Saturday

Unfortunately my camera decided to play up and we have few photos of our day today.
Tash, Chris, Charlie and Freya arrived around mid day and once stowed aboard and settled, we spent an hour or so playing games and waiting for the wind to die down. Eventually we decided it had dropped enough and ventured out for a trip underneath the bridges and back, before the tide got too low.
We shot out at 8 knots with the wind and tide behind us …….. Charlie and Freya had their first go at helming. The return was a much slower affair, beating into the wind and tide making 3.5 knots ……. by this time the wind was a steady 5 gusting 7!
Mooring up proved to be somewhat of a drama …… Marcus made a perfect approach and we got the forward spring on. Chris stepped ashore, only to see the boat swing out from the pontoon, caught by the wind and then, after an abortive attempt to return to the pontoon, disappear backwards out of the entrance!
The silting in the harbour means there is no room to turn and even outside the breakwater we were churning up mud.
The next bit of the drama was when the engine alarm went off and Marcus thought we had engine failure!!! We quickly hoisted the stay sail so we had stearage and then I went below to check on the engine …… on closer inspection the engine was still running …… the key had been nudged into the off position, setting off the engine alarm …… Phew!!!!
Panic over, engine working, sail furled – we made our way back to Chris (who by this time was freezing) on the pontoon. Another perfect approach by the Captain and lines expertly secured by our Panama Line Handler ……. yes Chris and Tash have actually been there and done it! …… We were moored up.

A quick change of hats for me and a kids favourite, Spag Bol, was knocked up in no time. A little sustinance, a drink and a bedtime story and the ‘junior ratings’ wrere snuggly tucked up for the night in their crew cabin.

Crew Quarters for Chaaaaarlie and Freyaaaaargh!

Crew Quarters for Chaaaaarlie and Freyaaaaargh!

After debriefing over a bottle of wine, we spent the rest of the evening playing Boggle…….. good clean family fun and not the least competitive!!?

Sunday

We all had varying amounts of sleep ….. the first night on a boat is always tricky with the movement and strange noises. Unfortunately Chris had to go to work at 0900, leaving the kids on board ready for more adventures and Tash ready to become a nervous wreck………. we had promised Charlie a go up the mast in the bosun’s chair, which of course meant Freya had to have a go too!

Hoistd up the mast ..... Charlie untwisting the Flag

Hoisted up the mast ….. Charlie untwisting the Flag

Hoisted up the mast ... Freya in the breeze

Hoisted up the mast … Freya in the breeze

Back down safe and sound

Back down safe and sound

We wandered up to South Queensferry, which has a narrow cobbled street and fantastic views of the Forth Road and Rail Bridges. There’s even a beach for the kids to play on and handrails to slide down!

Skimming stones on South Queensferry beach.

Skimming stones on South Queensferry beach.

How many 'skims' will this lot make?

How many ‘skims’ will this lot make?

After our first ice creams of the year, we said goodbye to Tash, Charlie and Freya and arranged to see them on Monday for a trip to Inchcolm Island and a picnic.

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