Rowporty tackles the Tay

Sunday had always threatened to be rainy, but would it be heavy / light & would it impede our plans to row down the Tay?  


When Sunday dawned & Sally, Roisin, Andres, Neil & I met in the yard at 7am – it was wet. It rained most of the way to Perth, & it seemed intent on setting in for a thoroughly miserable day.


We launched from the slipway of the Perth Sea Cadets, Anstruther were already there when we arrived, & North Berwick followed soon after. B ut Port Seton, the hosts, were later than expected. We set off at 9.30, 4 skiffs & a rescue boat. The rain was unremitting, but spirits were high as we embarked on our adventure. The flow of the river & the tide helped us, but soon a breeze blew in from the estuary. The rowing was good & we rotated as usual to keep warm & share the load.


After  6/7 miles we arrived in Newburgh where we took a planned break. Being first out of the boat I was quickly ankle deep in slimy mud, yuck! We were welcomed by 3/4 folk who are about to start building a skiff, & got the use of a large shed for having our snack & coffee. Whilst there, it became apparent, that the other teams were intent on jacking in the rest of the row: the wind would be too strong, the tide would be against us by the time we got to Wormit, it was dangerous etc etc. I’m happy to say that none of Rowporty’s intrepid explorers had any such qualms, & we quickly decided to proceed with / without them. Andrew in the rescue boat would have come with us, but was needed for driving. So we set off on the last leg alone.


By this time the rain had stopped, & although the day remained overcast it stayed dry for the rest of the row. We slowly dried out, & enjoyed lots of banter; although it was hazy, we could see the Tay rail bridge from quite early on, but tantalisingly, it seemed to take us forever to get there. Although the wind was against us, we’ve rowed in much tougher conditions at some of the regattas. But it was a long row, so we were glad to arrive at Wormit, between the 2 Tay bridges, after a 21/2 hour row from Newburgh. Andrew, of the rescue boat, had phoned to check on our progress, & was there to meet & help us out of the water.

 Despite the early rain, we had a cracking day out, & arrived back in Portobello at 5.30 having stopped en route for a well earned drink in Cupar.


 Thanks to Brenda of the Perth Sea Cadets for turning out to welcome us, Andrew & Andres for reccying the route, Andrew for rescue boat cover & Newburgh folk for giving us shelter in a shed.



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