It was about time for an adventure a little further afield so we both managed to take a long weekend before Chris gets into his busy summer of work.
Day 1 – Thursday, Port Edgar to DBSC
After setting off a little later than planned and then an unfortunate road diversion along the way, we finally managed to get the boat together and ready to cast off by around 20:30h on the Thursday. We set off to see if we could take a mooring for the night at Dalgety Bay… wondering if we were brave or stupid. This was after all our first night to be spent away from Port Edgar. In hindsight, this was a stupid idea. The forecast was saying that although windy, the direction at the Dalgety Bay Sailing Club mooring field would make it well sheltered. This proved to be far from reality when we finally made it.
We picked up the mooring and turned in, and as the night went on, the wind kept building and the direction got worse and worse… Rosanne was (luckily for her) blissfully largely unaware of the potential danger and managed to fall asleep, while poor Chris had the all night fear… fear of the rocks near behind on the lee shore in the pitch black with 25kts of wind in the wrong direction, coupled with fear of the poorly maintained mooring pick up chain which was wearing very thin and rusty… all compounded by being cold, wet and seasick…
Poor Chris counted 30 danger sheep all through the night so he could flick his eyes open every half minute and check the GPS track…
Day 2 – Friday, DBSC to Port Edgar, then Port Edgar to Granton
With the coming morning light we decided to call the game a bogey and retreat back to Port Edgar to lick our wounds, have a proper sleep and wait out the blow. We got off the mooring ok and took it easy back to Port Edgar under well reefed main and genoa. After a good sleep and a shower for Chris, a walk for Rosanne around Dalmeny Estate, and some coffee and a large slab of carrot cake thanks to Once upon a Time, we felt almost human again.
Looking out at the Forth the wind had certainly lost a lot of its vengeance, and we contemplated a dash for Granton.
With an improving forecast, we went for it, and we were glad we did. In terms of pure sailing, this was the best day of the lot. Tacking up wind in about 16kts and against tide was good fun, although it didn’t make for a particularly fast passage and was a tad chilly!
We arrived in Granton around 9pm and immediately liked it for the safety of it’s well sheltered moorings. The only difficulty was finding out the code to get onto dry land! After a few phone calls we eventually made it through the gate! We met some very friendly sailors including Robin and Kenny who were keen to share both local knowledge and horror stories!
Day 3 – Saturday, Granton to Elie
After a shower we set off once more, this time in the direction of Elie. In a stroke of awesomeness the wind direction was perfect for having the cruising chute up all day at a gentlemanly pace of 4.5kts averaged all the way! It was very sunny all day and we picked up a bit of a tan! We knew we would arrive in Elie before there was enough water in the harbour but phoned ahead to David the Harbour Master to check we would make it in later on. He assured us that there was space on the wall for us and that the tide would be sufficient around 8pm.
We arrived mid afternoon and anchored off in the bay with the aim of having a nap or reading for a few hours. Unfortunately the swell increased and Rosanne was soon feeling sick. We abandoned ship in the dinghy to go for a little trip ashore. We checked out the harbour and planned out our route of entry. On our way we checked the depth with the spanner fathometer and decided we could venture a bit closer to shore on Ragdoll. We returned to the mighty sail boat and moved her closer in under the lee of the headland and got out of the worst of the wind and chop that was the last of the sea breeze. After a bit of time chilling out, we prepared Ragdoll for entry to the harbour. As the tide came in we lassoo’d the ladder at the entrance to the harbour wall and waited a little longer. Suddenly the harbour master zoomed into sight above us on his bike… we were afraid he wasn’t going to stop before he reached the edge! After a little longer waiting, we did some tidal calculations and realised that the visitors berth was going to be impossible after all. Instead we managed to plough a trench with our keel and scrape ourselves along to a spot between the fishing boats… just enough water thankfully. After a rearrangement of weight and a few extra ropes to normal we were all set to go and find the pub – The Ship Inn where we spent the evening chatting to a couple who were campervanning on the beach. We returned to the harbour to await touchdown, which happened at about 01:00h in the morning. With the weight of a few extra fuel tanks and spare water marshalled in the starboard cockpit locker, Ragdoll took on a good list to Starboard, landing and leaning on the wall perfectly. Chris even remembered to give the dinghy lots of length in its rope!
Day 3 – Waiting at Elie for the tide, and the route to the pub!
Day4 – Sunday, Elie to Granton
We woke up early and feasted on a breakfast of lorne sausage pittas…our first cooked breakfast on Ragdoll. With the boat prepared for lift off and returning to Granton, we were sad to leave Elie after such a short visit, but are sure to return.
We arrived back in Granton after a quick detour of Newhaven harbour, though saw no good way to use it at the state of the tide. It was good to give Ragdoll a wash and even better to do it in our bare feet! We ventured out for a walk back over to Newhaven and enjoyed dinner at Loch Fyne. Rosanne got a surprise when her crab burger turned out to be a whole battered crab and of course we had to try the platter of deserts! By the time we got back to the boat we were ready for an early night which also turned into a long lie in the next morning!
Day 5 – Monday, Granton to Port Edgar via Inchcolm
Setting off back to Port Edgar, we realised that it would be the perfect day to explore Inchcolm. There was no wind to speak of so it ended up a flat calm motoring kind of day. We explored the Abbey and the whole island and managed to avoid getting attacked by seagulls up until we ventured to the south where Rosanne got hit on the head by two gulls in quick succession and promptly burst into tears at the shock. (Aww! Chris did bravely try to fight them off by waving one of his crocs in the air…!)
Unfortunately then it was time to wrap our long weekend adventure up. We motored back to Port Edgar accompanied by a pair of porpoises!
And that was the end of that! It was really cool to be out on Ragdoll away from Port Edgar for a change of scene!
Here’s the video for those who don’t believe there was any sun in Scotland this weekend!