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OGA60 fleet: a stormy weekend in Dundee

The OGA60 Round Britain Cruise fleet enjoyed a blustery weekend on the River Tay, hosted by the Scotland Area of the OGA. ‘Windbreker’, ‘Bonita’, ‘Onward of Ito’, ’Moon River’, ‘Susan J’, ’Minstrel’, ’Recipe’, ‘Lahloo’, ‘Indian Runner’, ‘Hilda’ and ‘Letty’, were joined by local boat ‘Clearwater’.

The fleet was beset with extremely challenging weather, difficult harbour entrances and stormy overnight moorings but that did not dampen their enthusiasm for the weekend of events. These included a tour of ‘RSS Discovery’ in Dundee with buffet supper, visits ashore to sample the famed Arbroath ‘smokies’ and joining in with the activities organised by the RNLI at their Festival in Broughty Ferry.

‘Bonita’ had arrived in the area to meet up with new crew and been exploring the local area for a few days, recorded in more detail on the blog.

We had a brisk SW wind and had a reef in the mainsail most of the time. After  inspecting Bass Rock we crossed St Andrews Bay and entered the mouth of the River Tay. This is surrounded by notorious sandbanks, prone to constant movement, but we eventually threaded our way in, tacking against a blustery wind. This evening finds us on a buoy of the Royal Tay Yacht Club, on the North side of the Tay, at Broughty Ferry a few miles from Dundee. I have never been here before, but D used to sail dinghies off the beach here many years ago with her friend Angela. We hope to meet up with some more Gaffers here tomorrow.

This morning we woke up to a moderate breeze, but the forecast was a bit grim – easterly gales and plenty of rain. We thought it would be wise to move the boat at high tide to the sheltered harbour of Tayport on the other side of the river. Our old friends Edgar and Else on their lovely steel yacht ‘Windbreker’ are here too and they went into Tayport just ahead of us. They were with us on the 2013 Round Britain Cruise, and on our trip to Holland in 2014: it was lovely to see them again and admire the many improvements to their boat. In the evening it did indeed blow hard, with a gale from the east and plenty of horizontal rain. We had a curry in the excellent Bell Rock restaurant and on getting back to the boat were grateful to be moored head to wind in a secure harbour.

Mike Beckett, ‘Bonita’

Some members of the fleet are already much further south: ‘Cygnet of London’ and ‘Swift II’ have reached the River Orwell while ‘Step Back in Time’ is awaiting better weather in Scarborough.

We couldn’t leave Whitby until the first swing bridge opening of the day at 11:30 but we had another cracking sail as the wind was north-westerly again. We were reaching 6/7 knots over the ground with the tide with us and we arrived in Scarborough around 15:00. We shall be staying here for a few days, as the wind is forecast to be stong over the weekend.

Sally Kiddle ‘Step Back in Time’