I woke up today and its choppy, the boat is rolling around, I take a look outside, and it's rainy and windy - again - tis another 'below decks' day today...
The year is almost over, so I decided to try and clear out my laptop as it's just become a mess, stuffed with random folders of pictures and video...
And, in doing so, I came across a folder of pictures that I meant to make a blog post about back in July, about a week or so after we went to Inchkieth Island - and only didn't because I was pretty distracted at the time, Phoebe was ill, and I think I was working through some other problems at that time...
Either way, I guess, I stayed distracted as I'd forgotten all about these pictures till now - it wasn't that 'amazing' of a trip, but it was kinda interesting...abandoned places are always fun, especially when it's a whole island!
...If nothing else, it was just interesting to see what was there.
As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, there's a surprising number of abandoned islands in the Firth of Forth - Inchmickery Island is just another one of them, probably the smallest, but every inch of this place is covered in structures - occupied now, only by the birds.
Located in the middle of the Forth, this place has been abandoned since WWII and now serves as something of a nature reserve.
Back in the day, the military made the island look, from a distance, like a battleship and was thusly nicknamed 'battleship island' - I'm told it didn't see much use other than on one or two occasions, and even then I don't think it amounted to much.
I believe a few people did live on the island prior to the military occupation, but any evidence of their presence has long since been cemented over.
Getting on to the Island
Getting on the island can be a tricky one. Although there is a pier, it's 100% not suitable for visiting yachts - plus, it hasn't been maintained in any way for a very long time. There's a ladder on the pier, the last one of at least 3 that have rusted away leaving only rusty spikes where ladders once existed.
I just decided to anchor in the lee of the island on the mudflats as I didn't want to get too close as the depths aren't charted too well there...given its history, anything could be down there, best not to 'chance it' in the shallow water.
After launching the dingy, it was a brief row over to the island and onto the rusty ladder.
Once I was a bit closer I could see that a modern stainless steel ladder bar had been added next to the old rusty one, but the rusty one seemed more secure than the newer ones, so I just used them instead.
The pier itself was quite overgrown with the usual range of weeds that you would expect, and it seemed solid enough but not sure for how much longer - all of the supporting pillars are split, and the internal rebar is rusting quite heavily, I'd be surprised if it's still standing in 10 years time...
Overall, the place was a mess. There was rusty crap everywhere and the beaches were covered in asbestos and plastic, just an ecological nightmare - much the same as Inchkeith Island.
I often wonder if they just make some of these places 'nature reserves' as it's cheaper to do some paperwork than clean up all the mess that's been left behind by people...or the mess that washes ashore from all the crap people dump in the ocean, it's just soo much.
The more prominent accessible buildings seemed to each be owned by a different species of birds, as a result, I entered only a few buildings as many of them had very young chicks and I really didn't want to get too close and disturb them, by this point, it was apparent they didn't want me there...
Everything was falling apart, and I mean crumbling. Even the rooves that were made of solid reinforced concrete - have collapsed, the place is in very poor condition and some buildings are just plain dangerous.
Some of the more interesting structures were on the Eastside of the island, and I'd say at least a third of the buildings that occupied the Westside of the island would only be accessible if you had a machete to chop a trail, they're very overgrown.
I think, in some cases, some structures were held together only by weeds that have consumed them.
When you see these old places, it's hard to imagine what they must have been like when in operation, you know, when it was all shiny and new.
It's a shame to see all the decay, but it's nice that these birds have a place to shelter from the weather...and they make the most of every nook and cranny.
Along the shore, some heavier fortifications still stand solid - and I noticed a small landing ramp that I might use if I ever come back here, although I don't think I really want to - it's kind of a creepy place - perhaps in 10 years, I might come back to see if the pier is still standing...
After exploring the island, I looked for and successfully found a small trinket to take from the island. Something no one would mind me removing from the place.
On Inchkeith Island I found a small plastic toy monkey to take, so here on Inchmickery I managed to find a small toy octopus...
'Mick the Octopus' has since gone to live with 'Keith the Monkey' in the cactus plant pot.
These places are littered with small toys like this, I think the birds try to feed them to their young - although, their favorite thing to collect is the plastic sticks from cotton buds. On any given stretch of beach or nesting site, you can easily find thousands of them, they're everywhere.
After finding Mick the trip was more or less over, so I headed back to the boat and made our way back to the pontoon in Granton, where at some point the pictures were put into a folder and promptly forgotten about.
So, yeah, that was the 'lost post' and I figure it should've been post number 0050 - I'd even toyed with the idea of just leaving it out of the blog, but in an effort to be complete, I've included it for peace of mind, and so that I can put the folder of images into storage and move on with my life...lol
So, sorry if you saw this post and thought we were on the move again - sadly, it's just one that fell through the cracks...