Dunbeath to Helmsdale – Section 7 | Day 4

Today we would have started the rowing from Dunbeath with boats from Helmsdale and Golspie and crews made up from mix of all the clubs in the region and other visiting crews. Rowing was going to take place in the late afternoon and into the evening, making the most of the longer daylight hours to allow as many people as possible who have to work for a living get involved and have a row.

The first stage, of around ten miles, is from Dunbeath harbour down to Berriedale, where we would have come ashore for a short break and possible crew changes. Those who have driven this section of the A9 will know of the spectacular hair pin bends of the Berriedale Braes but at sea it is once again the spectacle of high sea cliffs with waterfalls, caves and natural arches that we would have been able to photo log and video diary for everyone to see and enjoy.

From Berriedale we continue down the coast to Helmsdale again passing some high sea cliff faces. High up on the hill at Badbea we pass by a monument in memory of the Highland clearances. Although clearances took place all over the Highlands, many areas of East Sutherland were affected and Helmsdale featured prominently. More about the Highland Clearances

As we continue, we past another ancient historic site high up on the sea cliffs of Dun Glass and nearby the Ord of Caithness, a spectacular gorge.

We soon come upon Naverdale and see the cave.

Helmsdale Harbour
After rowing a section with not many safe havens to beach on, we welcome the sight of Helmsdale harbour where we will stop for the night.

Bunillidh Rowing Club

The Helmsdale club, known affectionately as the ‘Helmies’ but are, in actual fact, Bunillidh Rowing Club.

Bunillidh Rowing Club is based in the small fishing village of Helmsdale along the far north east coast of Scotland. Our club was formed in 2011. Our first skiff, Baille An Or (Number 33), was built in the old village coastguard shed (possibly one of the smallest sheds a skiff has been built in) and was launched in 2012. Our second skiff, Pride of Bunillidh (Number 70), was launched in 2014. Both skiffs are named after traditional fishing vessels that worked out of Helmsdale Harbour.

We are one of the smaller clubs, but in the last ten years since Scottish Coastal Rowing has formed we have participated in three world championships, hosted two of our own very successful regattas, but mostly forged so many new friendships with folk from all around Scotland, and enjoyed as a team all our visits to other clubs (Ullapool’s yearly regattas have a special place in all our hearts).

We were delighted to be involved in the RowAround Scotland, rowing the Wick to Golspie link, so sad that current circumstances have prevented this.

Congratulations to Scottish Coastal Rowing in achieving such a success that has taken hold of our lives in so many ways.