28th of December, 2010 – North Berwick to Dunbar

Almost certainly the last paddle for me of the year which brings the total (days and half days) to about thirty sea kayak days this past year. Unusually for a sea kayak paddle, so far at least for the ones I have undertaken, this one involved a car shuttle as we were not returning to our starting point and like all good shuttles, it added a bit of complication and an unexpected amount of time to the proceedings.

Finally on the water shortly before twelve, ten of us set off from Milsey Bay, North Berwick with Dunbar as our destination and a certain amount of commitment in that goal with just about all the cars now at that end. A calm, dry, but dull day to begin with, but sky brightened somewhat relatively quickly. We had some gentle swell and surf to begin with which gave most of us a refreshing exit from the beach and this started to build as we rounded the coast from north facing to north east facing shores.

One of our party had to pull in early at Canty Bay and call for a lift and so it made sense to stop as a group for lunch here at the same time – a new stopping spot for most of us and a new land-based perspective on Bass Rock too.

The remaining nine of us continued on, deciding against a suggested deviation out to Bass Rock and passing surprisingly iced up cliffs under Tantallon Castle, Seacliff Beach and on to St Baldred’s Boat where the line of the coast changes direction and where we started to feel, see and hear the effects of the swell a bit more dramatically. Nothing too taxing to paddle in but the breaking waves on the shore to our right were not a place to be landing so it was onwards (or back) for sure now. Keeping a safe distance out from the reefs that dominate this stretch of coastline, we chatted our way down towards Belhaven Bay and then finally across to Dunbar with darkness encroaching as we finally entered the harbour slightly after 4pm.

Nice to have completed a new stretch of the Forth coast for me which the last two thirds of the day’s route were but slightly frustrating we could not venture further in to shore for a closer look at the rocks and dunes along the way.

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