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There is a lot happening in Dunbar Harbour, so we will keep you informed with our news articles and newsletter. Subscribe to our newsletter on the right of this article and come back to this news page often to read more. If you have news related to Dunbar Harbour then please send us a message using the form at the bottom and we will publish it here.


Dunbar Harbour Trust is holding an informal FREE event on Thurs 28th Jan 2021, from 7-8pm, to share our ‘What If’ aspirations.

To join us register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dunbar-harbour-trust-what-if-event-tickets-136288623943

We are delighted to be holding this event to promote the work we do, share our passion to make Dunbar Harbours the ‘go to’ place, and tell you about our ‘What If’ aspirations for the future. You may wish to help us achieve our goals? Join us at this informal event to hear more!

This event is part of sustaining Dunbar’s series of community engagement events associated with the John Muir; Earth-Planet, Universe outdoor exhibition currently on display at the Dunbar Battery. The Trust are grateful to Sustaining Dunbar for their support and for facilitation of the event.

Davie Kittrick of Dunbar Lifeboat, seen above, was on the BBC News on Sunday December 27th., discussing the bravery of the Dunbar Lifeboat crew – and of one volunteer in particular. The story has been movingly recalled by a survivor pulled from the sea in a force-ten gale 50 years ago. Martin Stephen, now 71, owes his life to the courage of David Brunton who, despite not being a strong swimmer, jumped into the treacherous swell as Martin sank unconscious beneath the waves. Martin had tried and failed to rescue his 11-year-old cousin David Jeffrey who had been swept off the rocks at the entrance to Dunbar Harbour by a freak wave on December 23rd, 1970.

Martin said: “I had been face down in the water for several minutes and was told later that Mr Brunton had dived in fully-clothed as I started to sink.”  Details:https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2020/december/10/50-years-on-survivor-tells-dunbar-lifeboat-crew-i-owe-you-everything 

Photos from the BBC. Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2, Davie Kittrick, on behalf of the RNLI, accepting thanks from Martin Stephen.

Behold a beautiful Christmas tree (no, it’s not a  navigation beacon for Santa)! Between 80 and 90 creels were used and the construction took 4 hours by fishermen Ryan Stewart, Liam Brunton and Casey Brunton. If you think that's easy, then try lifting a concrete-filled creel and later visit the chiropractor.

Harbourmaster Quentin Dimmer: “They are the up-and-coming younger generation of fishermen and they wanted to bring a bit of festive cheer to Dunbar Harbour. Everybody has been happy with the tree, it has really caught the imagination of visitors. People have been taking photos and commenting on social media. It’s so nice to see so many people smiling as they visit the harbour.”

Photo by Kenny Maule.

Most days and nights, summer and winter, the North Wall usually has several anglers. Your roving reporter braved a cold night to interview three of them.

Q & A:

  • What do they catch? --- red cod all-year round, green cod during Oct--March, 
  • How long do they fish in the night? --- 3 hours, sometimes 6hrs
  • Why do they have so many rod-lights? --- usually red lights on the rod-end, also green lights on their floats to attract fish. They tie a bell onto the rod to alert them, otherwise some bigger fish can pull the whole rod over the wall. 
  • What is the best weather? --- when there is heavy surf; it raises the food for the fish.
  • Who eats the caught fish? --- mainly their family; sometimes they get no fish, sometimes too much, 
  • Do these anglers get any sleep? --- yes, maybe 4 hrs after fishing, and a couple of hours later in the afternoon.
  • Do the fish get any sleep? --- cod can sleep by emptying their swim-bladder and sinking to the bottom (unlike mackerel who are constantly awake). 
  • Are there any female anglers? --- yes, but not many.
  • Are the anglers in a club? ---  generally not, they just meet each other mainly by chance.

Photos by Kenny Maule.  Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2, the unappetising bait.

Looking through binos gave a better view with some of Jupiter’s moons and Saturn's rings being visible. Low in the southwest, near evening twilight, Jupiter and Saturn are really very close just now, only 1/10th of a degree apart. Jupiter and Saturn are doing a planetary dance that resulted in the Great Conjunction on the 21st December, appearing closer to one another than they have since Galileo was alive in the 17th century.

Planet Saturn is fainter with a distinctly golden color, just above the brighter Planet Jupiter, brighter than any star, snapped here as they descend between the chimney pots of houses in Victoria St,  

Photo by Kenny Maule.  

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2, by Ed Piotrowski: “The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn through my telescope. Four of Jupiter's moons; Europa, Ganymede, Io & Callisto, and Saturn's Titan moon visible.  Many images stacked for more clarity and colour.”

Dunbar RNLI is pleased to announce: "Two of our volunteer crewmembers have been passed out as helms on the inshore lifeboat (ILB). 

Ross McMullen and Chris Woods were put through their paces last week on various scenarios with an assessor and crew and were tested on their knowledge and skills. They join long-standing volunteers Alan Blair and Gordon Kirkham as helms for the ILB. 

Ross, 35, has been a volunteer for 18 years and wanted to join after his brother Paul and uncle David Koch both served on the crew. He is also currently a tractor driver on the ILB and was once part of the Scottish National Flood Rescue team. He said: “I joined as a teenager with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and stayed ever since. There have been a few shouts in that time but one that always sticks out was when we were tasked to tow a 55ft sperm whale off the beach at Canty Bay. I was attaching the two ropes when I slipped and fell onto the whale – not an experience you forget in a hurry!” Currently a driving instructor in a career that has seen him serve with the police for 12 years and work as an assistant emergency preparedness engineer at Torness Power Station, Ross said: “The assessment was tough but it’s good we were both passed out.”

Chris, 40, who has been on the crew since 2015, was inspired to become a volunteer after eight years with the merchant navy left him wanting to continue getting back out to sea. He also wanted to give something back to the Dunbar community. Chris, regional manager (Scotland) for EDF Renewables, has made a big impact on the crew since joining, becoming a mechanic on the all-weather lifeboat (ALB), tractor driver for the ILB and was the recipient of the Crewmember of the Year award three times. His most memorable shout was during the Lifeboat Fete three years ago. He said: “I was in the middle of giving people a tour of the ALB when the pagers went off. There were 30 people on board and we had to get them all off safely and as quickly as we could. Many of them thought we were joking!”

Ross and Chris paid thanks to the existing helms and crew for their help in training and support. Dunbar coxswain Gary Fairbairn said: “Chris and Ross have worked hard in a year when it has not been easy to train. They have had to do a lot online as well as going afloat and their dedication has paid off. It’s important for the station to have more cover for our assets, so we want to thank them both for their hard work.”

Our photo shows Ross (left) and Chris (right) with the ILB. 

The Volunteer Inn, haunt of many a shady character.

A night shot, snapped whilst Level 2 was in force. Please remember that “mine’s a pint of Belhaven Best” when Nicola releases us again.

Photo by Kenny Maule.

From the RNLI: “Here’s our volunteer and fitness instructor Becs putting some of the crew through their paces ahead of our Reindeer Run to raise much needed funds for the RNLI. We’ll be running a minimum of 10k in our full protective gear - waterproofs, wellies, life jackets and the all-important antlers! The funds raised through Reindeer Run will be the best Christmas present RNLI lifeboat volunteers and our families could receive. When you donate you become a lifesaver and a vital part of the crew. Please follow the link below and if you can help us reach our target. After all, it’s for a good Claus! "


The run is complete but you can still contribuet!

Photo from the RNLI. 

Photo above is the harbour’s most-Christmassy house. Take a bow, Eric and Jane.

The Annual Harbour Users Meeting was held over Zoom. Everyone connected with the harbour was invited: fishermen, leisure users, clubs, Newsletter readers and the Shore Group. We started with an introduction by Alasdair Swan thanking everyone for attending, a summing-up by Kenny Maule of the Trust’s achievements during the 3 years 2018-20, and afterwards Users’ questions were taken, being answered by the relevant Director. 

Many thanks to all who attended, for your opinions and input. 

"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."        

Beautiful shot of Tangaroa positioning for the maintenance bay, with a swirling eddy behind. That's a water eddy not the owner, Eddie.

In the Maori language, ‘Tangaroa’ means ‘God of the Sea’---  and lakes, rivers, and creatures that live within them, especially fish: a boat very aptly named.

Photo 1 by Kenny Maule. 

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2:  A superb Full Moon on Dec. 1st, at the Battery (by Owen MacDonald) 

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404