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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We're very pleased to give you advance notice (warning?) of the Battery's next project. We'll be walking 134 miles across Scotland to tell the story of Dunbar's most celebrated son, John Muir.

There'll be more information on dates in the new year, but we look forward to you joining us in June 2020. Mark your diary.

User Rating: 5 / 5

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Everybody thinks they know our boats, however can you guess this one?

She’s named after the brightest star in the constellation of Boötes, and the third-brightest star in the night sky. 

  • photo #1: at night in Broadhaven
  • photo #2, off the Breakwater (click READ MORE)
  • answer is on the READ MORE, next page, in very small font
  • prize for correct answer: a small smile of self-satisfaction

photos by kenny Maule

User Rating: 4 / 5

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Well, we all know the harbours are beautiful spring, summer, and autumn, however winter visits can also make your heart sing.

  • photo #1: all the commercial boats bunched up in Cromwell, taking refuge from an 8ft. swell. The low, winter sun accentuates the colours.
  • photo #2: an appreciative stroller spots the full moon rising from the east. The telescope is ideal to view events like this (but NOT the sun!) 

Click READ MORE to see photo #2

photos by Kenny Maule

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"Masters will be responsible for the conduct of and fully accountable for any loss, injury or damage, or nuisance caused or committed by their crew, agents or guests while on board a vessel or on duty within the Harbour."

Recently there was a significant oil spillage into the harbour. This is considered to be avoidable and the Chairman has written to the owner. It was also agreed that an oil spillage kit will be procured and that anyone causing such a spillage will be charged for the clear-up (an amount that is likely to be in excess of £400 for a minor spillage and very much more if Briggs Marine have to be involved).

All commercial users will be advised of the need to be vigilant to keep their oil on their vessel and not allow it to escape into the harbour. Spillages cause many environmental problems and the fumes 'stick around' because the harbour-walls make a biscuit-tin effect, gasp.....

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Recently a sperm whale, stranded on the Isle of Harris, died with a 100kg "litter ball" in its stomach. Fishing nets, rope, packing straps, bags and plastic cups were among the items discovered in a compacted mass. We're all guilty.

Locals said: "We walk on these beaches nearly every day and pick up litter, most of which is fishing-related.”

photo #1 courtesy SMASS (Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme), photo #2 by Kenny Maule

Click READ MORE for some of our very own, our very own, rubbish 

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In recent years the sand from the East Beach has been disappearing, leaving ugly rocks and undermining Lamer St.

The Dunbar Shore and Harbour Neighbourhood Group (DSHNG), led with enormous energy by Pippa Swan, have made welcome plans for two breakwaters. Supported by the Council, work will start in Feb 2020 on the south breakwater, weather allowing. A further marine licence will be required for the northern breakwater to start just afterwards, early in 2020.

Tons of beach kelp have been distributed to Winterfield Golf Course, Phantassie, and the Community Gardens. Meanwhile, luckily, there has been a discernible return of sand, aggregating from the SE.   Fingers crossed….

Dave Northcott explained the project at the DCC meeting on Monday 16th December. There will be a ELC public information session to be held on Monday 13th January 2 – 7pm at Bleachingfields. All invited.

photo by Kenny Maule

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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


Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404