Archives 2016 – part 2

Science Fest does the bridges -posted 9 Feb 2016

Those who’ve been following progress on the Queensferry Crossing from the water may enjoy a chance to learn more about its construction – and about its sister bridges – from a group of experts. On Thursday 7 April, the Edinburgh International Science Festival is holding a talk entitled Bridging the Forth.

From the brochure:

Cross the Firth of Forth, from the old to the new. Celebrate the new Queensferry Crossing and look back at the history of the existing bridges. What innovative designs and cutting edge engineering are behind the Queensferry Crossing? And why is the Forth Bridge referred to as a ‘masterpiece of human creative genius’?

Join a panel including Jenni Meldrum and Frank Hay, researchers for the book The Briggers, construction director Alan Platt from the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, and an expert from Amey to look at all three bridges. The event will be hosted by broadcaster Leslie Riddoch.

The venue is the Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall (Causewayside), time 5.30pm to 7pm, and cost is £8.50 standard, £6.50 concession.

There’s also an exhibition on the Forth Bridge at the National Library running for the duration of the Science Festival, 4-19 April, featuring photos, plans, reports etc.

Coxing’s snow joke! – posted 13 Feb 2016

Saturday morning’s coxswains’ training session – featuring “fiendish” exercises – quickly became a lesson in “how to manoeuvre a skiff in a constricted space in terrible weather”. By the time the racing and social rowing sessions had ended the tide was well out and the boats were left tied up at the pontoon. And by the time the briefing on tides, conditions, commands etc was over, the light rain had turned into a steady downpour and a significant swell was adding interest.

As participants were taking turns at coxing, everyone bundled up in extra layers.

The first task was to lay two buoys in the west side of the harbour, where there was a bit more room. Then the rowers took turns at coxing the boat off the pontoon, around their buoy and back to the pontoon, using minimal rudder. The trainers – Graham, Siobhan, Mike, Tony and Peter – guided proceedings and everyone learned a lot. But after an hour the rain had turned to stinging sleet and the break for lunch was called a bit earlier than planned. As we headed for the shed, that sleet turned to snow.

An extremely drookit group took soup and sandwiches at the PEYC cafe (and wished Janette a very happy 70th birthday). The weather was still very bad, so the afternoon’s practical session was abandoned in favour of a Q&A in the yacht club. Several hardy souls struggled back into their wet-weather gear and retrieved the boats, washed them down and stowed them.

All in all it was an excellent learning exercise. Many thanks to the training team for giving up their time so cheerfully and for their patience and encouragement. Regular rowers will see a lot of eager coxes trying out their new skills!

Time change for Saturday 12th March – posted 8 Mar 2016

There’s a very low tide on Saturday morning – just 0.04m at 10:23am – so there will be no 8am training row. Social rowing was to be cancelled as well, but Peter has very kindly stepped in and will be at the shed from 12:30pm if anyone fancies a row.

Race training is also out for Sunday – there’s a low of 0.26m at 11.09am. Social rowing will still go ahead at the usual time of 1pm however.

It’s official: Spring has sprung! -posted 20 Mar 2016

Yes people – today, Sunday March 20th, is the vernal equinox, which means from now on the days will be longer than the nights. And we have been blessed by wonderful rowing weather to mark the change. Not only that, but nearly every crew that has gone out recently has been entertained by a group of porpoises, which are generally to be seen just east and north-east of Inchgarvie. Louise managed to get a photo of one last week:

Other rowers have been out taking photos too. Rachel’s superb shot of the Queensferry Crossing shows how sunshine sets it glowing.

Kenny has posted some cracking shots on Facebook recently, some also featuring the bridgeworks — here are a few:

And I think Lorna may have taken these from the other boat on the same day!

And finally, another photo from Louise of an expedition a week-day crew made, exploring Port Laing (pictured) and Inverkeithing harbour before stopping off for coffee at North Queensferry:

Here’s the Maid looking picturesque at North Queensferry (photo by Barbara):

Easter weekend tides – posted 21 Mar 2016

Not so great for Saturday 26th March:

09.49am —- Low 0.54m
15.58pm —- High 4.85m

This tide is too low for normal social rowing time,but Louise and Donna are happy to RP from 11am — hopefully there will be enough water soon after that.

As for Easter Sunday, 27th March – bearing in mind that the clocks will have gone forward an hour – the tide times are more favourable and social rowing will go ahead from the usual time of 1pm.

11.21am —- Low 0.67m
17.30pm —- High 4.65m

Port Edgar Watersports open weekend -posted 24 Mar 2016

On 16th-17th April, Port Edgar is offering “taster” sessions for just £5. So if you’re bored with rowing (as if!) and fancy having a go at a stand-up paddle board, sea kayak or sailing dinghy, this is your chance. Normally taster sessions are £39 for two hours, so this is quite a bargain. We may also get a bit of extra interest in our social rowing sessions that weekend.

Sessions in each activity will run at the following times:
09:30 am – 10:30 am
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
13:00 pm – 14:00 pm
14:30 pm – 15:30 pm
16:00 pm – 17:00 pm

For more information and bookings, see the Port Edgar website.

Evening social sessions restarting – posted 29 Mar 2016

Now the clocks have gone forward there is enough light in the evenings to hold rowing sessions, starting on Thursday the 31st. However, to make the best of the light, the first will start earlier, at 5.30pm rather than 6pm. The forecast is for sunshine and very little wind, perfect rowing weather.

At the weekend the weather was mixed to say the least, especially Sunday – there was wind, rain and hail, and then a burst of sunshine created a rainbow.

And now a reminder that QRC subscriptions fall due on April 1st – no joke – and thanks to Kenny we can now pay them via PayPal. If you look to the left you will see the link “Donate and subscribe”. Click on that and you’ll see the PayPal button. Select the type of subscription – single, family etc – and off you go. You don’t need a PayPal account to pay this way, and it’s very secure. The subs are unchanged from last year.

Email Marion on to let her know you’ve paid, and also if you’ve changed your contact details recently.

You can still pay the old-fashioned way – cash in an envelope in the box – but make sure it’s clearly marked with your name.

Stevie wonder – posted 3 Apr 2016

The elves are busy again, this time repairing the Lass and also its trolley – which was in a state of near collapse. Graham says the damage to the Lass wasn’t as bad as he’d feared and he hopes to have her back on the water for Tuesday evening’s row. Meanwhile Stevie has been busy with angle grinder and welding gear, repairing and reinforcing the trolley. Rachel caught him in action on Saturday:

Many thanks to all the elves for all their hard work maintaining the boats and trolleys!

Weekend tides and times – posted 7 Apr 2016

Sadly the Lass is still off the water and will be for several days – a lot of the repairs need epoxy, which takes a while to dry properly. Fingers crossed she’ll be ready for a row on her fifth birthday on April 17th!

Thursday – social rowing from 5pm to about 7.15pm.

Saturday 9th April: Social rowing  9am
04.13am —- H 5.49m
10.20am —- L 0.15m

The Ferry Maid will be on the pontoon for changeovers.

Sunday 10th April — Social rowing 1pm
11.05am —- L 0.08m
17.18pm —- H 5.43m

Knots and shots night – posted 7 Apr 2016

Mike McD is organising a social get-together with a bit of knot-tying and other nauty stuff thrown in, to be held at the Port Edgar Yacht Club at 7.30pm on Friday 15th April.

To give him an idea for (a small amount of) catering, please could you let him or Marion know if you are going to attend.  The BAR will be open. If you don’t know a sheet bend from a clove hitch, never mind a bowline, there is a lot of info on the web if you want to practise beforehand. This one has animations of how to tie the knots (and bends and hitches).

Spreading the word – posted 10 Apr 2016

Peter, Donna and Rachel joined the line-up of community groups at the Rosebery Hall on Saturday 10 April to promote our club. Their presentation, with lots of photos and leaflets – plus of course those lovely friendly faces – caught the eye of several people, so fingers crossed they join us on the water very soon.

Speaking of new members, if you’re a would-be rower you can download the QRC membership application form by clicking on “Resources” in the panel on the left and chosing it from the list of documents. Fill in the form and bring it along to the shed when you come rowing. Also there is a “welcome” document with basic information about the club. Both of these are also available at the shed.

Good tides and a celebration – posted 10 Apr 2016

After this past week’s inconveniences, we can stick to regular times. We still have only one boat – work on the Lass continues – so there may be some waiting if the social sessions are popular. Still, it’s a chance for a cup of tea and a blether, always a pleasure.

Also, a reminder that Sunday is an extra special day: it’s the Ferry Lass’s 5th birthday! There will be sandwiches, cake and balloons. Plus, remember that Port Edgar Watersports is having an open weekend on the 16th and 17th – only £5 a shot for taster sessions of sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, multihull (cat) sailing, open canoeing, kids’ kayaking and keelboating. See their website for details.

Tides and times for Queensferry as follows:

Tuesday April 12th: Social rowing at 6pm
12.44pm —- L 0.47m
19.02pm —- H 4.64m

Wednesday April 13th: Evening race training
13.42pm —- L 0.83m
20.05pm —- H 4.20 m

Thursday April 14th: Evening social rowing at 6pm
14.54pm —- L 1.14m
21.22pm —- H 3.88m

Saturday April 16th: Social rowing at 9am
04.55am —- L 1.70m
11.05am —- H 3.85m

Sunday April 17th: Social rowing at 1pm
12.11pm —- H 4.01m
18.35pm —- L 1.06m

Come and celebrate our lovely Lass’s birthday on Sunday.

Hats off to Marion – posted 18 Apr 2016

Or hats on rather! Marion has knitted a sample range of woolly hats in a suite of club colours – light grey, dark grey, cream and oxblood red. She is taking orders for your choice of colours and styles, and the styles range from close-fitting beanies to large pompom adorned numbers. Here are just some of the samples, modelled by club members Donna and Maria:

A blustery birthday for the Lass – posted 18 Apr 2016

The weather didn’t co-operate for the Ferry Lass’s fifth birthday on Sunday, but the upside of that was that several new rowers were treated to an exciting introduction to the sport. Spray was flying out on the Firth, and a swell made launching and landing an adventure. Inside the shed people tucked in to hot drinks, sandwiches and cake, and enjoyed a blether – which is a major part of coastal rowing!

The Lass was decked out in balloons and bunting for her big day, though one of the giant pink 5 balloons broke loose and is probably in Norway by now.

The Lass in her finery
Blown away!
Members of the original QRC committee
Peter gives a speech

Lots of lovely cake…

… and lots of lovely chat too.

A week of awkward tides – posted 18 Apr 2016

The timing of low water is having an impact on evening rowing this week, sadly.

Tuesday 19th — NO ROWING

Wednesday 20th — NO RACE TRAINING

Thursday 21st — 14.55pm — 4.76 H
21.06 pm —- 0.46 L
Social rowing will be at 6pm, but there will be a limited time on the water.

Saturday 23rd — 09.53am —- 0.52m L
16.01 pm —- 4.83m H
Social rowing from 9am, with pontoon changeovers after 8am race training.

Sunday 24th — 10.25am —- 0.54 L
16.34 pm —- 4.74 H
All’s well  for a row from 1pm as normal!

New kit proposed – posted 18 Apr 2016

You may have noticed that the colour of the current QRC hoodies and polo shirts fades with repeated washing — and it was never that close to the boats’ colour to start with. So, after an enormous amount of research (thanks, Rachel and Marion), the committee has sourced a wider range of kit. The idea is to phase the items in gradually as worn-out clothing is replaced.

There will be a spreadsheet at the shed for people to indicate which items of clothing they might be interested in purchasing. The committee will then decide which items to offer members, and there will be a chance to get sizing correct. All prices are inclusive of VAT and also include an embroidered logo on the left chest.

The colours are grey, for outer jackets and gilets, and an oxblood red for polos, T-shirts and a zipped hoodie. The new look will also help distinguish QRC from Boatie Blest, who have maroon and white as their colours. The reds are all slightly darker in real life than they appear in the photos. The samples will be in the shed this week for you to look at.

The items being considered are as follows:

T-shirt £7.50 (the picture is of a women’s fit with a scooped neck; there are regular T-shirts as well)

Polo shirt £12.30 (women’s fit, then men’s fit)

Zipped hoodie £18 (a lighter-weight cotton than our current hoodies)

Regatta jacket £30

Fleece gilet £20.10

Fleece jacket £19.80

Softshell gilet £39.30

Softshell jacket £42.30

Hydra Plus jacket £45.90

Click here to view an album of all the items, with detailed shots.

2016 – part 3