Thursday, 19 March 2015

Dunbar harbour

The drear of last weekend and the first few days of this week finally lifted on Wednesday.  The day was slightly misty, but the sun was warm enough to filter through and, bonus - no wind either!  Mr Gaucho and I decided to go and have a mooch around Dunbar harbour.  The last time we went there it was so windy we could barely stand up, and it was bitterly cold.  Yesterday was much more promising.

You can't fail to find masses of things to photograph in a fishing port!  The boats, the lobster pots, and piles of fishing paraphernalia and, of course, the catch!  It was all there in Dunbar harbour, and so we had a rather nice time!
On the outer side of the harbour is the Lamer Island Battery, which was built in 1781, but never saw any action, other than providing an isolation hospital for infectious diseases in 1872, and caring for invalids during the First World War.
Dunbar Harbour has three parts.  Dating back to 1710, it was a major herring and whaling port.  This is the inner harbour, where the fisherman mending the nets was very happy to be sitting and working in the sunshine.  
This is an alabaster carving of a fisherman saying goodbye to his wife and family, as he leaves on another fishing trip, out into the cold North Sea.
A few feet away from the carving, and over the sea wall, there is the cold North Sea.  It comes pounding in, on to the slipway and crashing along the shoreline of Dunbar.
The soundtrack of a fishing harbour must be the calling and squawking of the seagulls.  Here is a young herring gull, 
and diving down into the depths of the water in the harbour, doing a spot of fishing of their own, were three or four eider duck.
One of Dunbar's most famous sons is John Muir, and he gets mentioned occasionally on the running wave, because we have the John Muir Way further down the drive, and I walk along it quite often.  A couple of years ago I did a post about the man himself, which might interest you
Around the harbour there are a number of information boards, and I thought this one was interesting, because it mentions another accomplished resident of Dunbar.
Someone who lives up behind the harbour has been very creative with the lost buoys!
The harbour is in three parts, and at the opening to the sea stands the ruin of an ancient castle.  There is an artist's impression of the fortress and then a rather scruffy information board, which gives more details.

It sounds to me as though Black Agnes, written about below, was quite a dame!  I love this story!
The castle was made of red sandstone which weathers away quite dramatically, creating ledges for a colony of kittiwakes.
A cheery red fishing boat came in while we were there.  They off-loaded on crate of crabs on  to the quayside, before chugging around to the inner harbour.  The crew of three must have been out in the Forth all night.  They didn't seem to have much to show for their efforts - no wonder fish is so expensive to buy.  It's a tough way to make a living.

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