Anyone who was not down over the weekend will be positively astounded by the work that has been carried out over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There has been a simply outstanding amount achieved – I heard the words “gob smacked” “absolutely fantastic”, “unbelievable” and many more.

This was only achieved by a huge effort by a small team mainly consisting of Jon, Crawford, Leo, Iain, Angus, Steve D, Hugh, Mike McM, Alan (plus Stan) being there more or less for the whole 3 days. Even Arthur appeared early on Friday morning before rushing off to catch a holiday flight – mind you if he has seen the picture Crawf took of the digger hovering over his GP he might have stayed!! A massive commitment of time by these people and others - at various times, Mark, George and Morag, Marion and Ray, Brian, Steve C, Mike and Katy W, Peter and apologies to anyone else I have forgotten.

Work started on Friday at 9am after Leo arrived with his tractor, the digger arrived at 11am and work continued until 9 pm (ie when darkness fell and their beans and sausages were approaching frazzled state) . By this time the ditch had been cleared and the pipe laid and the vegetation by the loch side had been cleared – mostly by a gargantuan effort by Mike McM with his strimmer. The roadway had been dug by night fall.

Saturday morning work started at 6am by Jon, Leo, Crawf, Iain and Angus and finished at 7pm (when the chicken and rice was still hot). Other helpers/onlookers arrived during the day.

First the ground covering laid on the road and then 4 lorry loads of stone (the first arriving before 8 am) had been delivered and spread by mid morning (followed by a hearty fry up – bacon, fried potatoes, beans, and eggs!) Iain had decided to spend the day clearing rocks from the shore line to avoid boats being damaged and several cairns appeared by mid afternoon. We were a bit concerned he had grown webbed feet and that his arms might not move on Sunday after all the rock throwing. However having been offered a go on the digger he soon got the hang of it (boys and toys…), he was only persuaded to come in as Crawf wanted to go home to his bed. During the afternoon the team had made a stone wall/barrier by the new “slipway”. A huge rock had been uncovered which has now been moved and henceforth to be known as “Crawf's Corner”. The “beach” has been named variously as “Hasler’s Landing” or “Hasler’s Harbour”. I think we also had “Leo’s Log” and “Compton Corner”.

Sunday morning allowed a later 9am start and bacon rolls at 11 (ie once the ever hungry pirates (and Duncan) were out on the water!). The “beach” making continued, but the muddy shoreline was proving to be a problem no matter how many stones/rocks were bedded into it they just sank into the mud.

The boys fired up barbie for lunch and the hungry troops were fed. Peter arrived ready for the team topper racing but this was soon abandoned as the gentle morning breeze reduced to nothing. So the toppers were stripped of their masts, paddles found and some sort or paddling/rowing race followed which quickly became a game of inverting the boats and seeing how many people you could push into the water. But before this several cadets made themselves very useful with the project collecting gravel and moving stones – Hector, Sandy, Gordon, Euan, Callum Tony – well done guys.

So where are we now…. the result can be seen as soon as the car park is entered and the view as you walk down the field compound to the loch looks very good. The roadway is good. There are 2 “slipways” – one straight down and the other at a 45 deg angle. The slipways will need further work but are useable and once the grass etc. grows back will improve the overall result. So we may see a big launch on Wednesday – watch this space.

A huge thanks to everyone who came along to help – not forgetting all the help in the kitchen – Suzanne, Alice, Erika, Lorna and others. Plus thanks to everyone who contributed food . Unfortunately Iain couldn’t manage the last 4 burgers though…

The CMRP have been very helpful in obtaining permission for us to do this work.

Thanks also to Stan and Mark for all the grass cutting in the compound – a couple of things – Mark unfortunately found the missing padlock when the lawnmower struck it and it flew out hitting his knee – a large ouch. Also if you bring your dog into the compound please keep an eye on it and clear up any mess, as this is very unpleasant to find when moving boats etc, thanks.

Lastly we seem to have rats again – please do not leave food out or the compound door open when no one is around, thanks.

So a huge thanks to everyone who gave up their time at the weekend - also special thanks to Leo for bringing his tractor and to Crawf for securing the digger (its who you know!) and especially to Jon Hasler for bringing the whole thing together.

The Slipway Weekend

Published: 27 August 2016