Queenie’s Boat and Another Cat’s Lick

Gosford Bay, Firth of Forth to Leith Docks

A berth next to Her Majesty’s former luxury home, the (no-longer) Royal Yacht, Britannia. In her youth it must have been quite something and took, I am told, some 200 staff to run. Compared to today’s Uber-Yachts, it is pretty small and pokey but, I am sure, much loved and very much missed by Her Maj. It is now moored here,in Leith, as a permanent tourist attraction. In a very generous act, by one of Allan’s friends, we were given complimentary tickets to the show. Ergo I must practice the old tug of the forelock – which can only be done, by me, in a metaphorical way as Mother Nature had not been kind enough to leave me with one.  I cannot recall whether it’s “Ma’am” as in ham, or “Ma’am” as is farm. There goes the knighthood if I screw up.


So, here we are in Leith Docks next to Britannia (see Gallery) and at the backdoor of the Ocean Terminal shopping mall. All the same-old, same-olds in terms of shops (Gap, Boots, Debenhams) but, after the last few weeks, quite a welcoming sight. There’s no Waitrose but M&S Food Hall is a very good second. There is also a good selections of bars and restaurants adjacent to the cinema. Wagamama’s saw me dine there (only my second time in this franchise) and I had a very tasty Beef Tepanyaki for lunch on Saturday. Nom, nom.


On Sunday I walked into Edinburgh, which took about an hour. I walked through Leith and then along Leith Walk, for the most part, into the City proper. For those that don’t know, Edinburgh is one of the world’s top centre’s for Asset Management and therefore is a main contributor to the, very obvious, wealth of the City. Leith, I suspect, is at the other end of the socio-economic scale although there are signs of regeneration.  There is plenty of Out, Out activity here.


On board the boat (RBE, not Britannia) its a little quiet as Neil has gone back to Manchester, primarily for a Chinese takeaway and a few pints with his mates – no doubt commiserating with each over City’s winning of the Premiership title ahead of their beloved United. So, with no Skipper on board, Allan and I have the run of the place. The party will start at 9, till late, don’t be late. BYO.

(As an aside, I wonder whether such event, if held, would count as an ‘overnight passage’ for RYA purposes? Just sayin’, Mr Penman )

On a logistical note, it should be noted that, where we are moored, we do not have access to shore-power or to a supply, by hose, of fresh water. There are no shore-based shower facilities so we have to use those on board. That means, as I recall saying in the last blog, something of a Cat’s Lick for personal cleansing purposes, sans cello playing. The boat does come equipped with fully functional showers but we’re mindful of using up the limited fresh water. In addition, we have to run the engine to heat that water.

Monday is a day for provisioning the boat ready for the start of Leg 4. Sad to say that we have gotten into a routine of buying, more or less, the same things for each leg. At least one pasta, one chilli con carne, some pies for lunch on the move (yes, WE ate all the pies) and a dash of fresh vegetables and fruit. Plus the staples of milk, tea, cereals, cheese and ham ( for those toasties) and bacon. Asda, here we come.


Tuesday, with Duncs back on board, should see us head out to Eyemouth or Berwick at the start of Leg 4.  Tides and winds will dictate exactly where – you know the drill by now.

London, here we come.


May 30th – June 2nd Days 55-58


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