Hestan to Isle of Whithorn – Section 1 | Day 2

Annan Harbour Action Group — Hestan to Isle of Whithorn

La Malouine at Kippford, in times past (until the recent travel ban, overnight berths were available through Airbnb)
Sunday 5 April dawns bright and eventually the bleary rowers emerge onto the deck of La Malouine to greet the new challenge; the rowing had been fine but the hospitality had taken a toll.

The plan today is for two skiffs to leave Hestan Islet and Ross Island almost simultaneously at the top of the tide each heading West, both with the benefit of a fresh breeze out of the south east and 3 knots of tide assistance, to cover their 12 miles. Hats off to whoever organised such cooperative weather. Pride of Solway rows past Ross to get out at the Brighouse Bay holiday park to be trailered on to Isle of Whithorn.

Pride of Annan having crossed Wigtown Bay has the trickier task of approaching from the sea. So aiming for the white tower the cox eventually spots the leading lights and enters the channel at 335 degrees, using a compass purchased for this very purpose. This is a first for Annan as we have to row 20 miles just to get on a chart. The joy of arriving at the Isle is tempered by the depressing and sobering thought that the wonderful Steam Packet Inn is closed.

Hippo CRC — Garlieston to Isle of Whithorn

photo of Hippo (white dot in the circle) below Cruggleton Castle, Wigtown Bay
Hippo CRC planned to row from their base at Garlieston to Wigtown Bay CRC (based at Isle of Whithorn) today, alongside the Annan skiff. Garlieston is where trials of the D-Day Mulberry Harbours took place; a fixed pierhead (or Hippo) from the harbours could be seen until it was destroyed by a storm in 2006. Beatha, Hippo’s skiff, was bought from the Mid Argyll club last year and took part in the Worlds at Stranraer.

Hippo’s skiff Beatha on the slip at Isle of Whithorn


Introducing Wigtown Bay CRC

Renovation of a shed in which to build the Wigtown skiff
Wigtown Bay Coastal Rowing Club, came into being in April 2019. We are at the Isle of Whithorn, famous for the 1970s Wicker Man film, and for being the most southerly harbour village in Scotland. Our club has grown to nearly 80 members from across the Machars, Wigtownshire, the Rhins, D&G, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester & North East England. We gained SCIO status In February this year.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to complete our skiff before the COVID restrictions came in. Her colours were chosen from Hebe’s winning design, from our primary schools competition. Her name is being kept secret until the launch in the community.

We won the D&G Leader Award for Fisheries and Community in Dec 2019. We were thrilled! All of this on a shoestring grant, and with amazing goodwill from the wonderful people of the Machars.

We are all about celebrating community, bringing people together to champion our boat building and fishing heritage, and having fun.

We’ve had Stranraer CRC over to visit twice; it’s terrific to have the wider coastal rowing community links. We’ve loved learning new & traditional skills, and travelling to different clubs to gain experience and build great connections.
Hippo brought Beatha over from Garlieston, she sat so proudly on our harbour. Our iconic cairn image is on so many logos linked to the Isle. We chose to echo our rowing and the Machars peninsula in our club logo.

This is a wonderful place to live, rowing and building as a team is invigorating, empowering, hilarious and frustrating, all at the same time. It’s what family and community is all about. We are incredibly proud to be part of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Community. We can’t wait to row our coastline for real. — Vikki

Sandwich board to announce forthcoming build days
Wigtown Bay CRC Newsletter
Hebe’s winning colour scheme