Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Elie to Arbroath

First a few pictures from before I set off.
You can't tell it from these pictures but it was blowing a right hoolie at the time. These pictures must have been taken between the gusts. 

I'm the one with the Orange top, Ruach is the one in cream.
 Just like hospital visiting, 'don't let Matron catch you with more than two visitors per boat'.

This is 'you'll never get me on a boat' Kirsteen

More members from the Church outing

I feel very privileged to be able to take this trip. It has been a dream of mine for many years to take a small boat around Scotland, not just as a sprint, calling at a few 'highlight' places, but to have the luxury of having time to stop and 'smell the flowers' every once in a while. For those of you who sail you will know what I mean, you go sailing for a week or maybe two, but almost from day one you are planning strategically where you need to be to be back at base for the end of the charter or back to your home port. Now imagine that same trip, but not having to sail to windward when the weather didn't want to play fair. Well that is the journey that I am on.
A big thanks must go to Lloyds Banking Group, my employer, for allowing me to take this time out, I realise not everyone gets the opportunity to take this sort of extended leave. A big thanks must also go to all you 'givers' out there, the two charities involved are very grateful for the money you have donated so far via my little project. But my biggest thanks must go to my lovely wife Penny who has not only let me 'escape' for the summer, but has actively encouraged me throughout the preparation of this project. To Penny I dedicate this paraphrase of the traditional sea song 'Leaving of Liverpool'
    "So fare you well my own true love, when I return united we will be.
     It's not the leaving of Livingston that grieves me, but my darling when I think of thee".
          (Now imagine that being sung and played badly on a Ukelele) :-)

Elie to Arbroath.

Ruach takes the ground beside Elie harbour wall

Had an early start from Elie, but slightly over slept, so was near the bottom of the tide before I departed and I really didn't want to be stuck on the beach for a second sandcastle here in Elie. The weather was again pleasant as I feasted on porridge oats in the morning light. With a wind Coming mainly from the West meant that with just the staysail and main I was able to make good progress along the Fife coast. St. Monans, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail flashed by accompanied by a number of small boats attending their pots. A couple of pleasure yachts came out of Anstruther to join me on my trip round Fife Ness, the most Easterly point of Fife, and my turning point North; one of the first major milestones on my trip.
On turning North we were going too fast so I had to fight to slow my progress as we were, at this rate, going to arrive at Arbroath before the tide would allow me to enter the inner harbour. Ruach was loving this beam reach and it was a shame to pull back on her leash, but it had to me done. I 'hove to' for some lunch off the entrance to the River Tay for about half an hour to let the tide catch up, then on to Arbroath in baking summer heat.

Todays Factoid
Bell rock lighthouse which stands sentinel on Inchcape Rock, or 'bell rock' some 10 mile offshore was on my horizon for much of today. It celebrated 200 years of watching over shipping early 2011. You may know of this rock from the famous poem 'the inchcape-rock'. It is also a fine tribute to the lighthouse Stevensons and the Northern Light Board. Build all that time ago with interlocking stonework. Such was it's elegant construction that it still survives to this day. 

My mate Steve was due to meet me the following day in Arbroath so I had another effort at rearranging the boat to make room for him, I still failed, but was able to squeeze him in later.
I spent the next day Friday, catching up on shakedown tasks. I fitted a roller furling gear to the jib to make stowing the sail a moments task rather than a momentous challenge on a bucking foredeck. I also went for a hair cut at a barbers near the fishing boat harbour. How come with these places they ask you what style you would like, but then give you the 'house' style? So I now support a high fashion haircut among the fishermen of Arbroath. 

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.