Longcraig in the winter – as seen by Explorers

If you thought that winter maintenance of boats involved cleaning off seaweed and then a long snooze until spring – read on!

Over the winter, the Bore Stane Explorer Unit from Pentland District has been actively engaged in helping the team at Longcraig to carry out an extensive programme of winter maintenance. This has not only involved learning new skills about fixing boats, it also involved fixing trailers with dodgy brakes, clearing out drains clogged by the winter storms, clearing the beach and the land side of washed in debris and seaweed, as well as a range of cleaning and mending.

This winter in particular has been a bit taxing, with nearly all of the work days so far accompanied by snowfalls and freezing temperatures. So, no early swims in the Forth (yet) for this team of hardy helpers, but lots of indoor jobs undertaken.

Longcraig in the snow

Longcraig in winter

So, what’s in it for the Explorers, I hear you say?

Well, firstly, they are learning new skills over the winter about how boats go together, why they need mended, painted and varnished; how they get repaired and put back together for the new sailing season; checking and servicing safety equipment and clothing.

Secondly, they have the opportunity to work together as a team, and to work together with the experienced folks from the ASU who can then pass on their skills.

Then when the spring comes and some warmer weather, they will get involved in preparing and launching boats and start to learn seamanship skills leading on to kayaking, dinghy sailing, and powerboating over the summer months.

There is now a badge available for Scouts who assist and support ‘Activity Centres’ and these guys are working towards that. But more than that – in a year or two those who wish will become the instructors of tomorrow and will then pass on their skills to others – perhaps even to their own Scouts!

This same opportunity is available to other Explorer Units across the Region. Interested to find out more? Contact us on lscmanager@longcraig.org.uk or via Bonaly office on 0131 441 1878.

Ian Harrower, Longcraig ASU