Tides for the week of 9-15 March 2020

Dónal writes: It’s a week of springs – a lot of high highs and low lows. We have one low tide of 0.0 on Wednesday night.

There is more wind forecast during the week, but Saturday looks good for getting out. We will need to leave the Maid on a pontoon to be collected later during the day, as we did two weeks ago

I’m keeping an eye on Sunday and will let you know if we can’t go out. We will need a pontoon, so if the training Row on Sunday could leave the Maid on the pontoon that would be great. Note also that a noon on Sunday we have a Breakwater Blitz and Nurdle Hunt scheduled.

The Maid out on a still evening last week – a rare window of calm waters!

Monday 9th March
0814— 0.9m L. 1432 — 5.9 m H. 2051 – 0.3 m L.

Tuesday 10th March
0901 — 0.6m L. 1520 — 6.1 m H 2134 — 0.1 m L.

Wednesday 11th March
0943 — 0.5 m L 1607 — 6.2 m H. 2211 — 0.0m L.

Thursday 12th March
1020 — 0.5 m L 1654 — 6.2 m H. 2241 — 0.2 m L

Friday 13th March
1052 — 0.6 m L. 1741 — 6.1 m H. 2306 — 0.5 m L.

Saturday 14th March
1121 — 0.9 m L. 1829 — 5.8 m H. 2341 — 0.9 m L.

Sunday 15th March
0652 – 5.4 m H. 1159 — 1.3 m H. 1919 — 5.4 m H. Pontoon Needed

More about nurdles

The bucket of nurdles QRC volunteers collected last year has just been mailed to an artist in Belgium. Why? To help in the creation of an artwork highlighting the problem worldwide.

I’ll let the artist, Maarten Vanden Eynde, explain:

“It is a growing artwork called ‘Check Mate’ that consists of a chessboard that is made bigger every time it is exhibited, as one new square on the board is filled using exponential growth as a calculating factor. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, (etc, etc…) plastic nurdles are put on one square of the chessboard, making reference to the well know chessboard problem.

The chessboard problem

“According to a legend going back to the 13th century, the inventor of the chessboard game could ask any gift in return from the very happy king. He asked to follow the chessboard squares while filling them with rice, doubling the amount with every square. The King laughed and said ‘Is that it?’, and he gave the order to fulfil the request. Soon however he realised that all the rice in his kingdom, and even in the entire world would not be enough to fill the board.


“The work ‘Check Mate’ visualises the scale of the problem of plastic pollution and at the same time amplifies the worldwide effort to raise awareness and come up with solutions for this complex and multi layered global threat.”

Our offering to the project is a mere 50,000 nurdles, a drop in the bucket compared to the number at large. Maarten says he is being sent half a million by the organisers of the Great Global Nurdle Hunt, their haul from last year’s hunt.

I hope some of you can join in the club’s Breakwater Blitz and Nurdle Hunt, at noon on Sunday 15 March.

An eider duck found nesting amid the litter on the breakwater in May last year

Breakwater Blitz and the Great Nurdle Hunt

We have set the date of Sunday 15 March for our contribution to the Great Global Nurdle Hunt – and a QRC Breakwater Blitz litter-pick as well. The event will start at noon – which is low water. The Maid will have been out for a youth training row and will be on a pontoon, so the aim is to carry on collecting litter off the breakwater and counting nurdles until social rowing gets under way at 1pm. Rachel H is letting Port Edgar know – we need their permission to clamber about on the breakwater. We have gloves and bags, grabbers, buckets etc. I hope as many folk as possible can help out – it’s amazing how much stuff can be cleared in an hour!

The haul from a blitz in May last year.
From www.fidra.org.uk

For those who weren’t involved in last year’s nurdle hunt, these are little plastic pellets that wash up on beaches all around the world. 

Over 350 million tonnes of plastic was produced in 2018, weighing more than the total weight of the human population.

Nurdles are used in the manufacture of plastics and as they are shipped around the world spillages and accidents mean they enter the environment. Many contain toxic chemicals that leaches out into water. Birds and fish mistake them for food. Surveys have revealed the shocking extent of the problem – this year a Dutch study estimated that every year, more than 8 trillion of these microplastics – 23 billion granules a day – end up in the environment within the European Union.

The Firth of Forth is a study area as well, so our data contributes to that. The nurdle hunt was started by Fidra, based in North Berwick.

The more people we have taking part in The Great Nurdle Hunt the greater the pressure becomes for decision makers and industry to do something. By taking part you can add your voice to this cause.  – FIDRA

I will add that I’ve joined a campaign for a Plastic-Free Queensferry. There’s a plan afoot to stage a Mass Unwrap at Tesco in the near future. I’ll let you know when a date is set, and hopefully some of you will be able to take part. (Tesco gave us a date but at too short notice. We’re waiting for another one.) Everyone at the meeting I attended was very impressed to hear of the initiatives QRC was already take to minimise plastic waste.

Tides for 2-8 March 2020

Dónal writes: Well we had further disruption due to the vagaries of the weather at the weekend, with rowing only taking place on Saturday morning. In what were testing conditions after the wind picked up from the west, credit must go to our new skippers, Steph and Marianne, for getting us all back safely against a strong head wind. A steep learning curve but that is what it’s all about.

I would love to be able to tell you that is the end of the windy weather, but unfortunately I can’t. Having taken a look at the week ahead, we are due more strong winds on Saturday morning. I will keep an eye on it through the week and update closer to the time. I’ll be glad when Spring arrives.

Monday 2nd March
0740— 4.7m H. 1203 — 1.9 m L. 1957 – 4.7 m H.

Tuesday 3rd March
0829 — 4.5m H. 1254 — 2.2 m L 2051 — 4.5 m H.

Wednesday 4th March
0927 — 4.4 m H 1618 — 2.3 m L. 2158 — 4.5m H.

Thursday 5th March
1038 — 4.5 m H 1715 — 2.0 m L. 2315 — 4.7 m H

Friday 6th March
0544 — 2.0 m L. 1149 — 4.8 m H. 1809 — 1.6 m L.

Saturday 7th March
0634 — 1.6 m L. 1250 — 5.2 m H. 1904 — 1.1 m L.

Sunday 8th March
0724 – 1.3 m L. 1343 — 5.6 m H. 2000 — 0.7 m L.

Sunday social rowing CANCELLED

Dónal writes: Having kept an eye on Storm Jorge as it progressed towards us I have come to the conclusion that social rowing cannot go ahead on safety grounds. At 1300 we are due constant winds of 29mph with gusts at nearly 50mph.

A crew out yesterday had a challenging row. Photo by Dónal Ferrie

Hopefully things will improve next month – as the old adage goes, March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, and it is surely coming in like a lion tomorrow.

I’ll have a look at the week ahead when I do the tide times tomorrow.