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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Fishery Patrol Vessel (FPV) Hirta normally patrols a distance offshore. Recently she was moored just off Dunbar for one hour and much closer than usual. "Why?" you might ask. She was here performing an unscheduled crew-change on 18th December using her R.I.B to enter our harbour. Sometimes it's worth a peek over the North Wall.

(Hirta's carrying capacity is 741T, current draught is 5.7 meters, length overall is 84 meters, width is 13 metres)

Click <<READ MORE>> for the crew-change

Photos by Kenny Maule

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Above: exploratory archaeology dig.

Planning permission has now been obtained for the new stores at the Maggie. Work is due to start early-February, repositioning the wall outside the current stores, widening this area by 1.2m. Next will be stripping the grass and soil, building the new ramped-access and shortly afterwards installing the new stores.

 Archaeologists may be seen peering into the turf --- smuggled gold doubloons or pieces-of-eight, anyone?

Photo by Quentin Dimmer

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It was a cold, clear windy day on 6th Jan. when OB156 was craned out --- a Cove boat, I believe.

Photo by Kenny Maule

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When this photo was taken it looked as though this rig (Wavewalker 1) was being towed onto the A1 near Thorntonloch --- most of you will have spotted it. The rig is associated with the surveying that has been going on for the last few weeks for cable-laying.

Matthias Haag, NnG project director, said: “It’s a really exciting time for NnG and having the WaveWalker 1 at Thorntonloch Beach carrying out this geotechnical survey is clear evidence of our project entering the construction phase. This survey will provide us with important information on the ground conditions needed before laying the export cables that will link NnG to the National Grid via a new substation being built near Innerwick.”

To ensure public safety during these surveys, access to Thorntonloch Beach is restricted and the public should remain at least 100 metres from the WaveWalker.

This project will provide enough electricity to power more than 375,000 homes in Scotland, offsetting over 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Construction of components is now underway, offshore construction will start in June 2020 and will complete in 2023.


Vessel Type - Generic: Dredger

Flag: Netherlands [NL]

Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 33 x 32 m

Photo by Kenny Maule

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Tattoos, they’re everywhere, on young people, old people; even dogs are being tattooed. Nowadays they’re an expression of individuality or vanity, and in many countries the tattoo has a significance for criminals and their gangs. 

The first ‘tataus’ were recorded by Captain James Cook when he visited Tahiti as the first European. After that, sailors usually tattooed each other using a gunpowder-urine mix for ink.

Centuries ago there was a meaning in your tattoo:

  • Turtle or King Neptune: you had crossed the Equator

  • Swallow: help to find your way home

  • Dragon: you had sailed to China

  • Golden Dragon: you had crossed the International Date Line 

  • Fully-rigged ship: you had rounded Cape Horn

  • Compass rose: indicated your way home (note: this doesn't work)

  • Celtic Infinity Knot: symbol of the affection between a sailor and his beloved

  • Shark: to protect you against being eaten (note: this also doesn't work)

Or your rank, job

  • Anchor: you were a boatswain (bosun)

  • Rope around the wrist: you were a deckhand

  • Harpoon: a deep-sea fisherman

Some sailors had a tattoo for every port visited. Many drowned sailors were later identified by their tattoo. 

Photos courtesy Tattoo Studio Business

QUIZ  What is tattooed on Popeye's arm? Click <READ MORE> If you were correct then award yourself a tin of spinach. 😁

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Oor Millie -- update

Remember back in the summer we recorded Oor Miilie’s arrival in Dunbar? Well, she’s since been in Cromwell Harbour while Neil Brunton and his crew have fettled her during the last few months, even over Christmas when we were at home watching TV and eating.

After some final “sortin’ oot” in Broadhaven on the maintenance bay, she’s been pronounced “shipshape and Dunbar fashion” and has now joined the fishing fleet.

Good Luck Neil, for 2020 and beyond…...

Photo by Kenny Maule

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In October Dunbar Castle was the subject of a film made by Arte*, fronted by Dunbar's well-known historian, Roy Pugh, who explained the story of Black Agnes, the castle's many French connections over the centuries and the 'Auld Alliance'. Filming took place at the Battery on Lamer Island, probably the main site used to deploy Edward III's catapults during the siege between January and June 1338. The film's release date is not yet decided but we'll let you know! It should eventually be available free online

*  Arte is a major film company based in Strasbourg which makes cultural films and documentaries, drama, pop, arts, science and news. https://www.arte.tv/sites/en/corporate/what-we-do/

Photos by George Wilson

Click <READ MORE> to see 'Roy on the Rocks'

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Ocean Crest looked super with sparkly Christmas lights reflecting in the water.

Nice work, guys.

Photo by Kenny Maule

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With this year’s Loony Dook some of Dunbar’s reckless residents, watched by more-sensible people, shook off their Hogmanay celebrations and hurled themselves into the North Sea and thence into 2020. The weather was cool and crystal clear. 

The RNLI was in attendance to stop them swimming to Norway whilst the rowing skiff crew cruised offshore, supping mulled wine and munching mince pies in the low, winter sunshine.

This event is becoming more popular so get your name down for 2021.

Photos from social media

Click <<READ MORE>> for the RNLI photo.

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The Rowing Club has made the most of cold, clear days, drinking mulled wine, and eating mince pies. Oh, yes, and sometimes they've been rowing too.

Bob Fleet took this super photo --- here they are, shadows on the harbour entry wall, 'Waving on the Waves' to wish you all a .........

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!    

Click READ MORE to see Santa hiding on the Poo Buoy (photo #2 by Kenny Maule)

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