The Night Sail
Night sailing is a very different experience. If you have not done this before, this could have been a good opportunity.
On the 6th July Peak Flow, with its stalwart skipper, John Spencely, together with John McLaren and Adrian Shield, left the rest of the Cruise in Company fleet stern chasing back from Aberdour to Granton. Peak Flow then headed off down river towards Fidra.
The conditions were perfect, with a steady breeze (SW 3 to 4) a calm sea and the company of seals, puffins and other seabirds.
There was a brief change of course off the north of Inchkeith as we appeared to be on a collision course with a tanker who later proved to be anchored.
Afternoon tea with cup cakes kept us occupied as we goose-winged steadily towards Fidra.
Visible from a long way off, we looked forward to the promised salmon supper once we were anchored on the sheltered east side of the island.
Anchored in 4 m of water, with the screaching of thousands of gulls on the island, we relaxed and waited for dark. As it got dark (sunset at 10 p.m.) we could already see the light of the Isle of May, a few miles to the north east. At 22:30 we set sail back to Granton. I say sail, but with the wind still westerly and now light, it would have taken us till dawn to sail back, so on went the trusty Beta.
Although the navigation lights on the Forth are not extensive, there are enough of them to make the experience educational. Seeing navigation lights against the shore lights is the biggest challenge, closely followed by accurately identifying the marks. We followed the lights carefully up river, working to a reference sheet distilled from the charts earlier. We arrived back in Granton just after 01:30 and moored on the pontoon at the end of a fascinating experience.
Next time – a few more boats.
(Sorry no pictures of the sailing back. The camera wasn’t up to it)