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News

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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Super shot of an anemone -- taken near the little rocky ‘beach’ between the castle and the maggie by Kris Bird

The wildlife in and around our harbours is astonishing. Take the time to look at any stage of the tide, summer, winter, dawn, dusk, and send me your special photos with accompanying identification of species and 'where/when taken'. Editor.

 

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Dunbar Lifeboat crew members wish to say:---
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Coxwain, Gary Fairbairn who turns the big 5-0 today! We wrote him a poem and swapped the Navy Rum for a couple of bottles of single cask malt."
Poem:
Today’s a very special one
It is our coxswain’s birthday
He might think no one knows his age
So, for those who don’t, he’s fifty!
 
Gary Fairbairn, lifeboat man
Coxswain of our station
Today’s the day he hits 5-0
So it’s time for a celebration
 
For 25 years he’s gone to sea
Saving lives is his vocation
But tie a wrong knot on his boat
And there’ll be quite an exclamation!
 
Gary Fairbairn, lifeboat man
Coxswain of our station
Had so many shouts on his big day
It’s become an expectation
 
In normal times we’d hit the pub
And have the odd libation
But as our locals’ doors are shut
We’ll have to toast him from isolation!
 
Gary Fairbairn, lifeboat man
Coxswain of our station
From all the crew we say to you
Hope you enjoy your special occasion!
PS: Thanks to Lockett Bros in North Berwick for helping us pick out something special.
 
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Harbourmaster Quentin Dimmer has been successful in securing a grant for £1,096 from Sea-Changers who award grants to a range of marine charities, particularly  grassroots projects which galvanise community action.

The grant will finance an ambitious citizen-science project and photographic art exhibition conducted by local school children who will:

  • take samples of plankton and micro-plastics from within Dunbar harbour, using plankton nets to gather samples.
  • identify, study and photograph six different species of plankton and six micro-plastics using digital microscopes.
  • print onto 1m square waterproof/graffiti-proof carbon-neutral laminate. 
  • set up an outdoor art exhibition with interpretation panels mounted for display on the harbour walls.
  • display presentations in the local schools, Bleachingfield local community centre, John Muir House and others.

"We aim to reach 5,000 people locally, including school children, and also to open discussion with our MP and MSP about reducing micro-plastic pollution. The exhibition event hosted by Sustaining Dunbar will start the discussion with many people in the community who are keen to make a difference."

The children who are involved in the project will receive their John Muir Awards and have their first hands-on experience of marine biology so that benefit is long term. Engagement with fishing industry representatives and passing tourists will help to ensure a sustained message and ultimately have an impact on behaviour and government policy.

"Many thanks to Quentin for securing this valuable grant."

Photo from Sea-Changers' website.

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A gated fence has been installed at the start of the North Wall as this area is greatly affected by overtopping waves which can drop several tons of sea-water. Signage:--

  • No Access
  • Dangerous sea conditions forecast
  • High risk to loss of life
  • By Order of the Dunbar Harbour Trust

For safety reasons during wild weather, blocking the access to the North Wall will allow the bridge to be left down, giving temporary, limited access to the Battery area.

Photo by Kenny Maule

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Excellent video on litter …  Harbourmaster Quentin Dimmer ‘stars’.    From the Trust’s FB page:--

  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2853414971364075&id=179870965385169

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Barry Fisher:  Since August 2010, during nearly a decade, Barry Fisher has been an important and valued member of the Harbour Trust Board. His wise counsel will be missed but, having postponed the acceptance of his resignation with the arrival of the coronavirus, we sadly do need to accept it now that he is definitely leaving Dunbar for working at Stirling and taking his leisure at Loch Earn. The Board expressed its appreciation of his long and loyal service and wished him well in his new venture.

John Sim:  On 29th May John Sim wrote to resign explaining that his experience, coupled with his desire to assist the Trust, would be of greater value in a more ‘hands on’ practical manner, focusing upon and around the harbour, perhaps under the direction of the Harbour Master, as opposed to being one of several Directors on the Board. Having grown up around Aberdeen Harbour, and after having spent many years working on the sea, he would rather spend his retirement years in a practical sense, doing something to help others who use the harbour and the sea for both commercial and leisure reasons. The meeting expressed their appreciation of John’s offer to help in this way.

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Sno Ice (Ali Russell) and his van have just set up at the harbour, daily from 9:30 / 10am whenever the sun shines until it gets quiet later in the day. You'll have seen his van, he’s been at Sparkling Dunbar the last two years.

Come and enjoy his ice cream, ice lollies, sweets and confectionery. "Roll up, roll up, be quick, queues are forming."

Photo by Kenny Maule

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Most of you know Bob Clunas well, for several years he was harbourmaster here and then retired to Helmsdale.

On June 4th, after much work fettling his 'new' boat, it was launch day for this nearly-finished winter project. Some work still to do: engine box to make, diesel tank and ballast to fit. The 20' boat, now about thirty-five years old, was not making any water on her 'maiden' voyage, a testament to her builder Peter Matheson. With her lug sail, made by Leitch of Tarbert, she'll be easy to handle and Bob will use her for pleasure and a bit of handline fishing. 

A nice video: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=bob%20clunas

Photos from Bob's fb page. Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2: sail up, rarin' to go.

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Fresh from her recent rescue the unpowered, star-crossed Sally Belle was towing from Victoria Harbour into Broadhaven for some work on her undersides whilst awaiting spare parts. Work completed her owner decided on June 24th. to return to Sally Belle's temporary berth under the castle.

To save blushes various, we won't give all the details but she ended up on Broadhaven's rocks on an ebbing(!) tide. As she 'lay down', fortunately her tall and substantial mast avoided the nearby houses. There she lay until the next high tide at 6am the following morning. A quick hoik and tow and she was 'home' at her berth; a short but exciting, unpowered voyage.

Now when are those spare parts arriving?

Photos by Kenny Maule.  Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2: half-afloat.

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Nol receiving his RNLI Bravery award

 Interview with the intrepid Nol       

  • Nol, you’re a Dunbar man, born and bred? Aye, I was born in Room #3, The Lothian Hotel.
  • Was your family originally Italian? Yes, from Tuscany, Italy; came in the early-1900s.
  • And school? Left school at fifteen but I’d already been working for my dad in the hotel since the age of ten. Worked all my life and never a dull day, well, maybe one or two
  • And teenage years? Always in the old outdoor swimming pool, whistle round my neck, in charge of the wee boats then later as a lifeguard.
  • Note: "Nol Togneri received the RNLI Bravery award in the 1960s after saving a girl at sea, keeping her afloat until the lifeboat attended to rescue them as they were drifting out to sea. These awards are usually reserved only for RNLI crew, risking their lives at sea."
  • This video shows how Noll developed the skills needed for confidence in the water:-
  • https://www.facebook.com/paul.togneri.1/videos/10206005929422715/UzpfSTE2OTUyMTEyMDc6MTAyMDY5NDQ2NDczMzAwNzY/
  • So the old pool at Bayswell, was really ‘Baywatch’? We all remember those beauty competitions. The pool was packed in summertime.
  • Did you ever go off the high diving-board? Aye, an’ once I broke the springboard on the way doon.
  • You’re always barefoot, why’s that? Do not like wearing shoes!
  • Where did you work after the Lothian Hotel? Oh, every smart hotel, The Marine in Troon, Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Caledonian Hotel….
  • So, the start of a 5-star career? Aye, but sometimes catering’s a demanding life.
  • Have you worked overseas? Did an apprenticeship in Paris, in Fouquet's Brasserie, an historic restaurant on the Champs-Élysées. “Une table pour deux, monsieur?”
  • Did you work in catering all your life? No, I worked as a steel erector on the 300ft tower at Blackcastle, Innerwick, logging crew in the Borders, salmon fishing at Goswick, then Eves Taxis and buses.
  • Everyone’s seen you kayaking off and away, or disappearing in your powerboat. Where do you go? Across the bay to the Tyninghame estuary for a few camping nights, or to the Bass Rock. Tyninghame estuary has changed a lot with the sand channel shifting, very tricky now.
  • Where was your furthest kayak trip? May Isle with Doc Ballantyne.
  • She’s a nice motorboat, your “Wildfire”. When and where did you start with boats? Age of 10, first kayak. Father had a speedboat; he started a Waterski Club. Then a 20ft Cabin Cruiser for 30 years, many expeditions with the family. 20 years on the Lifeboat Crew. Is that enough?
  • Your son Paul also uses ‘Wildfire’.  Does he listen to his dad’s safety advice?  Aye, or he’ll get a clip roon his lugs if he disnae.
  • What’s your best advice to youngsters starting in boats? **Safety First** radio, lifejackets, flares, anchor. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return.

Photo 1, Nol receiving his RNLI Bravery award from Princess Margaret. 

Photo 2, Nol dives off the Gripes; not recommended nowadays, even for fit, young men.

Click <<READ MORE>> below for photo 2

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404

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