Across the Forth to Eyemouth

Trip Start May 06, 2008
Trip End Sep 30, 2008

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There was no need to set the alarm as we weren't planning on going anywhere and anyway, the gate keeping the water in the inner harbour was not due to fall until 10:00. However, when we did wake up, there was no wind and whilst there was evidence of rain - soggy canopy cover, clean decks (!) there wasn't a hint of any gale. Indeed, it was a sunny morning. Moreover, when I checked the forecast on the internet, lo and behold, no gale or strong wind was being mentioned for our area - big winds on the south coast but all we were being promised was NE F4-5, occasionally 6 in the North. So, all plans for the day were abandoned and we got ourselves ready to depart when the gates lowered. It was a pity that we weren't able to spend time in the abbey and the museum, but that gives us a reason to return to this nice little town.
At 10:15, we were out of the harbour and had the genoa hoisted, ready for the F5 winds that would blow us apace downwind to Eyemouth, 44 miles away, across the Firth of Forth. The winds never came. Instead, we had a lumpy cross-sea that rolled and corkscrewed the boat incessantly, all the way, for a total of 11.5 hours. There was so little wind that we eventually took the sails in, they were contributing nothing. At the same time, at monotonously regular intervals, the coastguard was relaying the Met Office's coastal forecast as being winds of F4 -5 etc etc . They have been wrong so often this year, at least 60% of the time, I would estimate.
We rolled and corkscrewed our way into Eyemouth bay, getting there by about 19:15. Now the entrance to the harbour is basically a walled in river, there are two high walls that are the 'banks' and the locals call it 'The Canyon'. If there are strong NE winds, it would be impossible to get into the narrow canyon as the cross waves would sweep you into the adjoining walls. Happily, that wasn't the case today, nevertheless there was enough energy in the 2 - 3 metre swells that it was still a bit daunting getting in. However we succeeded without mishap and rafted up against a pretty Dutch boat for the night. It transpired that she had been designed and partially built by the owner and he was justifiably proud of her.
As it was now 19:50, there was no time to explore the town so we had our smokies, together with bacon (recommended by the shop) and new potatoes and peas. Very nice they were too.
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