An evening row to Fisherrow


Too good to miss. It was the tail end of a mellow October afternoon when I got home after a meeting that went on too long, in a room that too small and too hot.No one else could make the rowing session I'd organised in the St Ayles Skiff: I was clear: I needed to row, stretch my body, feel the movement of the water under me. So I grabbed my buoyancy aid, waders and a flask of water and walked down to the boat yard.Off with Scratch's tarpaulin, dump the mast, sail, rudder and daggerboard – and pull her down the beach.A couple of minutes later I was on the water, pulling steadily eastward along the waters' edge.The sun was in my eyes as it dropped towards Arthurs Seat, the volcanic plug that dominates Edinburgh's skyline. The air was still just warm and the only breeze was caused by our movement across the unruffled water.Half an hour later found us at the mouth of Fisherrow harbour, which was rapidly drying in the falling tide.Time to rest a while, take a drink and just sit bobbing slightly in the wake of a distant ship, magnified by the expanse of shallow water that would soon disappear to reveal the muddy, sandy bed.The air was chilly now the sun was behind the land, casting a huge shadow across the Forth. As the sea was so calm I took the opportunity to row close in to the land, seeing for the first time the backs of the houses perched between the rocky shore and the coast road.From landward they're ordinary Victorian terraces, but from the sea the rambling extensions, sun rooms built out to the cliff's edge and steps down to the beach are revealed. It was too gloomy to see much, but I'll be back in daylight for a proper look.The beach soon appeared to starboard, dog walkers and kids playing football only distinguishable as darker shadows against the dark sand.There was hardly a wave on the shore as the stem touched the beach. With the help of the sailing club quad I pulled Scratch on her trolley back to the yard, bundled sails and the rest back inside and headed for home in the dark.Two hours well spent.



About Osbert Lancaster

Creating ripples to foster sustainability. Seeking solace & clarity on the sea by sail & oar.


  1. JM

    Enjoying your blogs very much. I have the plans for Walkabout and hope to begin construction in a few weeks.

  2. Anonymous

    <html><body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><div>Hi JM</div><div><br></div><div>Glad you’re enjoying the blog. Good choice with those plans! Where are you planning to sail?</div><div><br></div><div>I’m just about to head out through the snow for a row – not in Scratch, but in Icebreaker: <a href=""></a><a href=""></a></a></div><div><br><br><div><br></div></div><div></div><blockquote type="cite"><div><div style="width: 600px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px;" class="PosterousEmail">
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    </p><div style="font-size: 18px; line-height: 24px;">Enjoying your blogs very much. I have the plans for Walkabout and hope to begin construction in a few weeks.</div>

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