In past years, when it came to organising CRSC outings, our Cruising Coordinator Neil Guthrie carried a fair bit of luck: the storms abated, the sun appeared, ships stopped breaking down and Covid was hiding in the closet. On Sunday 10 April, when CRSC had its first ferry excursion in over two years, all these parameters lined up favourably for him once again, writes Stuart Craig.
A crossing from Ardrossan to Brodick and back didn’t seem the most exciting of itineraries, but Neil didn’t have a lot of options in his aim of getting members to ‘sail together’ again. In the event, it worked a treat!
The 25-odd members and friends who embraced the cool April breeze had a smashing day out. Some brought their wives, one chap had his dog with him, another took along his bike — and Club President Andy Anderson wore a silly hat. Soon we were all mingling and chatting.
This early burst of camaraderie was entirely due to our Magazine Editor Andrew Clark who, before we had even set sail, was fussing over us like a teacher on a school trip, trying to secure a group photo. After hanging over the ship’s rail at an alarming angle, he finally secured the picture he wanted — with us all smiling.
The highlight of our return trip to Arran was that CalMac, just by chance, decided to let ‘The Auld Trooper’ Isle of Arran out to play; so it was Caley Isles out to Brodick and the ‘Arran’ back — two ships for the price of one. It was the 1230 out from Ardrossan and the 1515 back.
This being the Easter holidays Caledonian Isles was busy. The port side deck seemed the most popular spot for our group as we re-established old friendships with the type of ferry chit-chat that has been missing these last two long years.
Once ashore it was time for more photos — excluding the chap on his bike who set off for Corrie. Apparently he did make it back for the return sailing, despite some hopeful bets having been made that he wouldn’t manage it!
It was the turn of Isle of Arran now to host our little group. Despite no catering facilities being offered, it was fun to sail on CalMac’s oldest ‘big’ ship once again.
The weather held up during the course of the day and those taking part seemed to thoroughly enjoy meeting up again; after all, this is what we do. With the return of meetings at Jurys Inn in Glasgow, enhanced by the continuing use of Zoom and the prospect of future excursions like this, the Club seems to have a bright future. So, well done Neil – I believe you have another date in the diary for us….
Join us on Saturday 7 May for a reduced-price group sailing on beautiful Loch Katrine, followed by lunch in The Steamship Cafe at Trossachs Pier. The all-in price is £28.50 (under 16s £18.50), for which you will have to book in advance here.
Thanks to Roy Paterson and Andrew Clark for photographs.
Published on 14 April 2022