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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.


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) 

Harbour Master Quentin has completed setting up Dunbar Harbour Trust as a Marine Traffic AIS land station as part of an enhancement to the Harbour Trust’s safety plan. Previously there was a ‘blank spot’ ie: no upload onto the web of any AIS data from the harbour and surrounding area. This is a safety improvement for harbour users, allowing the RNLI station to locate vessels' positions in the area quicker and to relay that information when necessary. 

Quentin has added the AIS Land Station link to a menu item under Port Operations on the Trust’s website. Link below (not much happening until after the holiday season)  https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-2.513/centery:56.004/zoom:13 

You can play with the left-side menus for layers  eg: 

  • The 'Projected Course' for showing boats’ directions.
  • Satellite, dark map, simple map etc. 
  • Create a ‘fleet’ of the boats you most wish to monitor, 
  • Search for a boat.
  • Hover your mouse icon over a boat to see its speed/destination. 
  • Click the boat to see photos and information

Photos by Kenny Maule.  Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2, Quentin atop his 'castle', setting up the aerial.

Barry Brunton says  “LADIES & GENTLEMEN!..... Do we have NEWS for you?  The ‘Lynsey B’ can now legally fish! Yes … after all this time, we have finally completed the final hurdle, and got the licence attached to the boat! When you look back to where we were a year ago you can see a huge difference...not bad going for one man ?......and hopefully we are on track for our spring 2021 launch”.

Will Princess Anne do the honours with a bottle of champagne? One thing’s for sure, we’ll all be there to cheer you on Barry. Don’t forget the bung!

Watch Barry’s videos of the build. Please SUBSCRIBE to keep up-to-date.



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