With haul out scheduled for Monday, we arrived at Ragdoll late on Friday night bent on squeezing one last trip in. We had a notion that the light winds forecast might allow an evening anchoring out on the Forth somewhere, but with the forecast saying that there may be some overnight winds, we decided that we would head for Granton and stay safe on a pontoon!
We set off and with plenty time in hand, we drifted along under genoa and mizzen down river. There wasn’t much wind at all, and we were making 3kts with the tide at our backs. Rosanne was dressed like the Michelin man, and was grateful for it as she barely even felt the cold. Once at Granton, Chris rustled up some rather excellent cheese on toast and we chilled out and had a mini board game tournament. With the very short days we were convinced it was bed time by 9pm and turned in for an early night. On realising the actual time we invented a new game – virtual trivial pursuit – whereby you basically make up the rules and questions as you go along. Chris posed a lot of boaty type questions – his favourite categories being “Naval Architecture” and “Things Rosanne should know about Ragdoll, that Chrissy has told her, that she has forgotten.” Meanwhile Rosanne favoured topics such as “Marine Animals” and “Chrissy & Rosanne’s first dates.”
We thought it might be a little chilly on board, but with the eberspacher on, an extra blanket or two and a couple of hot water bottles we were nice and cozy all weekend. Top tip for cold weather sailing: Fill two or three hot water bottles and throw them in your bunk for the day – it will heat the whole cabin and take that cold clammy feeling from the bed sheets! Another good tip – if you have hot water on board, you are lucky! Alternatively, boil the kettle… and fill 0.5l drinks bottles or water bottles with hot water – keep one in each pocket, and put your hands in whenever you can! Fingers and hands get cold first usually, if you can keep them warm, the rest of you will keep warm too! This trick has saved Chris from hypothermia on a couple of occasions.
On Sunday morning team IndyBanks arrived to join us for the return trip to Port Edgar. We ventured out and headed over to Burntisland for a nosey around the harbour. On the way, we spotted CSV Deep Cygnus at the Leith Pilot Station. Chris had been offshore previously on this boat doing cable laying and trenching on the Greater Gabbard Windfarm, and it was nice to see her still working! We got as close as we dared, then headed in the direction of Burntisland.
At Burntisland, It was strange to see the busy little harbour so empty and quiet compared to our last visit. We stopped off on the wall for a fabulous feast provided by IndyBanks… thanks guys! Afterwards, we had a nosey around the wet dock by foot, then by sea!
We popped out of Burntisland, and Chris had the notion of having a look at Starleyburn Harbour. This little place had been on Chris’s must visit list for the entire season, and as it was the top of the tide, seemed sensible to try and fit it in. So, in we went, dodging lobster pots galore. We made it all the way in to the harbour with what seemed like plenty water, though Chris noted that a section of the quay had fallen out, and as sure as not, what remained of the wall was likely on the bottom of the harbour in a massive keel mangling heap, so we set that as the marker, and headed back out. A low tide reconnaissance in the future by dinghy is warranted though! Chris also suspected that the area outside the harbour would make an excellent anchorage, with plenty easterly and northerly shelter. We need to talk the team into a night at anchor in here some time in the summer!
On our journey back to Port Edgar we stopped off at InchGnome! There were also a couple of big seals hanging around the island! One of the biggest came fairly close, and then made a big splash as he dived off in disgust at our intrusion into his neighbourhood…
We made it back to Port Edgar just as it was getting dark, and as it was against the outgoing tide, it took us a good bit of time. Needless to say, with the fading light, and the still water, the bridges looked spectacular as we nosed our way back home. It was great to have some company out on the water for our final sail of the season, and by all accounts, we were the only yacht on the water! After delivering team Indybanks back to their car at Granton, Chris and Rosanne had another quiet and cozy night on board watching some sailing documentaries on the Ipad.
On Monday morning we were up to get the sails down, and fuel tank topped up ready for overwintering. Team IndyBanks popped by again to join us for the haul out – we got the sails flaked, the tea drunk, and the boat hauled out most professionally by our marina chums.
Fortunately, the haul out went well, and Ragdoll now sits in the winter boatyard, quietly waiting for someone (Chris) to fix her leaky rudder tube…