St Ayles skiffs in rough sea

Skiffies in rough sea

It’s likely an illusion, but it seems that there’s always seems to be someone having more fun than I am. A day or two ago it was that Chris Partridge going rowing when he should have been working, and today, as I munch my calorie-controlled lunch, its the Scottish Coastal Rowing types at Portobello launching their community built St Ayles skiffs into as much surf as they dare.

Do take a look at their gallery for some more superb shots.

Now I’d better break off to get back to half-heartedly chewing my microwaved carrots.

St Ayles Skiff World Championships take place this week

St Ayles skiffs World Championships


The week-long St Ayles Skiff World Championships are about to start at Ullapool, and it’s to be a right Royal event. Read about it all here, here and here.

I was reminded about the event this morning by Chris Partridge, and I have to say I think  his sentiments about are right on target. Read what he has to say here: Rowing for Pleasure.

Sephira the Musical Ark comes to Scotland to race – and to serenade whales

There seems to be no limit to the rapid growth of the Scottish Coastal Rowing movement – and perhaps there’s no limit either to its ambition and imagination.

A case in point is Sephira the Musical Ark – an Iain Oughtred-designed St Ayles skiff built by students and teachers at Moravian Academy, a school at Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.

Most of these boats are built by communities, but the difference in this case is that the boat is rigged with eight long piano wires from stemhead to stern with the aim of making it a kind of sea-going harp – the string lengths and tensions are said to be designed to play notes in the frequency range of whale song.

That’s the imagination bit. The ambition bit is that the school is raising money to transport the boat over the Atlantic to Ullapool for the Skiffie World Championship on the 8th-14th July – and it seems they’ve done sufficiently well that the boat has actually begun  its journey.

While in Scotland, the boat will also row to an area where whales are known to congregate, and play music for a while… It will be interesting to see how they respond.

The whole thing sounds like a lovely, exotic idea to me. If you fancy chipping a few dollars to help pay for the expedition, click here.