Sunday, 22 August 2010

Vidlin Rowing Club; a peerie row to Whalsay and back

After a horendous saturday, where trips to Da Big Bannock and Walls were just not worth the bother due to gales and pounding rain, it was a suprise to wake to a pretty amenable looking day.

There's been talk of a social row at the end of the season, initially to Out Skerries with an overnight stay, which I thought would be fantastic. Such a venture may be seemd a bit too much of a venture for a first rowing trip for the club so some kindly folk arranged the logistics for a trip to a nearby island, Whalsay.

This was a great idea actually as one team could row out there (about 8 miles) whilst another team could get the ferry to meet us there and row back, while we got the ferry back. Excellent. I was on the team to row there and Clare would meet me on Whalsay to pass over the baton (Beren), while she rowed back.

Here we are just making preparations to launch from Vidlin

The intention was just for a steady relaxed row, no rush and plenty of time to enjoy the scenery that few get to see.

As we rounded The Taing out of Vidlin Voe we got lovely views across Lunna.


Next pause was Orra Wick. The bay that our boat The Orrick is named after.

Even though not far from shore the map was regualrly checked to keep an eye on both progress and points of interest.

Here's the shore at Lunning, a place for future visits

and an old croft that Sandy's (our cox) great-great-grandparents lived in.

There were several small islands between us and Whalsay as we went south down the coast. A following sea and wind gently helping us along before we cut south east to Whalsay.

We saw the ferry from Laxo coming so hung about to let it pass and waved to our team mates who were on it on the way to meet us for their return row.

We arrived at Symbister on Whalsay only to find the shop closed and the sunday tea not starting until 4pm. A point to remember from future trips, but not the end of the world. After a quick chat and wander about the return team were on their way

and so were we.

A lovely sight from the ferry was The Swan out at sea. We saw another modern yacht too, but The Swan did look majestic.

After a bit of a more testing row back the return team arrived safely, if not rather wet, in Vidlin. Not only were they rowing against the wind and swell a fair bit of the way, but the tide was running against it building it up a in places. A time or two they had to pause and ride the swell as it was breaking over the bow when they rowed into it and coming on board. Nothing too worrying, but also not a thing to ignore.

So, a successful and enjoyable first outing for the club and a nice change from racing and training. I hope to persuade people to do another one before the weather and days draw in so I'd better get planning a tempting venture...

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