Saturday, 18 February 2012

Thunderbirds are go!

Leaving Kinghorn
A wee Inchkeith in the background
Tracy Island (not)
In all our trips out on the Forth, we had never got out to Inchkeith. Hubby dear coming from Kinghorn has spent the last 50 years looking at Inchkeith. I'm from the next town along and always thought (as did No. 1,2 and 3 sons) that it looked like Tracy Island from the Thunderbirds. So on Saturday evening at the last moment we decided that would be our trip for the next day. The weather said there was little wind, cloudy then sunny - perfect. Next morning we looked outside to see just about everything had vanished, the fog was like pea soup! Our next task was to contact our local forecaster, the mother-in-law who still stays in Kinghorn. She could just make out the island, the trip was still on. We didn't rush too much and by the time we arrived at Kinghorn harbour the tide was out and the fog had turned into a nice haze. We leapt (as you do with boats) over the wall and launched down a loading slip. This area isn't here when the tide is in. We started out towards the island watching for big boat movements. There were a number anchored further out, but not going anywhere.
You're being followed
We got across the shipping channel and were greeted by some very friendly playful seals. They followed us for quite a distance before one decided it would swim along between our two boats. When we stopped for a bit, it was still with us, bobbing around Hubby dear's boat. At one point, it came up and Hubby dear was almost able to tickle it under the chin. It then followed right round to the Island landing. Inchkeith may look like Tracy Island for afar, but up close, my illusions were shattered. Although a very interesting  island, also a very rubbish strewn island. There are lots of old war buildings, but everything bar the lighthouse has been left to rot away.
At last, a lighthouse to match your wellies
The only cave we found
What was interesting was seeing the shipping channel from so high up and also seeing the line the ferry to Brugge took using the island and red marker as their points, way out of the shipping channel and right where we were watching the seals playing not that long ago! Had we still been there we would have been well flattened! Back in the boats, we carried on round to the east where we saw the pilot boat going out to one of the ships sitting further out in the Forth. Remembering the line the ferry took, we weren't in much of a hurry to be anywhere near this monster that was about to come up the river, however, the pilot did thankfully stick to the channel this time.

Tough paddling conditions
Back in Kinghorn
It was an absolutely lovely day, with lots of folks enjoying the sun by the time we turned into Kinghorn harbour. The temp in the car even read 10 Celsius, it could have been summer!

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