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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.


What were these 2 drone-pilots doing at the Battery? They explained they were drone-filming our coastline as background for a future film of a solar-powered airship. It plans to take off from East Fortune, maybe in 2022 and fly transatlantic non-stop to the USA or Canada (or thereabouts?), as a proof of concept. Manufacture is currently underway in the South of France. Project website: https://theheliosproject.org/

Incidentally, last year marked the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic flight from Britain to the United States. On 2 July 1919 Airship R.34 departed from East Fortune Airfield, landing on Long Island, New York 108 hours later. https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore-our-collections/stories/science-and-technology/airship/

The Helios Project should be one of the greatest adventures of the 21st. century: A journey of over 4,500 miles across the vast wilderness of the Northern Hemisphere. A wonderful dream, 12 years in the making - and it is (almost) finally here! It is expected to be:--

  • The Longest Solar-powered, Manned Flight In History
  • The First Solar-powered Aerial Crossing Of The Atlantic Westwards
  • The First Solar-powered Flight Both Transatlantic And Transcontinental
  • The First Manned Solar-powered Flight Venturing Beyond The Arctic Circle

And good luck to all who 'sail' in her.

Note to drone-users: You must comply with the CAA's guidance, see https://dronesafe.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Drone-Code_October2019.pdf  You would be wise to call the Harbour Master beforehand who can advise on safe positions, wind, weather and the presence of large groups at harbour events.

Photo by Kenny Maule.  Click <<READ MORE>> below for photo 2: the expected route.

Dunbar RNLI:  “It was a rude awakening for Dunbar’s volunteer lifeboat crew this morning (12 Nov.) when they were called out at 1.30am to rescue a fishing boat that had run out of fuel. It was the third shout this week after local boat Spitfire became stranded three miles north west of the town.

The ALB launched from Torness shortly after 2am and was on scene around 20 minutes later. A tow was set up and the ALB had the Spitfire safely back in Dunbar harbour in half an hour. 

The RNLI’s advice for any sea-going, motor-powered vessel is to always make sure you have enough fuel for the trip, carry reserves and regularly maintain your engine.”

Photo credit: Dave Anderson, Dunbar RNLI

On the scent of …….. Fergus, a flat-coated retriever. In the best tradition of tabloid reporting and dodgy puns here is a shaggy-dog ‘tail’.

The ILB crew was briefed: “There’s a wet dug on they rocks at Belhaven. Fetch!” It was a slim lead, just a sniff but they set off, on the scent, engine snarling. The ILB arrived at the rocks, saw Fergus was ‘terrier’fied and bedraggled, with a hang-dog expression. He had been hounding birds, in ‘pup’suit of a young gannet and had ‘pawsed’ on the rocks, Toto-ally ‘pup’lexed. One of the crew disem’bark’ed then collared Fergus and man-handled him into the boat. Retriever retrieved …..  It had been a ‘ruff’ day, so he’ll be kept on a short leash noo!

Photo credit Dunbar RNLI, fb page

Video:https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157987161103175&id=560288174 (credit Gordon Kirkham)

  • Annual Harbour Users Meeting on Dec.10th, by Zoom
  • You only need to click on the Zoom 'blue link' at 6.45pm (may need to wait a few seconds or retry)
  • 6.45pm start with an intro from Alasdair Swan (allows 15 minutes for everyone to join)
  • 7pm, presentation of the 'slide-show': an explanation of harbour improvements during the last 3 years.
  • There is no need to attend the Zoom meeting, you can watch these silent 'slides' anytime, they are self-explanatory:
  • http://www.dunbarharbourtrust.co.uk/images/PDF/Harbour_Improvements_2018-20__General_Fishermen_RNLI_Leisure_blue.pdf
  • 7.30pm 'slides' end, 8pm close of meeting, both approx.
  • Please email any questions later to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Zoom link details below (I'll email them again on the day)
  • Alasdair Swan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: Dunbar Harbour Users' Meeting
    Time: Dec 10, 2020 6:45 PM London
    Join Zoom Meeting  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88695915148
    Meeting ID: 886 9591 5148


Just an 'early warning'. Our annual Harbour Users Meeting will take place on the evening of Thursday, December 10th. 

Due to Covid, this year's meeting will be on Zoom. You'll be reminded in the end-November newsletter and again by email, giving the 'blue link' for the Zoom. Everyone will be able to join just by clicking on that 'blue link'. After the Zoom meeting you will be able to ask questions by email and these will be answered by the appropriate Trust Director.

More details/timing to follow ..... 

Belhaven swans avoiding the paparazzi, but they couldn't avoid being snapped by Malcolm Quirie

From Kenneth Grahame, poem ‘The Wind in the Willows’:

“All along the backwater, through the rushes tall, 
Ducks are a-dabbling, up tails all! 
Ducks' tails, drakes' tails, yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight, busy in the river!" 

Boat owners seldom get a nice photo of their own boat, as they’re always at the helm. Above is a fine photo of Tangaroa, Belhaven Lobsters, taken by a crew-member. 

John Muir quote: “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

Photo of Tangaroa, courtesy of @mr_guesty

On the 7th Oct. 8--9pm, you probably heard a helicopter circling for more than 1 hour, in darkness over Auldhame, clearly audible in our harbour area. It was an Apache helicopter, ‘Hydra 1’, on an Army Air Corps exercise.

Photo from Flightradar 24.

Caledonia TV were filming a programme for part of a series called ‘Mach à Seo!’ (‘Outta Here’ in English) for the Gaelic channel BBC ALBA. It’s about weekend staycations in Scotland where presenter, Ramsay seen in photo, shows the highlights of what you can do in various  areas. This specific episode is based on a weekend away in East Lothian and Ramsay starts his trip in Dunbar where he cycles part of the John Muir Way to North Berwick. 

Caledonia TV do not currently have a release date although the programme is expected to go out early next year. 

Photo by Researcher Robyn Low

Charlie Head is currently circumnavigating Scotland, anti-clockwise, SOLO AND UNSUPPORTED, on a paddle-board (SUP) and arrived in the harbour in early-October for 2 days rest, awaiting favourable winds. 

Charlie has previously been round England and Wales and the last leg of his incredible adventures will be going round Scotland, during October ‘til Christmas or thereabouts! He's supporting the ‘DARE 2 EXPRESS’ mental health charity. 

Quote: “I've arrived in Crail after a really beautiful paddle from Dunbar via the Isle of May, when the Northerly winds started and the tide turned against me. Made camp and now food and an early night??”  Track his progress on  www.charlieheadsup.com

Charlie is now passing Wick and heading north.

Read more by visiting his website https://charlieheadsup.com/#scotland

Photos from Charlie's website.  Photo 1, crossing the Firth of Forth.

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2: Charlie’s tent at Crail, just before the deluge washed it away that evening.

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404