Spring Tide Storm Surge

January 5, 2014


With the BBC news channel headlines specifically warning of a storm surge on the Firth of Forth on Saturday afternoon, we were sure to check over our Macwester Malin ahead of the storm. The shot above shows the steps just across the road from our local pub mid-afternoon.


As our yacht’s hatches were well and truly battened down, we enjoyed a couple of drinks from our picturesque vantage point on top of the steps [shown in the first photograph] overlooking the river.


The strong winds didn’t show any signs of putting in an appearance as the tide continued to rise. We watched a local fishing boat Christina II make her way back up the river as the temperature began to fall.


A squadron of council vehicles with yellow flashing lights and many hi-viz-jacket-wearing workers were waiting in the wings with sand bags to the ready. The shot above shows the pier where we moor our yacht during the season, getting thinner as high tide approached.

As the light continued to fade, we made our way back along to the village’s east harbour where our Macwester spends it’s winter months.


The photograph above shows the end of the pier which had already been gently consumed by the tide. As it turned out, the storm surge didn’t happen, as the forecasted strong winds simply failed to turn up. This was a welcome stroke of luck, as I reckon that waves of around a metre could have caused havoc at our club. Our Malin’s twin keels are raised 30 cm above the hard-standing, and our 32ft Malin weighs in at 5.5 tonnes, so we would probably have been alright. However there are a number of smaller boats, including some on cradles, that might not have stood up to a sustained side-on pounding from uninhibited rolling waves combined with south-easterly gale force winds.

As the tide turned we realised that we could start to relax. Of course, I subsequently spent a restless night waiting for the missing storm to hit 12 hours later [the following morning] when the tide would be back up at a similar height. Fortunately it remained eerily quiet all night long, and once again we managed to avoid any problems as the tide came and went without incident.



  1. I am looking for a Dodger for my Macwester 26…… anyone have suggestions to where I might be able to find a new one or used . I am in Canada.


    • Hi Terry, I think you’re going to struggle to find a used one in Canada. I take it you’ve tried the Macwester Facebook page? It might be worth checking local sailing forums, as sourcing one via a UK forum would only lead to prohibitively expensive shipping fees.

      Not sure what else to suggest. Can’t your local sail loft help out?


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