Augusta, where I’m currently house-sitting, is on the estuary of the Blackwood River; it’s a huge and very beautiful body of water, and I haven’t had an opportunity to get out on it until today.
The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (from the Swan River, between Perth and Fremantle) brought two St Ayles skiffs, ‘Ripple’ and ‘Dotsie’ down here today to promote these boats, and to see if they could kick-start a local interest in them.
St Ayles skiffs are a small, four-oar rowing craft based on a traditional Scottish design. They are built from a kit, commonly by community groups, all over the world.
I’ve rowed in St Ayles skiffs before, while house–sitting in Cygnet, southern Tasmania. Some of the people who came along with the boats today had been to the 2017 Franklin St Ayles Skiff International Regatta, near Cygnet, which I also attended.
As they were there to promote rowing and the skiffs, I got the opportunity to have a row. Conditions were perfect, with a bright, clear sky, clean water on a rising tide, and no wind.
Just look at that beautiful water!
The two boats did a continuous turnaround, giving anyone who was interested a chance to try out rowing them.
Here’s ‘Dotsie’ pulled up on the beach:
You can see that it’s a fairly simple, all-wooden boat.
And here's 'Ripple' getting its photograph taken:
There are pelicans here in Augusta, as you can see in the pictures above. I just love them; they are huge, graceful, but comical birds, and they remind me of warmer waters! I saw them a lot when I lived on the east coast of Australia, but there aren’t many of them in Tasmania where I've spent a lot of time lately, so it's great to see them again..
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