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Sunny Shakedown Sail 2014

April 24, 2014

Macwester Malin sails

After a week lying alongside following crane-in, the long Easter weekend delivered a spell of fantastic weather. While the tide was out on Easter Friday, we got our sails fitted, and prepared for a shakedown sail. Once we had finished, we noticed that the new UV strip we had fitted to the head sail was the wrong way round, as we had a barber’s pole ‘striped’ effect going on. We tried a number of adjustments, but ended-up with the head sail being temporarily unusable.

Queensferry Crossing construction

As it transpired, there was no useable wind by the time we were floating later in the afternoon, so we left the sails under wrap and motored over to Port Edgar. The above image shows the ongoing construction of the Queensferry Crossing, in front of the Forth Road Bridge (grey), with the Forth Bridge (red) in the background.

Macwester Malin Port Edgar

We stopped off at the end of a pontoon in order to locate our spot for the night. Once we had located our berth, we headed directly up to the Chinese restaurant in South Queensferry and enjoyed a really good meal (the crew had been looking forward to freshly made Dim sum for several weeks). We were joined by friends from our sailing club back on board our Macwester Malin, Indefatigable Banks, and had a really good time catching up with them as the evening meandered on.

Genoa UV strip

Fortunately, the weather was fab the next day too, and my chum from the club spent time with me having another look at the genoa. We made some adjustments which made the sail useable, but it’s going to need some further remedial work to find an optimal, permanent solution. That’s probably going to involve a power tool.

Macwester Malin sailing Genoa

After we had hosed down the decks amongst other things, we quietly slipped out of Port Edgar and set sail for our mooring. The wind was behind us coming from the east, and as we were in no hurry, we just used our genoa to blow our 32ft Macwester back up river. It was a great feeling after such a long winter break.

Macwester Malin mooring April 2014

This year, we’re keeping our dinghy on the front strop (previously we’ve kept our tender on the rear strops), because there’s now another boat moored behind us. We weren’t particularly keen on having a mooring off our stern as we didn’t feel there is adequate space, but our protests fell on deaf ears.

As the new arrival parked-up, a friend from the club (who was helping the new owners put their pride and joy on its mooring for the first time), described their little pocket cruiser as a “new fender to keep our yacht off the wall“. Ouch! Not sure which of us should have taken more offense, but we all realised that it was no more than a piece of light-hearted banter.

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