling a bit rusty, so even although the wind was behind us, we decided to throw in a couple of practice tacks back and forth across the river, as we meandered down towards the bridges and our final destination of Port Edgar marina at South Queensferry.

Forth Replacement Crossing construction May 2013

The river has become much busier on approach to Port Edgar since construction of the new Forth Replacement Crossing began last year. As usual, we dropped our Macwester Malin’s sails before we hit the construction zone, and we motored into the marina carefully avoiding the growing forest of buoys, barges, boats, and other obstacles.

Macwester Malin, Colvic Atlanta, Colvic Watson

Not long after we berthed, a friend from our club turned up in his Colvic Watson along with his friends in a Colvic Atlanta ketch. If you’re not familiar with either of those boats, the Colvic Atlanta (white over navy) is next to our Macwester Malin in the shot above, and the Colvic Watson is to the top right (on the far side of Maui 4, a Moody 44). It turns out that we had actually spotted this very Colvic Atlanta back in 2010 when we were looking for boats. At the time it was ashore near Blackness Castle in the owner’s back garden while it was being restored.

After dinner I eventually found some time to read the latest PBO, while ‘the crew’ was reading a novel on her Kindle Fire. I say ‘novel’, but I had absolutely no idea what she was actually reading, as the backside of a Kindle doesn’t give that info away to the rest of the world. After considering the circumstantial evidence and asking some subtle yet probing questions, I deduced that she must have been reading… “Stray shopping carts of  Eastern North America; A guide to field identification”.

Okay, okay. I’m joshing with you. I made that last bit up. Technically you can’t actually buy Stray shopping carts of  Eastern North America; A guide to field identification” as a Kindle book at the moment …it’s only available as a hard back.

Anyhoo, before long some friends turned up and after a couple of drinks in our Macwester Malin’s spacious centre cockpit we headed over to the other side of the marina, where seven of us squeezed into a tiny 1968 Invicta’s cabin for a nightcap. Although uber-compact, it was fun nonetheless.

Clearing Claus River Forth

We had a great night’s sleep in our newly improved aft cabin, and after a healthy walk ashore in the morning followed by some lunch, we headed back out on to the water and set a course up river towards the Fife Regatta at Limekilns. I should perhaps point out that we were heading for the annual ‘Fife Regatta’ in Fife, rather than the more recent ‘Fife Regatta’ on the Clyde in a month or so. We weren’t racing (it’s not our bag), but we were keen to see what was going on. We motored into the wind until we cleared a tanker coming down river and then threw up our sails.

Macwester Malin ketch May 2013

The race was in full swing by the time we got there. We dropped our sails and darted through the field in front of ‘Erin’, a 49ft Jeanneau with her spinnaker up. Once through the other side and clear of the race we got our genoa and main sail back up. By then the wind had dropped and so we kept our Malin’s mizzen under wraps as we didn’t think that it would give us much more momentum.

Macwester Malin sails down

On the plus side, we were able to enjoy the tranquility as we weren’t rushing to make it into a distant harbour on a rapidly falling tide. Inevitably time eventually ran out, so we dropped our sails and headed back home. A friend from the club was onshore to welcome us in as we picked up our Hippo mooring buoy . After a short dinghy transfer, he was onboard and we exchanged details of our respective sailing weekend over chilled drinks. It was a pleasant way to finish off a relaxing weekend.

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