All day long on Wednesday we were sailing 88 miles at sea from Amble to Port Edgar marina near Edinburgh. The journey started in nice following wind and we raised the sails. During the day however the wind died and we motored to Port Edgar.
Edinburgh is located at the bottom of the Firth of Forth bay. As we were getting closer, the city with the magnificent castle in the middle appeared in front of the hills at the horizon.
When we were arriving to marina it was already dark so we made her fast into the first free hammerhead. The coastguard had also issued a gale warning on VHF. According to the pilots the swell can enter the marina on the north-eastern and eastern winds, so we added some more lines and fenders than usual, just to make sure that there would be no need to climb up to the deck in the middle of the night.
In the morning while paying the harbour dues we asked for an another berth for Suwena but the answer was tight no, as all the empty berths were reserved. Later the local sailors came to warn us about the swell at hammerhead and recommended to change the place as well. In strong winds the pontoons would swing so much that the walking on them would be difficult. The pontoons were also in a very poor shape. Andrus returned to the marina office for a second time to ask for the another berth. After all we would be staying there for four days. The answer was even more unpolite no. During our whole visit all these “reserved” berths were staying empty except one 8 metre long sailing boat moored at one of the few longer berths. For her there would’ve been tens of suitable smaller berths in the marina. Swell was the worst during the low water when the waves were entering the marina and there we were, rolling at the hammerhead.
Also generally the attitude of the harbour staff was very rude. Andrus tried to arrange an appointment with doctor to me as my flu was still going on and getting even worse. He got the answer that there would be a two week queue to see the doctor. After a long haggle he managed to get the phone number to the local medical centre. When we called there, the next free time was for the same afternoon. And this was not all that was a little weird in this marina. We have been in hundreds of marinas and unfortunately I must say that Port Edgar made it to the bottom of the list. This was not what we expected from the marina of the capital of Scotland.
The town of Queensferry by itself felt very cosy and the people in the medical centre, shops and other boaters were all very friendly. Too bad that the marina and chandlery stuff were really bored of their work.
Definately the best in Edinburgh was the day we spent together with my previous competitors. Mary Ann Low and Paul Noble are both the most successful Scottish swimmers and we have been swimming together at several Paralympics, World- and European championships. With Mary Ann we have been in many pools on neighbour lanes and in turns both of us have stepped to the highest podium.
The Saturday was flying by chatting and updating each other about years passed and what have been going on with other competition swimmers. We also went together to the centre of Edinburgh where Paul was showing to us the capital of Scotland.
What is uniting my past swimming career and our nowadays sailing is the friends. Like previously in swimming competitions also now while sailing on Suwena we meet up new people who often become our long term friends.