Sunday, 1 April 2012

Heron August 2011

I posted some pics of my little yacht, Heron, last Monday. Thanks to Jens at his blog Alacrity sailboat I got loads of hits...ok, 47. Obviously there are other Alacrity 19 owners out there. I know I enjoy reading of their adventures, problems and solutions with their boats and I thought I would post some photos of my adventures to give other Alacrity owners a taste of sailing out of Dunbar.

Above is Heron this afternoon (Sun 1st April). The mast of Stuart's Pirate 17 (Ambition) is just visible. No other sailboats launched yet but I won't be smug as the weather forecast for this week is not looking good.
Whist I'm waiting for some good sailing weather I thought I would post some pics of a mini cruise from last year.

Anstruther is a small fishing town in Fife 14.6 nm north of Dunbar where I live and the Heron is moored. Every August the Anstruther Sailing Club organises a gathering for the small boats that sail the local, and sometimes further, shores. Check their website for all the information, tide info and some intersting pics.

I've sailed to the Anstruther Muster the last three years and it has become the social highlight of my sailing calander.

Last year on Saturday 6th August the Heron caught the tide at around 07.00 with myself and friend Ross as crew. Other boats had sailed out on Friday but Ross and I both had family commitments that meant only one night away. Fortunately our wives are not the slightest bit interested in sailing!

Starting out in the early morning sun we got a light wind with a calm sea which is the best we could have hoped for given a poor forecast. Full main and jib pushed us along at a slow couple of knots. Ideally I wanted to make the crossing in just over three hours to ensure a high enough tide for a safe entry into Anstruther.

The calm conditions allowed for easy sailing and we got the kettle going for a leisurely coffee. Here's a happy crew taking the tiller whilst I try to get a photo.

Around one hour out we had the Bass Rock off the port side. This island has a great history, most often as a prison of war. Today it is one of the biggest gannet colonies in Europe. is worth a click for more info.

Although this early morning sail was very pleasant, we had a tide to catch so the motor disturbed the peace.

Hour two, and we had he Isle of May off the starboard side. Another link

If you have an interest in wildlife try to track down a copy of the book "One Mans Island" by Keith Brockie. It is a fantastic illustrated history of an artists year on the May.

11.15 and the Heron had tied up in Anstruther harbour alongside Stuart and Scott in the "Ambition" who had passes from their wives for the whole weekend! They were sitting in the sun enjoying a beer. Lots of other yachts were arriving and most were making an effort to dress with bunting or signal flags. The sunshine and flat calm we had enjoyed couldn't last for ever and the clouds were starting to gather. Note the blue spray dodgers that were going to become very useful. Our priorities were to sign in with the harbour master, meet some good friends and enjoy a cold beer.

Gordon and Jamie had also escaped from their respective wives and sailed across in Gordon's Jaguar24 "Sona". They too fancied a cold beer. Do you see a theme developing?

I'll dig out some more photo's and continue later this week.

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