Cruising in Company

 Cruising in Company  is a wonderful opportunity for crews and skippers to meet up and mix up.  Every club member is welcome.  Just turn up and we will find you a space with a boat.

=================   2017 ======================

Cruise in Company – Sunday 30th July 2017

This event was planned over a falling tide so the group had a few hours to fill on this cruise in company; the 4th in the series.

Club members and guests gathered at the club at 11am to discuss and agree the destination for the day. The forecast was for south westerly winds, force 3 or 4, with occasional showers. None of us were convinced however and as events unfolded during the day it was just another example of how the forecasters should perhaps be looking for another vocation.

A good turnout of skippers were in attendance and the 7 boats which ultimately attended the cruise were (in alphabetical order): Aziana, Idothea, Gonzo, Orithia, Sorley, Stargazer and Varrich.

The destination was chosen as Inchcolm (north side) but as we had time to spare we decided on a leisurely beat upstream, to around Hound Point. From there we would make our way round to the far side of Inchcolm to drop anchor and have lunch. The weather up to this point had been reasonable with the odd spot of rain but, in the main, a bright and promising day.

There were already one or two boats in the bay when the fleet arrived at around 2pm but there was sufficient room for us all and we all enjoyed some relaxation in the peace and calm of Inchcolm Bay. The highlight of the day however was when Peter Hall (Varrich) produced his bagpipes and treated all within earshot to a medley of wonderful piping tunes, all of which was enthusiastically acknowledged by all around.

With the breeze having apparently diminished during the afternoon the fleet set sail for home mostly under full sail only to be struck by gale force south westerly winds (which came out of nowhere) when we ventured out round the east side of Inchcolm. Chaos ensued as crews hurriedly reduced sail to regain some form of control. With disaster averted we ‘reached’ back to port at a cracking pace.

All in all, another good day but with more lessons learned. These being; always prepare for the unexpected and never trust a weather forecaster.

The next C in C is planned for Sunday August 20th.

B Robertson

Sunday 9 July

Grey skies and an uncertain forecast were not sufficient to dampen the spirits of those members who gathered at the club at lunchtime on Sunday 9th July for the third of our six event ‘Cruise in Company’ series this year. Force 4/5 winds were predicted from the south west and, although dry to start, light rain commenced as the fleet left the harbour after noon.  One of the boats had two sea dogs.

With winds predicted from the south west, and HW due at 15:50, conditions were just right for an afternoon sail to one of my favourite destinations on the Forth; Aberdour Harbour.

Aberdour village is one of Fife’s many treasures and the harbour, which gives good shelter from both the east and west, is a beautiful and peaceful haven and a lovely place to spend a few hours. It is very tide dependent however and visiting yachts should always take care to ensure that sufficient water is available. The Forth pilot book gives valuable guidance on this but, in general terms, yachts are usually able to access the harbour safely 2 or 3 hours either side of HW.

The Aberdour Boat Club Muster had been held the previous day, thankfully accompanied by light breezes and blue skies, but today the harbour was quiet. In the fleet today were Orithya (plus two dogs), Hanna, Solveig and Aziana. Aziana arrived first and, nudging carefully into the harbour whilst keeping a close watch on the depth below the keel, tied up at the wall about half way into the harbour. The rest of the fleet followed and tied up safely.

With our arrival the rain stopped, the breeze dropped, and all was peace and tranquillity as we enjoyed this social occasion. Worthy of note perhaps is the fact that all four of the club’s ‘active’ Seamaster 925 yachts were represented at the gathering. Solveig and Aziana were in the fleet and the skippers of Smithereen (Tom Wilson) and Samba (Lorne Byatt) both of whose boats are currently on the west coast, were attending the event on Aziana and Hanna respectively. There is a belief that there is in fact a fifth Seamaster 925 in the club, but we are not sure where it is (it certainly isn’t at Granton Harbour).

The Seamasters

Hannah – Refreshments are served

The group enjoyed a couple of hours in the harbour before heading back at about 3:30pm. The breeze filled in again from the south west and we enjoyed a cracking sail in dry conditions straight back to Granton on the one tack. Bliss !!!

Sailing Home

All in all we had a great day and, although uncertain at the beginning, the weather was much kinder to us than we had first thought it was going to be.

The next ‘C in C’ is on Sunday 30 July; we hope to see you there. Watch out for updates by e-mail and on the club website.

B Robertson

Sunday 18 June 2017

Conditions were absolutely perfect for the members who gathered at the club at mid-day on Sunday 18 June 2017 for the second of our ‘Cruise in Company’ events. Bright sunshine and a forecast predicting force 3 or 4 winds from the south west bode well for the day.

This cruise was over a split tide so the fleet was going to be out for a few hours. We were therefore looking for a destination a bit more distant and Port Laing seemed the obvious choice.

Port Laing is a beautiful anchorage on the Fife shore (p67 in the FYCA Pilot Handbook) in St. David’s Bay (Inverkeithing) just to the east of the Forth Rail Bridge. An old wooden pier is evident here, just round the headland from the rail bridge, and this was one of the landing stages used during the construction of the bridge in the 19th century.

To the north of the old pier a sandy beach is evident and this is the best place to anchor, with protection from the west and easy anchoring in shallow water.

The fleet consisted of Cory Louise (Commodore), Amare, Aziana, Myrine, Solveig and Whizz Too. We set off around noon beneath blue skies and beat up the Forth into a gentle breeze. Against a falling tide getting through between Oxcars and the Cow & Calves was challenging, but the wind held constant and aided our passage.

The Drum sands is a place to be avoided on a falling tide and the fleet had been warned to give it a wide berth. Having said that Aziana bravely (or stupidly) tacked inshore, keeping a close watch on the depth reading, which held constant at 4m. It was only when we tacked again to go offshore that we nervously watched the depth fall until we had just 0.8m beneath the keel. A bit close for comfort, although the skipper said it was perfectly judged!

Aziana arrived at the anchorage and nosed carefully into 3m of water before dropping the hook. Solveig arrived soon after and came alongside to raft up. This is a practice by Solveig which has been observed on many occasions and they are getting a reputation for ‘hanging back’ so that some other unsuspecting craft, suitable for ‘latching on to’, is allowed to anchor first. This saves them getting their anchor and chain dirty! In fact, we are beginning to wonder if they carry an anchor at all as no-one seems to have seen it! They are very sneaky boys !! The rest of the fleet followed soon after, with Myrine and Cory Louise with the Commodore bringing up the rear.

Safely at anchor we all relaxed, basking in glorious sunshine and enjoying what was turning out to be probably the best sailing day of the year so far.


Around about 16:30 hrs the fleet started to head back east, assisted now by the westerly breeze which held constant. With time to spare, Solveig and Aziana returned to Granton via Inchcolm, arriving back in port just in time for the boatman, who came back on duty at 18:30hrs.

A happy end to a perfect day cruising on the Firth of Forth.

Next C in C date is 9th July. We hope to see you there !!


=================   2015 ======================

The next Cruise in Company was Sunday 12 July – at 10:00

This event welcomes members old and new without their own boat and is also an opportunity for prospective members to come and try it.  Turn up for the briefing and we will try to get you out on one of the boats.

You will need to bring your lunch with you  as we will be out on the water till about 3:30 pm.  Then there is a chance to meet up in the club house, where, if it is too early for a drink, you can take afternoon tea.

Cruise in Company Sunday 21st June 2015

The first scheduled Cruise in Company of 2015 was cancelled due to bad weather.  Therefore this was effectively our first CinC of the season.

7 Boats turned out and the report and pictures have been put together as a post.

Cruising in Company reports 2014

Last CinC of the season – Sunday 28 Sept at 15:00

Half a dozen boats turned out in pleasant conditions with light winds.  The flotilla sailed gently across to Aberdour (with one boat going round the corner to Silver Sands so that the young crew could go ashore to the beach).  On the journey back the wind dies so the final stretch was on engine.  As usual a good time was had by all.

Saturday 13 September – celebration fireworks for the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge.

The boats reflectedSee the full story here: Bridge Fireworks




For a third party short video, go to: Fireworks

Forth Road Bridge 50th Celebrations 7 Sept.

At least 9 Royal Forth boats took part in  this Event. among a flotilla of about 160 boats.

Full details and pictures of the event can be seen in this post: Bridge Celebration Flotilla  You can also see the photos from Silkie and the Festival of the Forth Flotilla Photos

There were 3 columns of craft, each with a nominated lead boat, passing under the bridge from West to East.


Cruise in Company 4/6: Sunday 3 August

Our latest cruise in company attracted 8 boats, despite the gloomy forecast, plus a couple who just came out for the morning. They were rewarded with a brisk sail out and an even brisker sail back, in conditions which were largely sunny.  For the full report see post.

Cruise in Company 3/6:  Saturday 5th July

The briefing  took place at 10:00 in the clubhouse with Kenny MacKenzie (Hoodlum) as flotilla leader.  Kenny had to tear up his carefully researched and prepared passage and mooring plans, as the  skippers and crews agreed to go East with the tide rather than up river and the lunch time destination was set for the other side of Inchkeith.

The fleet was well strung out towards the north end of Inchkeith in light but bright conditions.  At times the tide was giving more forward drive than the wind.   However 12 boats eventually mustered close to the shore on the east side of Inchkeith, below the  lighthouse.

After a leisurely lunch, there was some discussion over VHF channel 8 as to the interim destination on passage home.  (There were some interesting examples of radio procedure in evidence, including at least one “Over and out”.)  An early suggestion of Portobello was rejected in favour of Kinghorn Bay <sic>, particularly as in the lee of Inchkeith it was uncertain as to the strength of the wind and its direction.  Some boats decided to set off directly back to Granton because of the uncertainty, but the Commodore and Vice-Commodore in Embleton led the passage to Kinghorn Harbour, as it turned out to be.  The adjacent sandy Pettycur Bay offered no shelter, but in the Harbour, provided the boats went well in,  there was shelter from Kinghorn Ness.   The only problems to avoid were Hummel Rocks (which were obvious at low tide) and a scattering of isolated rocks in the eastern part of  the bay.  Clearly visible and a guide into the bay was the RNLI station, one of the busiest in the area.

Only about a third of the fleet made it here, and anchored for afternoon tea.

CIMG5368 CIMG5365By now the wind, still mostly from the North West had picked up, so we all had a cracking sail back to Granton just in time for the start of the boatman’s service.

All in all, a great day out, and hardly a hint of the rain which had been promised and a lot of the sun which hadn’t.

On the previous cruise:

We didn’t have a proper briefing last cruise in company. I was slightly late having been stuck in traffic and arrived at the club with everybody already dispersing out on the water at 09.30. Lack of a briefing lead to an incident which fortunately only caused nothing more than embarrassment and a couple barnacles having a sore head – it could have been much more serious. Communication on the water is difficult at best of times – much better to ask the questions before hand.

At the briefing we need to:

1)      Agree a destination
2)      Have a good study of the charts and ensure that all joining the cruise have a clear understanding of appropriate course and an obstacles to avoid
3)      Having a clear understanding of fall back options in case of changes in weather etc.

At the briefing some members are very experienced, other less so – for those experienced members, please help the less experienced, and the less experienced please do ask the silly questions.

For a report on why we need a briefing, see Rocks and Heuristic Traps

Previous Cruise in Company 2/6: The  Cruise in Company on Sunday June 8th was a successful day.  Further details in this post, which contains useful information for us all.

Cruise in Company 4/6: Sunday 3rd August, departure time 10:00

Cruise in Company 5/6: Saturday 13th September, departure time 15:30 (Forth Bridge Fireworks)

Cruise in Company 6/6: Sunday 28th September, departure time 15:00

Cruise in Company – Saturday 10 April 2014

For another view, and loads of photos, see also the Post:  The Sun will Shine on the Righteous.

This report by: Ken Dougall

The day started with a greyness that came with a gentle drizzle that we all know so well. You know the sort of weather, the sort that saps enthusiasm from the mind and makes the very thought of going, outside akin to having a cold shower after a sauna. The type of day that makes braving outside a giant leap. However, it was just that leap that 10 cruising members of the Royal Forth Yacht Club decided to take. It was a leap of faith as much as anything else, with the forecast suggesting a window of sun around lunchtime before the rain started again. So it was, that the following boats ventured out into the greyness at 10.30: yachts Shuvler, Hoodlum, and Aziana, along with ribs Broadsword Calling Danny Boy and our very own Olympian.

The destination was Aberdour with the aim to tie up alongside and have a get together. It transpired that in the fleet we had not one but TWO people celebrating a birthday, namely Robyn Dougall aged 16 on the rib and David Scott aboard Shuvler aged ….er, well slightly more. The wind was just right if somewhat chilly from the east and the yachts made good progress. We had specified a VHF frequency for the fleet which was used to relay information. Broadsword Calling Danny Boy shot over to Aberdour and reported back that there was plenty of space beside the harbour wall. Meanwhile Olympian flitted between the yachts like a bee on a summer’s day taking pictures and video and giving cohesion to the fleet. Her function as a rescue craft was thankfully not required but the two ribs did act as a “finish line” to greet the yachts on arrival at both Aberdour and Granton.

The boats grouped into two raft ups: namely Aziana, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy and Hoodlum, (the latter had our Rear Commodore Peter Hall as a guest crew aboard). The other group consisted of Shuvler and Olympian. The sun had come out, the sea was shimmering and the party kicked into full swing with Shuvler being the centre of the action. A cake appeared as did 3 lobsters heralded in with the sound of party poppers. It would be fair to say that our first cruise had kicked off in style and the weather brought its own gift, that of sun all afternoon.

We had a group photograph on the pier and with everyone having eaten and drunk as much as they wished it was time to head of on the next leg of the cruise. Organiser Paddy suggested a circumnavigation of InchColm via Mortimer’s Deep.  Aziana decided to visit the North Bay of the island and go East between Swallow Craig and Car Craig to rejoin the fleet “on the other side”.  The ribs followed the fleet around InchColm and visited the beautifully sheltered West Bay in passing. Hoodlum and Shuvler were making good time and were approaching Mickery as the ribs caught up with them. Aziana rejoined the fleet about 1.5 miles from Granton and all the boats finished about the same time. The ribs once again acted as a finish line although a couple of the boats crews did exclaim “Oh I did not know we were racing”. This of course was true, as we were cruising, and having a load of fun.  After all, it was a cruise in company as the name suggested and a successful cruise at that.

Reports on 2013
Cruise in Company –  3/4 August 2013

Well it sort of happened.  With the prevailing conditions, and in order to accommodate those members who wanted to go on to ovenight at Port Edgar, the plan this Saturday was to go upstream.  Seven boats attended the briefing in the clubhouse, and it was agreed that we would try the sandy bay of Port Laing between N Queensferry and Inverkeithing as the wind was consistent from the South West .  The fall back, at least for the smaller boats and those not going on to Port Edgar was to go for the small bay to the north of Inchcolm.

As everyone headed out to the boats, Neil Moffat headed to GO Outdoors as he had forgotten his sleeping bag and was forced to buy a new one.

Anyway, Embleton was one of the first boats out of the harbour to find rather rough water (not the “slight” forcast by the Met Office) with the wind touching 5 gusting 7.  This did not suit Embleton at  all and even with 2 reefs in and a restricted staysail and no jib, she could not settle down, even on a fine reach.  ( We later found tha the staysail halyard had jammed at the mast so could not be tensioned properly.)  Nonetheless she set off towards Inchcolm or as close a heading as she could for it.  Meanwhile, Aziana, Solveg and Shuvler, as well as Hoodlum, managed to get close hauled with heavy reefing and shot up river.  And we underrstand that they managed to get to Port Laing.  How many others even got out of the harbour we shan’t know till later reports come in.  Certainly Tomara put her nose out and drew it straight back in again.  Serenity was the other boat not going on to PE and we wait to hear where it got to.

Well Embleton bounced across towards Aberdour, eventually dropping the main which was too much and continuing under reduced staysail and engine.  Radio contact was attempted with the rest of the fleet, but there was no response.  We later found out that the aerial cable had come away at the mast, wheeked out by the flailing sheets.  But after about 45 minutes we gave up and turned back towands Granton, eventually winding the staysail and finishing under engine alone.  The picnic at the mooring in the harbour was good though.

We did hear from the little fleet that managed to get up river.  See Tom’s report here.

A Night Sail for the Fireworks

Festival Fireworks Night is 1 September 2013 and it has been reported that this looks spectacular from out on the water.  So is anyone interested in:

– sailing to Silversands in the afternoon and anchoring for supper;
– night sail back from about 21:00 viewing the fireworks enroute – heaving to as necessary!
– back to the pontoons or moorings at Granton by 24:00

Responses to Graham Mitchell at the club email address or to the Cruising Group email.

Cruise in Company – Saturday 6 July 2013 – also Night Sailing

This was the third of these popular events this year.

11 boats took part in the cruise which went to Aberdour (see Gallery photo) and moored up in the harbour. Being alongside rather than anchored somewhere meant that there was the opportunity to socialise with the other boats, on, in the case of Orithia, with their beautiful spaniel, Bonio.  Lunch was taken in a variety of forms, from alfresco to cockpit table to a barbeque on the jetty.  Facilities were kindly provided by the Aberdour Boat Club at their charming club rooms on the jetty.  See the gallery below for a selection of photos:

The gallery includes two photos of the view from the jetty, showing Edinburgh and Inchcolm from a very different angle.

One boat then peeled off to go via Fidra for  a night sail (see post).  The remaining fleet gathered for a Stern Chase back to Granton to catch the boatman.  Peak Flow acted as the start boat, but had to delay the start for a few stragglers to clear the harbour.  This unfortunately confused the staggered start for some of the competitors but it did not impact the result.

Looking for the start

Looking for the start


On the start line

On the start line

The stern chase was won by Solveig after a nip and tuck battle over the last half mile or so with Aziana who was leading her all the way until then.  Needless to say the blame was laid on the sail trimmer (GM) on Aziana where Graham Mitchell was stowaway.

Unfortunately the main fleet of 5 slower yachts were unable to compete over the last leg with the fading wind at that point.   Fortunately crews enjoyed themselves in the
sunshine and chatting on the pier at Aberdour, plus the atmosphere in the clubhouse

Cruise in Company – Powerboats

We tend to think of ourselves as primarily a sailing club, but we have a number of RIBS and an increasing number of powerboats.

On June 1st 2013 The Royal Forth Yacht Club hosted a three Island “Cruise in Company”

rfyc powerboat1

for Powerboats organised by members of RYA Powerboat Scotland committee
and The Royal Forth Yacht Club.  See Ken Dougall’s report:RIB Cruise 1 June 2013

Cruise in Company – Saturday 8 June 2013

There was a good turn out for this popular event.  Due to the light winds it was determined that the cruise would be to Cramond Island.  Tom Wilson took a large number of great photos some of which are now on this web site.  See the post.

For the full process – see below.
Cruising in Company is a calendar event which has taken off over the past year or two.

The Concept:  “Organized and run by the membership, Yacht Clubs became a place to promote the sport of sailboat racing and cruising, as well as provide a meeting place for the particular social community” – so says Wikipedia.

Following the format of last year’s cruises, dependent on the weather and tides there will be a cruise in company to Aberdour, or other anchorages, providing an opportunity for club members (keelboats, dinghies, crew) to meet,
learn the art of coarse anchoring, perhaps exchange crews and generally socialise on the water.

Details will be communicated by: posts on the website; email; and posters on the notice board about two weeks in advance.

Suggestions / Ideas, questions are welcome – to the Organiser (see below). Look out for news here on the website at the start of and during the season.

The ProcessIt starts with skippers and crews meeting up at the club house in the morning for a briefing and decision on where to sail to given the weather and the tides.  This is also an opportunity for new crews to be taken on by skippers.  Meeting times and times for the event vary accordingly.  For this year’s events see below.

The crews embark and set of for the designated destination (there may be more than one for the day).  On arrival they drop anchor, picnic, go ashore (where practical), move around the boats, etc.  If a second destination has been tabled, the fleet weighs anchor and sets off in loose convoy to the new destination.  Again various activities ensue.

Finally at a time set by the Officer of the Day (i.e. the organiser) and to start times designated by him, those yachts wishing to take part engage in a stern chase back to Granton.  This race is very much a fun race (no spinakers allowed), but there is usually a prize for the winning boat and the competition (even amongst the non racing fraternity) can get quite heated (well warm anyway).

With the boats back on the moorings it is time to meet in the bar, present the prize to the winning skipper and enjoy some food, drink and convivial company.

NOTE that we need someone willing to take on/or assist with the organising of the Cruises in Company.  Graham Mitchell did a great job with it last year but now, as Sailing Secretary, has less time to spare.  It is not an onerous task and is only for the 5 events.  If you would like to do this , contact the office by the usual email and it will be passed on to Graham.

2012  Cruise-in-Company Events

Following the success of last year’s events (see the reports below), we have scheduled 5 similar events this year.


Put the dates in your diaries and watch for further information on these pages in due course.

Cruise in Company – Saturday 11 August 2012

This was another enjoyable day out with a good turnout of boats sailing first to Inchkeith and then to Starleyburn (near Burntisland), before a stern chase back to Granton.

For the full story see the post

Cruise in Company – The Commodore’s Rally – Saturday 21st July

(Photos Ken Dougall & Neil Moffat)

This was a great success with 19 boats taking part.  On one of the best sailing days this year, skippers, crews and families mustered at the club house for the briefing before going out to their boats for the sail over to Silver Sands.  Anchoring off the beach we must have seemed an unusual sight to the families on the beach:

(It’s OK, it was taken in black and white).

For some it was just a family day out:

Whilst in among the picnics and afternoon tea some went swimming:



And then there were the musicians:





More serious stuff was to follow with the stern chase home with some seemingly confused milling about at the start.

The race was won by Tim Simpson in The Springer closely followed by Eriskay:

And the rest of the fleet, who were mostly in it for the fun – though when there are other boats going in the same direction the spirit of competition does seem to kick in:

But a good time was had by all.

See also report.  Also see below for additional photos from Liz Tulloch:


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Wind and Tide

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Upcoming Events

  1. Cruise in company 5/6

    Sunday, August 20
  2. Late Evening Points 7/7

    Thursday, August 24 @ 6:30 pm
  3. Dinghy Racing 4/4

    Friday, August 25 @ 6:30 pm
  4. Joint Fri White Sail SC 8/8

    Friday, August 25 @ 6:30 pm
  5. Wine Tasting

    Saturday, August 26 @ 7:30 pm
  6. FIG Div 1&2 DBSC Gavin Adamson

    Sunday, August 27
  7. Practice Races Session 4/4

    Wednesday, August 30 @ 6:30 pm
  8. East Coast Sailing Festival 2017

    Friday, September 1 - Monday, September 4
  9. DBSC Dinghy Regatta

    Saturday, September 2 - Sunday, September 3
  10. Queensferry Crossing Official Opening Flotilla

    Monday, September 4

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