Sunday, 9 September 2012

Finally a Sunday Sail

This morning was full of promise with clear skies and warm winds. I can't afford to miss rare chances like this to get the Heron out for a sail. 

I motored out between the rocks that guard the entrance to Dunbar Harbour then quickly raised some sail and cut the engine. Silence. The tide was on the ebb as I sailed out and you can see the high water marks on the rocks. When the tide is in the nearest rock is covered leaving only the metal pole  as a warning.

I wasn't in any hurry and had no particular place to go so I took advantage of the wind and tacked along the coast. When the wind dropped I hove-to and put the little kettle on the gas stove and got some coffee brewed.

When the wind returned it started to become a bit erratic and cloud was gathering so I headed back toward the rocks.

These Grey seals were calling when I sailed up beside them. They make a strange moaning sound that varies from a painful sounding groan to an almost melodic singing. They give birth to their little white furry pups in Autumn and their calling to each other is wonderfully haunting on a misty night.

Sails dropped and the little motor putting away I sneaked back into the harbour.

Back on dry land I wandered down to the 'old' Cromwell Harbour where Bob the Harbour Master has his new boat sitting on the hard.

Its a Fifie which is a typical east of Scotland fishing boat designed and built from the 1850s. They are quite distinctive with their vertical stem and stern and wide beam. They fished drift nets for the herring and at one time Dunbar Harbour would have been full of similar boats. A restored example is the Reaper in Anstruther. Bob has a lot of work on his hands restoring this one but it will be worth it.

A fine day out.

F2 E veering S, smooth slight, good.


  1. Great post Ped, i need to come out for a sail, i will bring the coffee!,
    Does fly go with you? -:)

  2. Shame you couldn't make it today. Fly can't be trusted on a boat. She can barely cross a bridge without getting in a collie panic.

  3. Good to hear you made it out and enjoyed the fortunate weather. From the photos, it appears worth celebrating.

  4. The seals remind me of my Bobtail Shaggy, when he was a young pup. Now he looks different.

    I don't know anything about the seas or sailing, but I like reading about it here.

    Peace :)

    1. Unfortunately the sailing season is coming to an end but I will try to post more seaside stories.

  5. Hi Peter,
    Happy to see you out in the water. Envious of your making coffee aboard. Love the grey seal faces.