Fred is Scalloway harbour authority’s man sizes/weight floating dummy. Even if a real life Fred was conscious when I managed to successfully bring the 65 ton Swan to a halt next to him, the chances are that he would be incapable of scrambling up a boarding ladder or net let alone grabbing a rope and securing it to himself so that we could haul him aboard. So with Fred lying in the inflatable to simulate him floating on his back, we considered how exactly we could attempt to get him back on board over Swan’s four foot freeboard. There are many aspects of my former career that I cannot unequivocally defend or justify but one area in which the Army typically excel is realistic training that emphasises bridging a theoretical or classroom skill with the reality of practical application and rehearsal in a near realistic environment. Using this technique, we spent a most interesting and informative hour discussing and enacting ways of getting to Fred and lifting him to the deck. I for one learnd a lot and it has allowed me to develop some ideas and also to make some recommendations to the operating committee on additional equipment and adaption of current equipment.
After a bowl of reviving soup, it was finally off for a sail and a chance to put those mainmast running rigging ropes to work!! I’m now becoming more comfortable with Scalloway harbour entrance and the channels that lead out past rocks and fish farms. Having cleared the entrance we hoisted the foresail, and tensioned the luff with the hardner. Still under engine we ran on a broad reach for a few miles before gybing and hoisting the main.