Archives 2015 – Part 2

Christmas party – posted 8 Nov 2015

Save the date! The club’s Christmas party will be held on Friday the 18th of December at the Port Edgar Yacht Club, from 7pm. Tickets £7 a head, which includes soup, sandwich, mince pie plus tea or coffee.
Marion has kindly agreed to give out tickets. So if you would like to go, please let Marion know. We would like an idea of how many people would like to come along by this Friday 13 November, if possible please, so we can advise PEYC re expected numbers for catering. All suggestions for our event please email Donna at:

This invitation has gone out to North Queensferry too. Louise has advised she will put this out to Big Tent for all the club to view.

Re bar: if anyone would like to work the bar (bottles and cans only) let Donna know. Terry Kirchin has advised he would need to do a half hour training at the most, for us to be competent. All other alcohol you wish to bring, you may do so, on the evening.

Re music: Barbara is bringing along a small hifi with an iPod dock, and has made up a playlist that will last two and a half hours. However, if anyone else wants to bring along their iPod as well they’re welcome – or CDs of course. It’s the older-style 30-pin iPod fitting rather than the new-fangled Lightning one.

Progress on maintenance – posted 11 Nov 2015

This morning the Maid was turned and work began sealing dents and scrapes with epoxy. The floorboards got a first coat of thinned varnish on one side, and the seat ends were done too. The next session will be Monday at 10am.

A visitor popped in to check out the work – John Clenshaw (centre). Here he is chatting with Tony and Graham.

Weekend tides – posted 11 Nov 2015

The tides on Saturday 14th are as follows:
09.06: low of 1.1
16.20: High of 5.6

Because the tide is so low at our normal start time, it could be 10.30am before we can get out. However, time for a bacon roll and a chat first!!

On Sunday 15th, the tides are:
09.33 Low 1.2
16.59. High 5.5

All is well for our normal 1pm start.

Live weather link – posted 14 Nov 2015

Here’s something worth a bookmark on your browser: the Port Edgar Berth-Holders’ Association’s live weather data. It’s accurate to within the past minute.

Port Edgar Marina – Live Weather

Canal row – posted 16 Nov 2015

Mike B has generously offered to tow, so the Union Canal excursion is on for Saturday November 28th. Anne Flannery is organising the trip, which is from the Old Philpstoun slip to Linlithgow basin and back. She thinks it should take about two hours to row to the basin – it’s approximately four miles one way. With half an hour to load and unload the boat, plus 20 minutes to change crews, it will total to about a 6.5hr day.

We would need to be back at Port Edgar by 4pm at the latest for enough light to get the boat safely back down the side of the shed. So, the probable leaving PE at 10am Sat morning. This does mean the boat going away for the day; however, maintenance on the Maid may well be finished by then, plus there is a low tide of one metre at 10am, so the normal rowing session wouldn’t go ahead anyway.

People are invited to walk, run, cycle along the tow path and give encouragement to the rowers and cox, or you can drive up to Linlithgow and have a wee wander and join us at the basin at a designated time. Please remember we will need a lot of hands to launch into and retrieve from the canal. Picnics and refreshments can be brought on board as long as you are willing to share.

Thirteen people have their names in already for crews – can they please let Anne know their preference for direction of travel. Passengers can and will be carried (they will help get the boat through the bridges!)

Photo by Barbara (taken in May!)

The Maid’s big day – posted 21 Nov 2015

Peter Locke writes: 24 November is the third anniversary of the launch of Ferry Maid. I think it is good to remember these special occasions in our Club’s history. Some of the newer members will be seeing this video below for the first time and as one of the founder members I would like once again to thank all those who were involved in the procurement, build and launch of Ferry Maid and for all the dedication that went into the success.

I would also make mention of the ongoing labour of love by those who are currently working on the skiff which should be ready for service soon. We have a great team!

And speaking of maintenance, here’s Graham working on the Maid this morning after she’d been turned over.

Union Canal row – posted 28 Nov 2015

Just a quick post so you can see some photos from today’s Awfully Big Adventure. Never mind the cold, the wind, the rain – QRC members are always up for a challenge! The row from Old Philpstoun to Linlithgow canal basin and back was a lot of fun despite the weather.

"Try not to get lost..."

“Try not to get lost…”

More photos on Flickr

George found the following description of the route in a walking guide to West Lothian:

Passing by Easter and Wester Cockmuir Bridges (36, 37), we come upon a small basin, to the left of which lies Fawnspark Farm. The road crossing Philpstoun Bridge (38) takes traffic from Threemiletown to Philpstoun and the M9 motorway. On the far bank of the basin you will notice sheep grazing at the water’s edge. This is a popular spot for swans and coots nesting. On the towpath bank before the bridge there is a small carpark, popular with daytrippers and sightseers wishing to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. To the west of the bridge lie two shale bings, between which you pass, before arriving upon the outskirts of Philpstoun, where this section of the walk ends.

Philpstoun, a small, remote miners’ village, is situated two miles east of Linlithgow. As we approach Philpstoun from the east, you will notice, located on the towpath, a recently built overflow system controlling water levels on the canal. The excess water flows into the Haugh Burn, which runs through the village. On the outskirts of Philpstoun we pass over the Philpstoun Aqueducts, under which the Haugh Burn and the main road to Philpstoun run. As this point you may leave the canal by a series of steps taking you into the village.

Philpstoun to Linlithgow
Starting from Philpstoun, we move into open farmland with valleys to our right, taking in views of the House of the Binns and Linlithgow, some way off. Down in the valley, you will notice the railway line, the only visual feature that connects these parts to the 20th century. This rural section of the walk is popular with canal fishermen. Park Bridge (41), next to Park Farm, is especially suited to pike fishing and we are assured that many are caught here. The views are both pleasant and panoramic, and provide excellent opportunities for keen landscape photographers.

The canal is noticeably raised in respect of the surrounding landscape and is unique compared with other sections of the canal. Although the canal is level throughout its entirety, one perceives the remainder of the journey to Linlithgow as being geographically downward.

Once past Cocksholm Bridge (42), we now see the skyline of the spire of St Michael’s Church and Linlithgow Palace. What a welcoming sight this must have been to the weary travellers of bygone days, journeying from far-off cities. This section ends at the canal basin at Linlithgow.

Moving on to the canal towing path, the first stop to make is across the bridge at the Union Canal Museum. The museum, which at one time was canal stables, is run by volunteers from the Linlithgow Union Canal Society.

Saturday rowing cancelled – posted 4 Dec 2015

Gales and heavy rain have been forecast for tomorrow morning, so the social rowing session has been called off. Sunday still looks OK at the moment, so rowing is still going ahead at the usual time of 1pm. However, keep an eye on the forecast and check back here just in case.

Tides for 12/13 December – posted 7 Dec 2015

Saturday 12th December:
08.17am Low 1.1
15.24pm. High 5.7

We may be a little late getting out as we wait for the water, but time for a coffee and a blether.

Sunday 13th December:
08.52am. Low 1.1
16.03pm. High 5.7
Plenty of water during our rowing times. Dónal has pledged to be there!

The long-range weather forecast for both days is light rain and moderate wind (10-15mph), so fingers crossed.

In other news, work on the Maid is almost finished. Shiny!

The Maid is back on the water – posted 13 Dec 2015

On Saturday a clean and shiny Ferry Maid was launched on to a mirror-smooth Forth. One of the trolleys is still in bits for maintenance, so both boats shared the other one. Maintenance on the Lass will wait until March.

Kids and their phones…

It was eerily quiet out on the water with the road bridge being out of action. Work is under way on both towers to fix the cracks though.

Perfect day for a row – North Queensferry were also out. Crew are Siobhan, Donna, George and Maria.
The Maid on Sunday, when the firth was wreathed in fog. Crew are the two Rachels, Maria, Robin and Stevie.

Turkey row – posted 13 Dec 2015

On Wednesday 16 December we need one, or possibly two crews to  row a Craigies Farm Shop turkey delivery from South to North Queensferry. The aim will be to get  publicity for the club and for the farm shop.  Craigies would wrap up a big box with a ribbon which we will carry on/in the bow, maybe with a shop assistant.  Mark is alerting telly and the press for coverage, as it fits in nicely with the bridge closure.

We have several volunteers already, though some have yet to sort out time off from their work. So if you’d like to join in the fun, dig out your Santa hat and e-mail Mark asap. He will be at the shed from 11am on Wednesday getting things organised.

Still on the seasonal theme, can I draw people’s attention to Andy’s Christmas Creations, available exclusively at the shed. Payment is by donation to the club’s Worlds funds – there’s a collection box on the bench. The statues are moulded from concrete, with acrylic paint in a wide variety of colours.

In the news – posted 16 Dec 2015

Watch STV’s News at Six tonight and you may see a familiar face! Yes, club captain Donna was interviewed today.

The delivery for Craigies Farm Shop was a success – we had a good turnout of press photographers as well. Much fun for the crew – cox Donna and rowers Rachel H, Maria, Marjorie and Barbara – as the snappers shouted instructions while they rowed round and round in circles, smiling and trying not to crash into the pontoon.

One photographer tailed the Ferry Maid across the water to North Queensferry, where the customer, Pam, was waiting. Fifer Andy was there too (and Anne), and Frank from the NQRC.

As the tide was low the slip was very slippy indeed, so Pam couldn’t get right down to the boat. The delivery was still made, however! And everyone was very happy with the result.

There was more to come though; while the delivery was being made, Keith was back at the shed, hard at work whipping up a big pot of tomato soup and slicing delicious bread. (He’s covered his festive jumper up with the pinny – it’s a Rudolph one.)

And very grateful the crew and their helpers – Mark, Robin, Peter, Marion and Mike – were for his fine fare. We also enjoyed some lovely mini mince pies courtesy of Craigies. A fantastic day’s effort all round.

Watch this space, as one of the photographers has said he’ll email some of his shots of the day, and hopefully we’ll have his permission to post them here.

STV news clip – posted 16 Dec 2015

Here’s a clip of the news item about the bridge – the QRC row is right at the end, after Willie Rennie has his say. Sorry about the quality, but it’s been through three separate processes to make it here!


And here are some photos Maria took on the day:

Press exposure – posted 18 Dec 2015

Also in Thursday’s Scotsman (page 11), the Daily Record and the Queensferry Gazette. And of course ever so briefly on the telly (see above). In an exclusive interview with (OK, in a group email), club captain Donna says: “Well done Mark and a huge Thank You on behalf of myself and QRC, it was marvellous to get a bit of coverage which will only be good for us going forward.”

The Gazette story

For those attending tonight’s party, don’t forget to bring plenty of cash (coins especially welcome), to spend not just on drinks from the yacht club’s well-stocked bar, but also to purchase raffle tickets. Prizes include Rachel’s well-fed fruit cake, a bottle of bubbly and – very special this one! – a large limited edition print of a gorgeous painting of Edinburgh Castle in the snow. Peter has a sheet of paper with squares numbered 1 – 50, £2.00 per square. If you aren’t going to the party and would like a ticket, let Peter know asap.

Photos from a pro: Alan Simpson – posted 19 Dec 2015

Alan Simpson, one of the “press pack” at Wednesday’s Craigies delivery row, has kindly sent us some of his pictures from the shoot. He followed the Maid across the firth in a RIB, so got photos the others didn’t.  See previous posts for more photos, press coverage and a clip from STV News at Six.

Mhairi Baird from Craigies

Loony Dook row – posted 19 Dec 2015

Donna is still taking names for this… The plan is to meet at the shed at 12.30pm on 1 January. The Dookers will start to muster at that time in the High Street and are due to hurl themselves into the water at 2pm/2.30pm. We should be fine to enjoy a row afterwards if we choose. If more people are interested than there are places, there could be a crew changeover in the harbour.

Sunday rowing cancelled – posted 19 Dec 2015

Due to expected high winds tomorrow – 42mph SW Force 8 – it has been decided to cancel the rowing session.

The next session is Boxing Day. Low tide is just 1m at 09.09am, so it is best to have a later start of 11am. On Sunday 27th, low tide is 1.1m at 09.44am, with a high of 5.9m at 4.06pm, so rowing will be at the normal time of 1pm.

Fundraising success – posted 21 Dec 2015

As members will have seen from an email from club treasurer Marion, the Christmas party was a storming success in terms of fundraising (as well as a jolly good night out, I think everyone who attended would agree). Much gratitude goes to all involved in organising the event, and to Peter Locke, Andy Jarvis and Rachel Holburn for their additional contributions. The funds raised will go towards equipment needed and to defray costs for the Skiffieworlds. If we can achieve this feat within just a few weeks, imagine where such a strong club spirit will take us next year! Forward to row, and….

As a footnote, also during the evening, club captain Donna Martin presented Ranald and Sheena Mackay with their honorary membership certificates.

Loony Dook row latest – posted 24 Dec 2015

Timings for the Loony Dook are later this year, which will allow some folks to recover from the previous evening! Meet at shed at 1pm. Tide will be 1.5m at that time.

Donna has it on good authority that the “loonies” don’t start jumping into the water until 2.45pm. Keith has kindly offered to bring soup along for us. By the time everyone has had some soup we can hopefully get out on the water for 2pm to enjoy a row before the proceedings start at 2.45.

Crews as follows:

Crew 1
Donna (RP)
Ruth Bradley (with Tansy)
Kieran (in bow seat)

Crew 2
Mike McD (RP)
Sharon (with Shoned)
John G
Ruth Hannah (in bow seat) – to swap with Keith on way back

Any questions, please email Donna on:

Merry Christmas everyone – posted 24 Dec 2015

PS: Donal will be RP for a row on Boxing Day – a start time of 11am has been suggested.

What a difference a day makes… – posted 27 Dec 2015

On Boxing Day the wind howled, waves crashed over the bow and rain pelted down on the hardy rowers’ heads (after this epic row everyone much appreciated the Calor gas heater donated by Keith). The following day, conditions could not have been more different. Here’s Mike B looking for trouble and finding none (picture by Rachel):

That was the day’s second crew. The water was equally calm for the first crew out:

Mike B again, with Maria and John G. Ruth’s hands in the foreground, picture taken by Barbara.

2016 part 1