Have shovel, will row


You may have heard we've had more snow than we usually do here in Scotland. Today I decided that walks on the beach are really no substitute for rowing. Clear blue sky, slight sea and a light westerly – time to row.

I set off down the road to the sailing club mid-morning, but it wasn't quite a straightforward as expected.



First task. Clear the snow and ice of Scratch.

Then discover the quad bike battery is flat. Work out how remove seat to get at battery. Find tool kit and remove leads. Discover battery is jammed in place with straw and muck. Get light cord from boat. Fix to terminals and use it as a handle to lift the battery out. Take battery home, find charger…



Back to the beach where the council have left a huge pile of snow at the top of the access ramp. Luckily I'd spotted this yesterday and brought my shovel. Shift snow and spread some sand off the beach on the ramp.

Back home, quick early lunch. Remove battery from charger, take battery back to the sailing club, put quad back together.



Quad starts! Tow Scratch down to the beach. Return quad to yard. Launch Scratch leaving trolley on the beach.

The eagle-eyed viewer will have noticed the foremast is still in the boat. Frozen into the mast step.



And we're off. Rowed eastward to the end of the beach and then returned westward, past the end of the beach, past the cat and dog home and then into a minute bay next to the sewage works. The wind had risen a bit and a wanted a bit of shelter to eat my flapjack and drink my coffee.

It was amazing how much clearer the air is in this weather. I don't think I've ever seen so much detail in Fife across the water – I could see the layout of the streets in the towns. Unfortunately my camera phone was unable to do justice to the scene.



As I headed home around half three the sun was starting to set behind a snow covered Arthurs Seat.



About Osbert Lancaster

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


  1. ChrisMPartridge

    Well done that man. I bet you got further under oars than many people managed in their cars that day.

  2. Vivien Hall

    What a great day. I can almost feel the freshness. I might take up rowing myself for a bit of winter keep fit. It has got to beat a stuffy gym.

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