0046 - Berwick to Dunbar

On this particular morning, I can't say I was in the best of moods, but nonetheless, I got on with the business of getting out of here. Things just weren't right, and a part of me kinda wanted to stay for another few weeks until another situation had kinda settled, but either way, it was time to go...

I knew it was going to be a tad awkward getting off the pontoon, there were a few long lines from another nearby vessel that seemed to want to hook on to the anchor or better yet - rub on the furled genoa, and with the line being covered in green algae-slime, it was just making a mess of my freshly 'cleaned' sail...


Just as we were getting away from the pontoon a line got fully hooked on the anchor and some quick action was needed to prevent a mini-disaster, but in a few moments we were off the pontoon and lining up to exit the harbour.

Part of the reason I wasn't in a great mood was that I knew a little bit of what was to come...the mouth of the river can get a bit choppy around mid-tide. I can't say I noticed even the slightest bit of chop on the way in - but I felt pretty sure it was going to be a bumpy ride out...


Getting around the final bend of the river revealed that the chop wasn't too bad and that the wind seemed to be picking up - but something else wasn't right - our wind speed indicator seemed to only be registering 3kts of wind, and it was easily 15-18kts.


This distracted me as the wind began to push us into the breakwater, I adjusted our course so that we would well off the breakwater - no sooner had I done that - I glanced up to the top of the mast just in time to see something fly off of the mast. It was just a fleeting glance and for a few minutes I was convinced I had imagined it - but now the wind indicator was saying 0kts.

After we cleared the breakwater, I managed to go up to the bow to get a good look at where the wind instruments are mounted. I can confirm that the wind scoop element of our weather station - is gone. Hmmmmmmmmm.

The wind was picking up, and we were already making 4kts. The current, waves and wind were just pushing us along, I rolled out a little of the genoa just to give us a touch more speed, only so we had enough water going over the rudder to maintain sufficient steering - we are, in no rush.

I pulled in all the fenders and chucked them in the cockpit, and by now the sea was getting quite lumpy, and I just wasn't in the mood to look at it, I made the decision it was time for a cup of coffee and headed down below. I would remain down below for the next 3hrs, only popping up to have a look around every 20 minutes or so...

The girls hadn't been out on the sea for a while, and I was a little concerned that they might have lost their sea legs a bit - but my fears were unfounded - the crew just slipped into their routine and were unfazed with the lumpy seas - in fact, they both decided to go to sleep. I even made sure the first venture of the season was to be a short one just in case they got a little freaked out...meh - they were fine......

After some time, the waves died down a bit and the wind sort of eased and our speed dropped to just a few knots, but it didn't matter, we were almost there.

I heard a blip on the chart plotter, which means that we just passed the last waypoint before we had to do our final turn towards Dunbar.

I say turn, but it's more like threading the needle, the entrance is narrow, shallow, very tidal, surrounded by rocks and the ruins of a castle...

Kinda hard to imagine what this place would have looked like way back in the day...it must have been quite an impressive sight - but today the castle is nothing more than a nesting site for Kittiwakes.


Now, as we were entering this place on the rising tide, and although I did my best to slow our arrival, we were a touch early...and with less than half a metre under the keel coming through the pass we weren't going to be venturing too far inside this harbour...and we don't have to - as the visitor berth is immediately inside the harbour on the starboard side.

The wind made mooring up to the wall as easy as it could be - we just lined up parallel to the pier and the wind just gently pushed us onto the wall. Having our lines and fenders all set and ready to go - always helps, but before we were even fully tied up - Phoebe was up on deck, keen as always, to survey her new view...

After finishing up with the lines I put the kettle on and shut down the engine.....and it was then that I thought it seemed a little humid and at the same moment, I heard some sloshing that was not the water on the outside of the boat.


A quick peek into the bilges was disappointing, and an even quicker taste test showed it to be freshwater - I only just replaced the water tank and the new one now seems to have developed a leak somewhere between here and Berwick. Terrific.

Before I could ruminate on how annoyed I should be about this, the kettle was ready.


I decided to have a coffee before fully inspecting the leak and by now Chloe was ready to have a peek topside...

I had filled our tanks before leaving Berwick and about half the tank has leaked in the bilges. A quick assessment seems to indicate the leak is coming from the top, at or near the filler pipe - and with a lot less water and pressure, the leak is now minimal.

I will have to haul it out when it gets empty for a proper inspection, but for now, the bilges are clear - albeit a bit damp...putting that aside, for now, I wanted to get a closer look at all these birds that are nesting in the ruins.


As soon as you step onto the pier, you feel you shouldn't have...you are made to feel like a trespasser by a thousand eyes watching you from the ruins...

Some of their nests are fairly low to the ground and that lets you get a good look at them in their nests, but you have to be careful. With this many nests, with birds coming and going, there is a lot of bird poop - both on the ground and flying through the air!

I did have a look at these birds for a little while, it's not very often you get to see them this close - or at least I haven't seen nesting seabirds in such proximity to humans. They also seemed to be quite respected, in the sense that there was a lot of signs and railing preventing people from getting too close. Seems wise.

After having a good look at the birds, I made my way back to the boat without catching any shrapnel from the nests along the way...and after one more coffee, I declared this day done.

A leaky (NEW) water tank and an AWOL wind scoop, not too bad for the first day out...everything else seemed to perform as expected, sooo - so far, so good-ish.

I'd considered leaving the next day, but opted to just stay for another day - I mean, why not, right? I can't say I got up to very much - other than adjusting ropes in the middle of the night to suit the tide, and I also wasn't exactly sure where we're going next anyway, so I wanted a bit of time to figure that out.

In the meantime I took a walk around the harbour just to take a few photographs, it's quite a pretty little harbour, not too noisy despite all the birds everywhere - I wanted to have a better look at that sketchy entrance that we came through, plus, I had to track down the Harbour Master at some stage to give him some money...

After here, we are headed up to Auld Reekie, aka Edinburgh. Not sure where in Edinburgh, but we have a few options...but we'll figure it out later and try to be off in the morning...

I did also say that I would try to take some more video - I don't think I'm cut out for first-person vlogging, but I did say I'd do it, and not sure if I achieved what I set out to do but... I managed to film a bit of the trip.

To be fair we don't have any money for funky beats, and if this is something I continue to do - expect a lot of royalty-free classical music from the YouTube audio library...

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