Posts Tagged ‘Blackness Boat Club’


Single to Dalgety Bay please

May 25, 2017

As the crew had prior commitments, it was down to yours truly to get our 32ft Macwester Malin to her destination for the weekend on the Friday. I had work to complete on the engine bay hatch (see previous post here), and therefore I set off in the morning so that I had the afternoon to get my head down.

There was very little wind on the journey east, which suited me as this was easily the most adventurous single-handed sail that I’ve tackled. As luck would have it, an unwelcome swell appeared out of nowhere just as I was coming into the harbour at Dalgety Bay. Fortunately things settled a little as I rounded the end of the pier. It was a neep tide and having overshot the stairwell, I realised that the leap up on to the pier was too risky, and so had no choice other than to manoeuvre astern …using the thruster to keep the bow steady. It was all good.

I worked on the engine bay hatch until the crew arrived by road later in the day. It was a peaceful evening, however that peace was shattered in the early hours of the following morning by some late-night revellers intent on revelling. With raised voices for an extended period, I got up and kept a look-out for upwards of thirty minutes.

Saturday was mainly soggy and we didn’t venture out apart from a trip to the local store for provisions. There was a brief spell of sunshine late afternoon, but that was followed by increased winds on Saturday night. Despite this, the weather didn’t dampen our experience too much, as this was the first trip away from our home port this season, assuming that our voyage from Whitehaven to Largs on the west coast a few weeks ago didn’t count.

Sunday morning came around all too quickly. We set sail as soon as we floated and headed west towards the bridges. On passing under the Forth Road Bridge, I presented a wooden boomerang to the crew. She momentarily paused, before throwing the boomerang back towards the bridge in an act of commemoration for a close friend’s son who had leapt from the bridge a few weeks previously.

Leaving the bridges behind us, we threw our genoa up and pressed on with the motor to meet friends from our club at Blackness. We arrived just about the same time as everyone else, which was a pleasant surprise as we weren’t at all sure that we were even going to make it given the neepy tide.

With almost nothing under our keels and the tide falling, there wasn’t time for much more than a handshake and a quick beer at the Blackness Boat Club bar. The shot above was taken from our Macwester Malin’s stern as all the club boats made a hasty retreat.

Thanks to Blackness Boat Club for their hospitality. Hopefully we’ll have more time to spend the next time we visit.


Never say never again

June 24, 2015

River Forth June 2015

During the week, the crew and I left our Macwester Malin on her mooring and nipped over to Blackness for an early evening stroll. The plan was to wander along to the castle, but before we did that we walked out to the end of the pier. As we passed the Blackness Boat Club clubhouse we recalled the time that we ventured in there five years previously and as was customary, I re-stated that we would never set foot inside that building for as long as we lived (and a bit more).

Yet …about thirty seconds later, somehow we found ourselves walking over the threshold and into the clubhouse, having been dragged inside by an uber-keen sailor who was desperate to make our acquaintance. To cut a long story short, the club had come through dark times but was now a welcoming, sailor-friendly venue keen to reach out to other sailors and clubs.

As we left, we promised to return by sea, to the self-proclaimed “Cowes of the Forth” and to encourage others from our club to follow suit.

Macwester Malin Port Edgar

A few days later we took our Macwester Malin over to Port Edgar for an overnight with a number of other club yachts. We had a relatively peaceful evening while everyone else was out for dinner at the local Chinese restaurant. The plan was that we would meet-up later on. By the time it reached 11pm, we nipped over to the other yachts, but assumed that we must have somehow missed them as they were in darkness. Just as we were turning in for the night at 11.30, one of our chums appeared and asked if we were still up for visitors.

Five minutes later our cockpit was jammed, and we had a fun time through to the wee small hours.

Approaching Blackness

The next morning a few of us set course for Blackness, although we were later setting off than the others, as our yacht needed a thorough tidy-up. Given that the wind was straight on our Macwester’s bow, we motored up the river to catch the others, and made reasonably good progress.

Above and below: Blackness Castle.

Blackness Castle

Our chums on ‘Joint Venture’ had beaten us to it, however there wasn’t enough water to land when they arrived, so they sailed across the river before heading back over once more. ‘Joint Venture’ (with a draft of about 1 metre as we do), gingerly made for Blackness pier and as they didn’t run out of water, we followed them in a few minutes later.

Macwester Malin alongside

Although we had visited Blackness by car numerous times over the years, and sailed by a few times too, this was the first time that we had actually landed there, so this was a first for both yachts.

View from Blackness Boat Club

We were welcomed by the commodore and enjoyed a drink at the bar. It was quite a turnaround from the first time that we had visited the club and we both felt good that we had delivered on the promise we made a few days earlier. We subsequently encouraged others to visit, and a week or two later ‘Joint Venture’ and another three yachts from our club returned to sample the pleasures of the “Cowes of the Forth”.

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