The Dunbar Harbour Trust issues a regular newsletter with the latest soundbites from the website and announcements of upcoming events and activities. You can receive the newsletter in your email box by enterering your best email on the right of this page.


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Recently an unauthorised diver was asked to leave the harbour.

Our Harbour Master wishes to state: "We welcome responsible divers at the harbour but unauthorized diving within the harbour itself is not permitted and is a prosecutable offense under harbour byelaws. The police were informed but no further action was taken because the diver immediately left the harbour. Be advised: Propellor injuries can be fatal and horrific. It can jeopardise someone's livelihood if they were to accidentally run over a diver. Never dive unauthorized within the harbour or at the entrance. If necessary contact the Harbour Master for advice."

Divers must receive professional training and follow a code of conduct https://www.bsac.com/safety/safe-diving-guide/the-divers-code-of-conduct/

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Alex Weatherhead, architect, and great friend of the Scottish Coastal Rowing community. Alex was from the family firm Weatherhead & Blackie (established 1958) which built boats from the old Port Seton ‘tattie store’ at the harbour from 1966-76.

Stuart Mack, ‘Boatie Blest’: "Many people within the Scottish coastal rowing fraternity will know of Alex - he was an instrumental part of building the three Boatie Blest skiffs and helped many others in the early days. Sadly Alex has passed away and our thoughts go out to his family and wife Isobel. Alex has been increasingly unwell recently, but had attended many regattas over the years to support the club he loved. His contribution was so great that his name was on the stern of the third skiff when it was launched at the 2013 Worlds in Ullapool. This was a very proud moment for Alex who enjoyed the building side of Scottish coastal rowing. The heritage of boat-building was a passion he enjoyed as his family name was one of historic boat-building in East Lothian. Many people will have rowed in the craftsmanship which Alex prided himself upon, and many more will enjoy his skills in the future as the boats live on in his memory." Photo credit: Stuart Mack.

Man of classic boats, Johnny Johnston: "I have known Alex for many years, he was one of the many members of the Weatherhead family that kept traditional boat-building alive and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him." 

Condolences to his family and many friends.

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Dr Arran Johnston & Captain Fletcher shown above, were commemorating the events of the 14th November 1745 when HMS Fox foundered in full view of Dunbar. HMS Fox was a 24-gun sixth-rate vessel launched in 1740 and ran aground in Belhaven Bay on November 14, 1745, just two months after those onboard had fought in the Battle of Prestonpans. Only nine sailors survived, with as many as 200 believed to have perished in the sea.

Arran Johnston stated: "It is always interesting to hear more about the maritime part of the '45 and events that happened at sea. As much as the battles on land, the events that happened at sea, battles, ships being captured or lost by the weather, were as critical for the final outcome. It is therefore important to remember the loss of those men from all sides who perished at sea during the Jacobite uprising and pay respect to their memory."

Arran Johnston & Captain Fletcher of Alan Breck’s Regiment performed a short ceremony and cast a memorial wreath into the sea from below Dunbar Battery. See video: https://www.facebook.com/Prestonpans1745/videos/1096224840814479

Events are normally publicised on the Battery website, however sometimes private events (eg: during Covid-times) are not-publicised, for obvious reasons.

Photo by Kenny Maule 

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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.

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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

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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)

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  • 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


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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 ..... 

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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!" 
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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

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404