Posts Tagged ‘Fife Regatta’


D-Day 2017

June 25, 2017

We headed over to Port Edgar on the Saturday morning, with just the genoa pulling us along at 5 knots, ahead of D-Day the following day. Obviously not the original and substantially more important D-Day from WWII, but “Dad-Day”.

Yes okay, admittedly it’s more often referred to as Fathers Day, but then the title “F-Day 2017” would arguably set the wrong tone for this post.

As we piloted our Macwester Malin into the marina under ominous skies there was a heavy police presence. Given that we’ve probably only ever spotted one single police craft on the Forth over the previous six years, it was a surprise to see seven or eight [above]. Several days later the online rumourati concluded that ‘the rozzers’ are in town to close down the river west of the bridges when HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Rosyth for sea trials. More recently a Notice to Mariners clarified that a 200m exclusion zone was in place for the big event.

With the wind in the high teens / early twenties all weekend, we deployed our Slapsilencer for the very first time. Essentially, it’s a bit like one half of an XXXXXXXL padded bra that’s deployed around the yacht’s stern. It’s supposed to stop the constant slap-slap-slap of the waves that can drive you nuts at 2am …and 3am.

Not forgetting 4am.

Having tossed it around in my head for a while, I reckon that there was an 80-85% reduction in noise and we had a quiet night uninterrupted by the racket that would undoubtedly have kept us awake without the Slapsilencer being deployed …so it gets a big thumbs up from us.

Oops; that’s getting a bit close to being a useful consumer review. I’d better move along.

So …moving along, early the following morning we hosed-down the Slapsilencer and put it out on deck to dry. Just after lunch the guest of honour arrived along with other family members. It was blustery but sunny as we set off for Inchcolm, where we arrived around low tide to find a couple of yachts at anchor sheltering from the westerly breeze.

My plan, given that it was D-Day, was rather predictably to attempt a landing, but the tide was so low that there was no means of securing our Macwester Malin to the wooden jetty [see above]. Instead of anchoring, we opted just to pootle around for a while.

We picked our way through very shallow waters around Inchgnome [above], and then headed west again, south of Inchcolm. Later we passed under all three bridges for the benefit of our guests, then back in Port Edgar we ordered some Chinese food to go, before setting-off on a late evening sail back to our mooring.

The weather the following weekend was poor with high winds forcing sailing off the agenda, including the cancellation of the Fife Regatta. That actually worked out well for us, as we had shore-based commitments. Our boy Harry was up from London playing a Friday night gig in Glasgow, as a warm-up for two sets they were playing at Glastonbury a couple of days later. They stayed the night chez nous, with 21-year old Matt even giving us a tinkle on our piano in the wee small hours. Despite downing more than a couple of shandies, he managed to knock out an impressive ditty. Come to think of it, listening to the lyrics of ‘As the world caves in‘ you might be forgiven for thinking that D-Day could easily stand for Doomsday.

Here’s hoping for fair winds next weekend.


Electric shock at Fife Regatta

June 18, 2014


We arrived at Capernaum Pier on Friday afternoon, ahead of most of the yachts that were expected to turn up for the Fife Regatta on Saturday and Sunday. Within a few minutes of tying up, a naval architect chum arrived on his super tender. From his own design studio, it’s called the Mylne Bolt and it’s powered by a chunky 185bhp dollop of electricity.

Leaving Capernaum

Before I knew what had happened I was on-board. The shot above shows us leaving our Macwester Malin and Capernaum Pier behind. I was expecting power, as the Bolt is the current (sorry) British record holder for the “Unrestricted Electric Runabout” class, but I wasn’t expecting the fabulous noise. Aren’t electric-powered vehicles supposed to be silent?

Onboard Mylne Bolt

A few minutes later, I had the privilege of taking the Bolt for a short spin, truncated only because I needed to get back ashore.

Mlyne Bolt on Forth

Not long after, I had the opportunity to head back out on the Bolt again …and I didn’t need to be asked twice. It’s a hoot! We headed out into the middle of the River Forth, where we rendezvou-ed with the local club safety boat. I jumped ship and shot some video of the Bolt from the other boat.

MacwesterMalin pre-Regatta

After lunch on Saturday more yachts arrived for the regatta, so we set sail before it got too busy. The little Hunter 23 behind our 32 ft Macwester had just arrived from Newcastle.

NASA Clipper Duet

Sailing east, it was a relief to see that our depth and speed logs were both operational at last. It’s been a frustrating two years trying to fathom out (sorry again) the problem, which in the end wasn’t interference but a faulty display, which had either been returned faulty from the manufacturer, or had developed a fault on return from the manufacturer two years previously.

Macwester Malin Port Edgar

Although there was a lot of activity at the marina, we enjoyed the relative tranquility of the day’s warm but rather sultry weather.

Leaving Port Edgar

The following day, our Macwester Malin was crammed full of family members that we took for a short, but enjoyable sail under the bridges. The shot above shows us leaving Port Edgar, with the Queensferry Crossing under construction in the background.

Hound Point looking west

We pootled along Peatdraught Bay and out past Hound Point, before time pressure required us to head back under the bridges again, but at least we had a gentle easterly behind us, and that was precisely what we needed with several non-sailors on-board. On the way back to Port Edgar we were buzzed by the same Fairline Squadron that we had followed out of the marina an hour or two earlier. Our guests had a great time, and it’s fair to say that we had a fab weekend too. Happy days!


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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