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.


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At the Battery on Saturday 14th December, there were singers, guitarists and a 'full-house' audience; a lovely afternoon with #ChurchesTogether singing carols and reciting poems. Delicious mulled wine & mince pies too! 

The weather was cool with a setting sun and joy bolstered the singers (I almost joined in); an excellent afternoon as the darkness descended with a real Christmassy feeling. 

photo #1 by Kenny Maule, photo #2 by Yvonne Wemyss

Click READ MORE for the joy of mulled wine and mince pies.

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Dunbar RNLI crew member Becs Miller embarked on the trip of lifetime: a transatlantic yacht race from Gran Canaria to St. Lucia. Becs was onboard yacht, Challenger 2, one of several hundred yachts taking part in 2019's ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers).

And she did it!  After 17 days and 2,700 miles Bec's yacht reached St Lucia after crossing the Atlantic.

Becs said: “After just 17 days we crossed the line in St Lucia. It’s been an amazing adventure, testing us all physically and mentally. We had a fantastic skipper, first mate and watch leaders who pushed us to improve our skills and stay safe at all times. I feel very privileged to have sailed the Atlantic.
Thanks to everyone for the kind messages."

Click READ MORE for the arrival in St. Lucia

Fair winds and protected harbours, Becs!

photos courtesy Dunbar RNLI

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A compass rose, sometimes called a 'windrose' or 'rose of the winds', includes True or Magnetic North on a map. Usually the difference in degrees is listed (declination a.k.a. variation) and constantly changes as the weeks and months go by.

In September, for the first time in 360 years, True North and Magnetic North lined up at Greenwich. This occurrence is so rare that it hasn't happened since the Greenwich Observatory was built back in 1676! Due to magnetic changes in the Earth's molten core the location of the magnetic North Pole 'wanders'. Navigators have always needed to make continuous adjustments for the difference. Magnetic North moves around 10 kilometers a year. 

Naturally a Scotsman, John Ross, led the first expedition to reach the North Magnetic Pole. He found it on June 1, 1831.

Sir John Ross, (b.1777, Balsarroch, Wigtownshire —d.1856), was a British naval officer whose second Arctic expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, located the North Magnetic Pole. Leaving the ship during a sledge journey, his nephew James Clark Ross located the pole using a magnetic dip-circle and the Pole Star. The following year the ship was crushed in the ice. John Ross and his men were rescued by a whaler in the summer of 1833. Not a dull moment in those days! Both John Ross (uncle) and James Clark Ross (nephew) were two of the greatest polar explorers of the time. NB: James Clark Ross was very dashing and was known by the ladies as 'the handsomest man in the Navy'. 

By the time you read this the magnetic declination at Dunbar will be -1.2 deg. (ie: 1.2 deg west)

Diagram: Magnetic North's movements Credit: NOAA

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It rained a heavily on the Lammermuirs, inland from Belhaven, over the night of December 12th. This filled the Biel Burn and the following day came a red river of mud which sped under the Bridge to Nowhere, past the Yetts and down the coast, helped by wind and tide.

For a while the fresh water 'floats' on the denser salt-water before finally mixing.

This effect is not seen often as it requires a combination of many factors. Some of our most-intriguing sights are seen in the winter! Keep watching, carry a camera and contact me:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

photo by Kenny Maule


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At the RNLI's crew Christmas dinner, Dunbar RNLI honoured two long-serving lifeboat volunteers: Kevin Keillor (left in photo) and David Koch each received badges for 20 years service. Both have served on the all-weather (ALB) and inshore (ILB) lifeboats.

Kevin, 37, who was 17 when he joined the crew, said: “It was something I always wanted to do, having spent time on fishing boats since I was 10 years old.” In May 2007 he received a medal certificate for his part in the rescue of a couple from a yacht stranded 37 miles out to sea in a force eight wind and seven metre waves.

David Koch, 48, a director for Dry Fusion, hadn’t been a volunteer for long when he was part of the crew tasked to a report of a plane crashing into the sea near Torness. “It turned out it was a Tornado jet and the pilot and navigator ejected before it crashed but it was a scary moment before we discovered that.”

photo by Nick Mailer

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There was a good turnout at the Annual Meeting for our harbour users, held on 5th December at Bleachingfield. These meetings are designed to review matters of significant interest to the harbour’s stakeholders and this year included discussions on:---

  • the need for toilets at the harbour,
  • our sea defences,
  • plans for improved security for our boats ,
  • campaigns to keep the harbour tidy.
  • for Minutes, see:--


photo by Kenny Maule

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Always good to welcome a new arrival: Girl Jean (originally Bonnie Lass) is currently sitting in Cromwell Harbour being modified.

Details:  Built 1973, reg. LH73, wooden, a bit less than 12 metres, beam 4m, 30 tonnes. She'll be a prawn trawler, with 2-3 crew: Owner John Fairgrieve Jr. with son Dean crewing. Until recently she was in Arbroath for 5 weeks for maintenance and MCA.

Go down and 'have a gander', but don't interrupt John; he's busy!

photo by Kenny Maule


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Harbour users are reminded that  applications for Moorings, 2020 season, need to be returned to the Harbour Master by the end of December. Moorings will be allocated from the first week in January. The form can be downloaded from www.dunbarharbourtrust.co.uk

Forms are also available from the Harbour Office or from the Harbour Master or in McArthurs store (Thursday mornings)

The Harbour Master (Quentin)  07958 754858, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Deputy Harbour Master (Denholm)   0758 346 3991.
So, "stake your claim, skippers", put your Application Form in soonest while stocks last!
photo courtesy George Robertson
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Dunbar Harbour Trust have a meeting room available at McArthur’s Store, the fishermen's historic store building at Cromwell Harbour.

The facility is available for groups, organisations, and companies interested in meeting in a unique and memorable atmosphere.

The room has seating capacity for 12/15 people and large tables.

For booking enquiries please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Coming Events:

The annual Harbour Users’ Meeting has been advertised and booked for 5 December at 7 p.m. in the Gibb Rooms at Bleachingfield. All those with an interest in the harbour are invited

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404