On Friday, one of our crews was lucky enough to encounter a small pod of dolphins. They circled the Maid as it headed west of the Queensferry Crossing, and when we stopped they came in very close to check the boat out, swimming just beyond the oars and diving under the boat. The crew – cox Maria, club captain Marianne, Barbara, Anne F and Sharon – were thrilled. More excitement was to come as the story spread across social media, thanks to Scott.
Marianne posted photos of the sighting on the Forth Marine Mammals site, where they caused quite a stir. She writes: “They seem to be common dolphins, which like most animals with that epithet are not particularly common, and certainly not this far up the Forth. We’ve had lots of praise for our spot!”
Scott made a post on the club’s new public Facebook page – along with posts on Twitter and Instagram – and the next day revealed that it had reached many thousands of people – 20, 490 at last report. Among those picking up on the story was the Edinburgh Live news site, which posted an article after contacting Scott and Marianne.
Mike B writes: The tides are very favourable to us this week, with launching and retrieval possible throughout daylight hours every day.
Social rowing slots at 09:00, 10:00 and 11:00 on Saturday are now available for booking, as are the slots at 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00 on Sunday.
Youth rowing is in the calendar for 10:00 till 12:00 on Sunday.
As ever, if you would like a place in any of the social rowing slots, please contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark has an update on boat maintenance: Ferry Maid is now ready to take to the water. Huge thanks to Douglas for structural improvements to the boat and to the tiller, and he along with Mike M have upgraded the stroke footrest. Thanks too to Alan D for a mirror-like finish to the gunnels varnish, and to Barbara plus Duncan for heavy duty sanding and painting inside and outside the hull. And to Alan S for some useful ideas for protective materials as well and to anyone I may have missed. Thank you.
But. We now need to take Ferry Lass out of circulation for a week or so to make some fairly modest improvements. Similar to FM we plan to round off the edges of the keel inside which gets bashed a lot by wellied feet. This plus some touching up and the skiff will be ready to go.
Hurrah for Ferry Maid and Ferry Lass and to lots (we hope) of rowing ahead this year.
Mike B writes: The tides are great for rowing on Saturday 1st January and the following three days.
I have set up social rowing slots in Ferry Lass for 12:00, 13:00, and 14:00 on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January. If you want a place in the crews for any of those times/days, please email me directly on email@example.com.
There is one caveat – the winds on Saturday the 1st January are forecast to be close to our operating limit of 21mph – and, as always, any decision on whether to go out or to cancel will be made by the RP in each crew.
The remaining days should be OK from a wind point of view. There is light snow forecast for Tuesday though…
Club captain Marianne writes: Following the latest announcement about Covid rules in Scotland on Tues 21 Dec, I’m happy to say no changes for us – rowing can continue. Hooray!
The Shed remains closed, except for boat maintenance. Given the situation, it’s really important that you respect all the measures the Committee have agreed. These include sanitising and cleaning the boat and equipment, taking a test prior to to rowing, using our track and trace QR code and, most importantly, not coming down to row if you feel unwell or have any symptoms. These things make big difference to helping us keep rowing.
In other news… Well done to Barbara for holding the winning number in Rachel’s Christmas cake raffle, which raised £138 for club funds. (Half of the cake has gone to the staff of a care home, and the other half will be in the shed today in crew-sized packets of slices.)
The boat maintenance team continue their work on Ferry Maid and she’s looking really good.
Mike B adds: Given that Saturday and Sunday will most likely be eat, drink and be merry days, there will be no social rowing this weekend. However, the Committee is mindful that you may wish to have a chance to work off the excesses of the weekend and has arranged social rowing opportunities on Monday the 27th of December and Tuesday the 28th of December.
Rowing slots will be 09:00, 10:00 and 11:00 on each day.
We are assuming that only Ferry Lass will be available, as the varnish on Ferry Maid may take some time to dry and harden off in the current cold and damp weather. If you would like to take part in any of the rowing slots on Monday and Tuesday, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.