The weather might not have been great but spirits were high for the Club’s Closing Cruise this morning. An intrepid squad of 14 gathered at the Club from 09:30, readying boats and discussing the optins for the day.

As the two St Ayles Skiffs and Campbell McCall’s Dignity left the bay there was a heavy mist over most of the river, Kilcreggan was only just visible and a decision had been made to head there for a coffee. As there was heavy rain predicted for early afternoon it was decided that the cruise would be relatively short and we would lunch back at the Club, prior to tidying the boats and sheds. Each of the boats had a very mixed crew. The youngest in Birdie Bowers was 6, the oldest 68. Chippy McNish had 3 women and 3 men, age range from 10 late 60′s. As we rowed over Alex Paterson unsuccessfully attemped to rescue a jellybaby that had fallen overboard during a crew change. This was surprising as he has undergone immersion recovery training in these boats, he probably did not want the jellybaby enough.

In arrival at Kilcreggan it was felt a photo should be taken to record the trip and to add to the Club’s collection of photos of this event. It might not have the same degree of style that can be seen in the old black and white photos from the early 1900′s but it shows that there is still a Club spirit in 2011.

A selection of coffees, teas and hot chocolates were ordered at the cafe in Kilcreggan, as well as a few cakes and black pudding rolls. We made contact with a former Associate Member, who asked the question of her companions “why don’t we get some rowing going over here”. We plant the seed wherever we can, lets see if it grows. After an all too brief stop we had to head back. The heavy mist had turned to rain and the packed lunches were in the clubhouse.

As we crossed back the river conditions were very calm, visibility was not great but we could see four MOD tugs and a RIB approaching from Loch Long. Hidden amongst the group of tugs was a submarine. The RIB came up to check us out but probably saw the Club flags and thought we were a special escort for the sub. They past to our stern without incident.

On arriving back at the club Chippy McNish was loaded onto the road trailer in readiness for attending the launch of Troon’s new skiff tomorrow at 1pm. The racing shed was swept out and tidied. We also brought all the pairs and sixteens up off the beach. Tall people should be aware that there are now two pairs hanging from the roof of the Heavy Fours shed. We have padded the keel immediately outside the gents changing room and will be posting signage to warn everyone walking through there.

We also found time to do some gardening, a weed was removed from the bottom of the flagpole (not sure how Alex got up there but Matt sorted it)

After all the work was done there was time to relax, family and friends joined us for take away and a beer.

Everyone enjoyed the day, regardless of the weather. The sheds and boats are tidier after all the effort. A big thank you to all who helped.

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