Monday, 23 April 2012

Sun 22nd April, Bosun's Call race.

Sunday was the Bosun's Call race at Dunbar Sailing Club. This is a pursuit race and being the slowest boat I was first to start at 12.00. I was late and missed my start! Stuart, Scott and Ross (the navigator) had already headed out in Ambition to wait at the line so I decided to try to get some pics of them and go for the sail anyway.

Out between the rocks to catch the Ambition which is just visible in the distance.

The couple of feet of swell can be seen in the next photo along with breakers on the rocks below the cliffs.

As the Ambition sailed off in race mode I gybed and headed after them to the first marker a mile away.

In the distance the Bass Rock can be seen on the horizon. This is the turning point before heading back to Dunbar. The wind was supposed to be 10mph NE but was often lighter. There was also a bit of sunshine and I sat back to enjoy the sail. 

After a few hours of minding the tiller and occasionally playing with a sheet I eventually started  to round the Bass. The island is a volcanic plug that rises to around 350 feet at its highest point.

St Baldred lived there in 600AD when Christianity was first catching on in these parts. Since then it has been occupied off and on until 1988 when the lighthouse was automated. Now it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its huge Gannett population. I was beginning to smell this as Heron sneaked around into the lee.

There is a cave right through the Bass which can be climbed a through at the right tide but apparently it is not a very pleasant experience.

Grumpy Bill and his crew came round soon after. The Carioca is a Warrior 34 and a lovely boat. 

The Carioca began to pick up speed as it cleared the wind shadow and soon headed off into the distance. Tantallon Castle is visible on the cliffs in the background.

The boat from the seabird center at North Berwick gives an idea of scale.

The lighthouse was built by David Stevenson and first lit in 1902. It was the part of the same commission to build the lighthouse at Barnes Ness that I visited back in February.

Time was getting on and all the other boats were miles away so I got the wind on the port beam and started a long beat towards Dunbar.

I was probably out sailing for five hours and I felt it when I got back to the harbour. It was a great sail with Heron doing everything I wanted, albeit very slowly.  In addition to the thousands of Gannets I also saw Razorbills, Fulmars, Guillemots, Terns and a possibly a Swallow skimming over the waves.


  1. Great post Ped!. sorry i could not make it has already made plans, but deffo up for next time -:)

  2. great wee post ped, some stunning pictures of the bass rock, good stuff.