Thursday, 2 June 2011

We're off!

First an apology to everyone who wanted to see me depart. Initially the weekend weather put paid to the original start. It was so windy I couldn't even risk raising the mast. Seeing that I was not at Church Sunday, the congregation came to see me and we all went off for a fish & chip lunch in South Queensferry between the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road bridge overlooking the Forth.
....but back to the apology,  when the weather improved the original intention was to have a short shakedown cruise in the Forth before actually heading off. However the wind and the weather were so fantastic on Tuesday that the shakedown cruise actually started the cruise for real. The weather was really too good to miss. It all came round rather quickly.

So, we're off with a force 3/4, occasionally 5 wind straight up my exhaust pipe (Ooh Matron!). The sail was amazing on an almost flat calm sea. Being as this was part of the shakedown cruise things were a bit rusty, (mostly the skipper). Who forgot to tie stopper knots in the jib sheets? Who only remembered just as they disappeared up to the bows as I grasped hold of thin air? Doh!
Oh well, I practised going hove to with staysail and main while I retrieved the erant ropes from dancing a hornpipe off the end of the bowsprit, btw, the bowsprit is the wooden pointy bit at the front of the boat. You'll pick up these nautical terms as we go along, pay attention as I will test you later.

I arrived at Elie to find that last weeks storms had stolen the three visitors deep water mooring bouys from in front of the harbour pier, so I decided to ghost into the harbour on the last of the tide. With my shallow draft I thought I'd just manage to sneak in before the harbour turned back to being a beach with a wall. Think again, as I shuddered to a halt just outside! Oh well, the Cornish Crabber is just ideal for running onto a beach for a picnic, or to scrub the bottom (the boats, not mine). The retired harbour master walked down the beach to make sure I was okay. Such a nice chap. He offered me a vacant fishing boat berth once the tide had returned a little. As the tide started to return I hauled myself out into deeper water to await the depth to increase in the harbour. Then I thought 'I could just stay anchored here where the visitors buoys should be'. That was fine until at 3am when I awoke feeling a tad queasy (Mal-de-mer). So raised the anchor and moored where earlier I had been offered in the harbour. Still a bit bumpy from the swell, but good enough. Elie seems to be a nice picture postcard place to visit.
Slept late Wednesday due to the previous nights escapade so missed the tide. Decided to stay put and try to find better places to stow 'things'. the boat is absolutly full you understand, but it is mostly food, so can't complain. I have a mate from work coming to crew for a few days so need to find some room to stow him.

This internet connection is a bit poor here (but better than non) so I'll try to upload a few photos and today's log later.

Fantastic news on the giving front. Alzheimer Scotland are now eligble for the full £500 of matched giving due to your generosity. So we now stand at over £1500 raised between the two charities. On top of that I have another £100 pledged when I receive the cheque.
Let's see if we can even it out and give £1000 to both of the charities. It's up to you!

If anyone out there is having trouble donating at the justgiving sites (behind company firewalls, don't trust the internet with my card details or just don't want to give that way, etc) you can mail me a cheque direct. To do this just send me an email and I'll send you the details.

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If you came to this blog from the main website you will hopefully have had a look around the site and be aware of what I'm up to, both the adventure itself and the fact that I'm aiming to raise awareness of dementia in our society and to raise money for the Alzheimer's charities.
I'm doing this trip for fun and funding the trip myself, but while I'm on this venture you can do your bit to by supporting the Alzheimer's charities through either or

Catch you next time.

David H.