The filler was sanded, the hull was painted and nail varnish stripes added to foot rests - Skiff John B was back in action and ready for a trip!
On our way up the sun kept shining and the temperature in Aberdeen hit 'taps aff' degrees before dropping down to a 'mibies wear a wind proof jacket' in Portsoy. A selection of tents from the Cowan Corner Shop to Fraser's teeny tiny shelter quickly made up the North Berwick High Street at the camping ground and we even stretched to a little suburban section with rather civilised camper van accommodation, bunting and all!
In the evening we were treated to a most spectacular sunset with 40 odd dolphins playing in the bay. A couple(ish) beers and many good catch ups were had before heading to bed early to rest before a day of competing.
The first regatta day kicked off with 2K races where six seat Shetland yoals, despite being in a different category rowed alongside the skiffs. Team NB came third in the Men's Open and our crew in the Women's Open raced past a yoal to claim first place. It was then time for the sprints where Big John joined forces with the formidable Anstruther ladies in their Mixed 60+ crew and they rowed to second place.
Sadly, it wasn't long after this that the wind started to blow heavily enough to warrant the rest of the day's races to be cancelled but not before Jo and Clive managed to nab a couple of coveted seats in a yoal and join the Shetland crew for a quick spin in the harbour.
Our non-rowing sorrows were drowned in ice cream, rowies, cullen skink, and a beer or two. Sadly the wind kept its stubborn hoolie-gan attitude and Sunday had to be called off all together. We packed up the boat and lingered just long enough to listed to some music, sample some more foods and for Vana to nab a photo with a seemingly random Viking..
..mid posing, Viking to Vana: '..wait..I know you..did you do Make Works*?..I run the spinning mill in Shetland!'
Turns out Vana managed to pick from a sea of people the one hairy Shetlander she'd met 4 year ago while travelling the length of Scotland for a project.
*here's Garry the Viking in less hirsute form
Hoping the weekend was fun even for those who didn't get a chance to row. Captain Jaque certainly made up for it by absolutely and unquestionably winning 'Yellow car' on the journey back.
Big thanks to our hosts for their tremendous hospitality and we hope to see them again soon.