Cruise in Company 21 July 2012
(Photos John Spencely & Adrian Shield – for more photos see the Cruising page)
Saturday 21st July saw the second Cruise in Company of the year with a great turnout of some 19 boats. The day promised some sunshine and gentle winds which tempted out a number of families as well as the usual suspects. In the event there was less sun and a little more wind, but it did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the crews.
Following a briefing by Graham Mitchell (who did sterling work organising it all) two launches were kept pretty busy getting everybody out to their boats.
In fits and starts the fleet got out onto the water and enjoyed a fast sail across to the designated picnic spot, in Silver Sands bay, being very careful to avoid the Common Rocks as advised.
Routine for some, but anchor practice for others, the boats managed to find a spot in the bay which did not impede any other boats.
Afternoon tea, a full picnic or just a beer were enjoyed by the crews, each boat doing their own thing, with the RIB scurrying around between them checking all was well and accepting a hot bacon roll from Solveg. Then a musical interlude with first one boat and then another bringing out the bagpipes.
Somebody was heard to comment that they thought they were on the High Street for a minute.
As the designated time drew near for departure, Graham scuttled around in the RIB handing out the briefing and start time sheets for the stern chase back to Granton. Anchors were hurriedly or leasurely raised (depending on the keenness of the participants) and there was a lot of activity on the start line as boats a little less experienced in racing tried to keep out of the way of the more regular competitors. The staggered start added to the fun as some of the later boats got in the way of the early starters. Failing to take the time from the GPS, Embleton was too soon at the line for the second wave of the slow boats and had to do a full turn round behind the line, nearly impaling another boat on her bowsprit as she did so. There was also some excitement, missed by most of the departed boats, when Peak Flow had to be pulled clear of Hawkcraig Point by the RIB.
The wind had eased a little but it was still a brisk race back on a broad reach.
Graham did a fine job with the handicapping as a number of boats crossed the line within a few minutes of each other, resulting in quite a dance just inside the harbour as the crews rapidly dropped their sails to avoid racing onto the moorings. The winner was The Springer closely followed by Eriskay but it was a fun race for most people and the results didn’t really matter. However the competitive spirit was awakened in some of the newcomers and it may be that we see them again for a stern chase. (The next one is the Coronation Cup on Saturday 1 Sept)
Finally it was back to the clubhouse where Lindsey was kept busy with drinks, burgers and hot sausage rolls, followed by the prize giving.