Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Any port in a storm.

We rounded Portachur Point on the SW of Great Cumbrae and found some very satisfying conditions. We were looking forward to a blast up the far side of the island.

Unfortunately Alan's skeg had now jammed down and he was having real problems with leecocking. The swell began to pick up and even HMS Dreadnought was now hull down. I caught a wave and got up to 15km/hr, unfortunately Alan got caught by the same wave and went for a little swim.

He was soon back in his boat and enjoying himself again, despite the chill conditions, thanks to his dry suit. We got his skeg up and he learned to make progress downwind without it. We then made rapid progress up the far side of Cumbrae with following wind and swell.

Rounding a point we found Fintray Bay to be almost sheltered, so we stopped...

....for a second luncheon.

The staff at seakayakphoto.com have simple tastes. For our little picnic, on the ruby sands of Cumbrae, we enjoyed a rich Stilton cheese with oatcakes and washed it down with a bottle of Cockburn's Special Reserve port. In truth, this was not just any port in a storm, it is truly the finest of ports!

Heading back to Fairlie, on the lee side of Cumbrae, the fresh wind caused carnage amongst fleets of Laser, Laser Radial and Optimist dinghies from the National Sailing Centre. Their attendant RIBs were busy with the frequent capsizes. Unfortunately Alan was troubled by weathercocking, as his skeg had now jammed up. I tried to get my finger round the end of it but in the absence of a little loop of line at its tip, I couldn't get enough leverage. Alan was tiring fast so I put a line on his bow and gave him an assisted tow to keep his bow pointing to Fairlie.

An excellent day out with good company, fine food and drink and some good lessons learned as well!

Health Warning: alcohol and sea water do not mix!



  1. Your skies are always a delight to view. First thing I look for when I look at your pics. Great shots.


  2. Thank you Stan, I particularly like skies and here in Scotland there is plenty of variety!