***Longcraig Road update*** 

Well, the promised work to repair our road in September didn’t happen – the councillors have advised it is now scheduled for the beginning of November, so there is a strong possibility that by the time you are reading this, there will be men and machines working on the roadway! The start of the autumn rains has already had a detrimental effect on the road, so here’s hoping! 

What’s been happening? 

During October we arranged a work party to remove and make safe some debris abandoned on the sea bed where we have our boat moorings. This was successful, and removes one known risk that might cause damage to our sailing boats, or more importantly, our safety boats. At the same time, we were able to carry out a full inspection of all of our sea bed boat moorings (this opportunity only arises a few times a year) and winterise them, thus enabling the mooring gear to be cleaned, checked and made ready to be reinstalled in the early spring. 

The following weekend, we successfully removed our two sailing dinghies from their summer moorings (limited number this year due to COVID restrictions severely curtailing our ability to do much sailing) – these were then dramatically power-washed to remove a ridiculous amount of Arctic Tern Poo – for some reason these birds have been particularly prolific this year and the Poo was piling up on the boats – on the sides, on the top, on the masts and booms – see photo!! (The world’s second most mucky job, they said). 

We’ve also had our tractor, which is a necessary part of moving safety boats up and down the pier, away for a service and to get some oil leaks fixed – possibly a result of lack of movement during lockdown, it’s possible some of the oil seals got damaged. A necessary cost, but we depend on the little tractor every day we are open, so it’s best to be fixed now rather than later! 

Planning ahead for 2022 – part 3 

Over the past few months we have suggested some ways in which we can help your planning ahead for 2022. This month we offer a few more suggestions which might be of interest (assuming we all get back to a near normal). 

This month we focus on another key product which does need some planning ahead, that is Badges 

In the Scout programme, covering all of ages 6 – 18, there are badges available in all sections that can involve some activity related to the water. These include general watersport badges which simply offer the opportunity to take part in a range of different activities (the level of involvement obviously varies as you move through the age ranges of our sections), as well as badges which are more specifically covering paddlesports, sailing activity, powerboating and other water related activities. Again, the level of engagement for these varies depending on which section you are  a member of. And finally, there are badges which simply invite participants to get involved in a new activity, learn a bit about it, and demonstrate some proficiency. These can of course be based upon water activities but don’t have to be. 

So, check out the opportunities for your section, and see what could be done. At Longcraig we can help with any necessary training required, we can simply act as the assessors for scouts who have developed some skills already, or we can do a mix of both. These sort of activities can be done as a group event where a number of young people work through a badge over a period of time, or they can be done by individuals. If you have some thoughts in this direction, please get in touch and we will help you work out what can be done to meet your aspirations. 

But please consider these and plan ahead – it is significantly helpful to us if you can at least share your plans with us before the end of the calendar year (so before New Year!) then we can make sure the correct and appropriate resources are available at times that suit bot you and ourselves to let it all happen. Please just get in touch at: getinvolved@longcraig.info 

Building refurbishment 

Plans continue to develop towards having our facilities update take place starting in autumn 2022, over the winter months whilst the Centre is closed. 

In the meantime, we’ve now had a number of security companies in to review our security and alarm needs, and we are receiving their proposals and quotations for this work. 

We’ve also agreed the outline of our new boundaries, which give us better outside boat storage space, as well as offering the ability to erect a more secure fencing arrangement around our outer property. This is now at review stage with Dalmeny Estate, and we plan to get this up and running over the winter whenever the weather permits. 

These will be progressing over this coming winter and we anticipate will be ready for our 2022 season. 

So, summer 2022 will see the same Longcraig as before, but with better outside storage, and an improved internal alarm system. Does this matter? We think it does!! 

At the end of next activity season, we will dismantle and rebuild over the winter of 2022 to have our shiny new facility up and running for Spring 2023. We’ll arrange a ‘Farewell Old Toilets’ party at the end of our 2022 season!! 

Ian Harrower, Longcraig ASU