Dunbar to Cove – Section 12 | Day 2

7.5nm = 2.5hrs, slaloming through the Yetts rocks, nose into Whitesands, past Torness power station. Alternates for safety: Skateraw Haven.

Departing from Dunbar, the odyssey continues with the father of ecology, Dunbar’s John Muir:

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while. Wash your spirit clean. — John Muir

Preparations complete we double-check the dragon.

Listerine anyone?
Pay attention, Haggar!



Moderate swell to be expected
Wind from the north-west to speed us on our way, just as well because we’re still towing the trawl from Field Studies, Millport.



Just mill around in a busy harbour.
Whitburn has left Latimer Ledja at home and is borrowing the local RNLI’s Bielside Belle skiff today to avoid towing from Geordieland. Welcome to Ailsa and Robert (is that a seafood platter I see?).

The skiffs have stopped to pick up some rogue polystyrene and a fisherman’s glove, Dunbar is Scotland’s first zero-waste harbour — many thanks to Harbourmaster Quentin.

John Muir (1838 – 1914), was an influential naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness. He wrote, visited, cajoled and exhorted several US presidents to save the wilderness from the advancing ranchers.

The power of imagination makes us infinite. — John Muir

Overdressed for the occasion?
Bung anyone?
Hey, Black Agnes, don’t be late.



Which way now, boss?
Off we go, turning right through the Yetts rocks, seals cavorting. Guess what?
Duncan McKay of North Berwick has the raw courage to tell us:
“I will never live down the first time I saw a seal pop up. I got thoroughly over-excited and pointed at it screaming ‘Look! Squirrels! “

Memory, Dunbar – Whitesands 2016 – I remember it well; no row has better defined the effect of wind and tide on a 22 foot boat and five crew. We’d shot like a bullet from Dunbar to Whitesands where we broke bread with good friends and shared tales of how effortless it all was. The Gods of the sea were obviously listening! The return leg was met with a wind of Biblical proportions and it took us five times as long to get back. Amble, 2016.

Memo to self: avoid bulk carriers.
Here comes the queen, Chris!

I have to comment that this photo is the best ever taken in the adventures of coastal rowing. Thanks to Dunbar’s Christine Mincher. Yes, she survived.


It’s lovely to row with all ages, never thought I would find a new sport at my age, or row with my daughters!!!! —Meg Ennis

We’re passing Barns Ness Lighthouse, built by the Stevensons, cousins of RLS, was finished in 1901, machine-gunned in WWII, and after 104 years was deactivated in 2005. We had a chance to buy it but chickened out, one would need a lot of scaffolding and some long ropes to maintain a lighthouse. The estate-agent mentioned it has a ‘room with a view’.

“Winners all are we,
and prove again
beyond a doubt,
it’s all about the crew of friends.”
— A. Turner-Cockroft

Offshore windpower joins the Grid here.
Now passing Torness (Thor’s nose or headland), the last of the UK’s second generation nuclear plants, commissioned in 1988 with two advanced gas-cooled reactors. Complete blockage of the cooling-water intakes by seaweed and sometimes masses of jellyfish has resulted in cooling being lost for a period. On these occasions Dunbar’s fishing fleet sails to the rescue, clears the intakes, and earns a pretty penny.



Phew, almost in, where’s the toilets?
Any reefs ‘round ‘ere, then?
We’re finally inside one of the hidden gems of south-east Scotland, Cove Harbour.