Skiff John B, Blackadder and skur Euphame had a grand morning out to Fidra island on Sunday 24th September.
Their excited contents, in the form of 14 NBRC rowers, met at 8.45am to prepare for the outing.
We finally all got out onto the water at 9.15am. A rising tide took us further into the Forth, Fidra-bound and a falling tide swept us back out of the Forth home to North Berwick. Perfect planning by our coxes, Jacque, and Phil. We did have to put some effort into the rowing as there was a wee bit of wind, but as the wind was coming from the south, we were able to stay close to the coast and avoid the bigger gusts that were evident further out into the Forth.
Blackadder, with 5 onboard (Jacque, Tracy, Jude, Rachael, and Adam) were a touch ahead, slipping through the Lamb archipelago! No signs of the resident seals there but plenty of Shags and some Black Backed Gulls. There were Guillemots still around too, the ones we saw were looking healthy, which is encouraging. Gannets were swooping overhead and diving in to catch fish. Skiff John B had 6 onboard (Phil, Sandy, Jen, Lynn, Sheena, and Claire C) which allowed swapping of rowers and coxes. Euphame had Amanda, Ann, and Duncan M onboard also taking it in turns to cox and row.
Blackadder with a little more time managed to row right around Fidra before all 3 vessels got into the harbour, tidied all the oars away, tied up together and all rowers safely disembarked.
We walked up the steep pathway alongside the disused lighthouse track, which was once used to haul supplies up to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built by the Stevensons and became operational from 1885. It became automated in 1970 and is now operated by Forth Ports plc. Slightly above the lighthouse, at the top of the island, we had wonderful views over the Forth to Fife and towards Edinburgh and the Forth bridges. This was where we were able to have our picnics (which mainly consisted of coffee/ tea and cake) and chat.
The sun even tried to come out. Looking out towards Fife we caught sight of a minke whale, which was feeding not too far away. It came up a few times but a few of the party frustratingly didn’t manage to spy it. Our return was a little more challenging as the wind had increased, but the sea conditions remained good and with the falling tide we all arrived safely at North Berwick, just before midday.
Although, with autumn/winter fast approaching, our intermediate, newbie and regatta training evening outings cease – we can still get out in the daytime and enjoy being on the sea and having adventures along our beautiful East Lothian coast and islands. Watch out for the emails, sign up and enjoy!
More pictures of the outing can be found here