Tuesday, 2 September 2014

By Young Trevor

Not my write up this time, but a trip report put in by Young Trevor.

Bass Rock Sun. July 13

At the put in
Cutting through the Leckies
We met at N. Berwick.It was  a real holiday scene- families enjoying the morning sun, icecreams and lollypops, kids, dogs playing on the beach. Berwick Law hovered in the background, Craigleith lay directly opposite, the Bass lay off to the north east and in the background the lovely Isle of May. Absolutely magnificent!
Young Trevor passing Tantallon
Squeezing into the hidden harbour
We made our way along the coast via the majestic ramparts of Tantallon castle and snacked on a beautiful stretch of sand directly opposite the Bass. What a sight! The Bass with its whitewashed lighthouse, a volcanic plug rearing 100 meters and more into the sky, protected by seemingly impenetrable precipitous cliffs - and always in the background, due north, the Isle of May - a real picture postcard scene!
Young Trevor, the Bass and a distant May

We set off. A westerly came up and soon the water changed. Paddling became more interesting. As we approached the Bass we became more aware of the bird life, in particular the gannets[ bassa is the Latin for gannet ], the smell and the din - something similar to a school dining-hall 50 years ago. There was absolute mayhem! Gannets plunging into the sea around us, gannets  nesting on every available ledge above and to the right of us, gannets returning to the Bass carrying all kinds of nesting material-a celestial M 25-an absolute, but seemingly organised pandemonium! We were being watched by thousands of eyes-gannets, of course, but lots of razorbills, guillemots, shags, the reclusive kittiwake-some flying, many just safeguarding their particular patch. I only saw one puffin-by all accounts they are quite numerous on Craigleith and, according to Ken, some rock doves.
Keeking out from the cave on the East
Fluffy chicks
The water quietened down on the eastern side of the rock. We explored a couple of caves. I was privileged to make a landing to take a group photo-hopefully with some success!
Bird's eye view

We then moved off into a stiff westerly wind and initially hoped to paddle to Craigleith. The water became more challenging so Sarah decided to change plans and head for the shore. We returned to the same holiday scene we had left that morning.
Craigleith in the background
I've had several very enjoyable trips with fcag. This trip must rank as one of the best-good company, interesting paddling and wonderful scenery. A sincere thanks to Sarah for proposing and leading the trip.
The group consisted of Sarah, Ken, Robyn, Niall, Greame, John, Phil and myself. I should also have mentioned the location of the Bass- 5 km north east of N Berwick and 2 km offshore. 
Spot the difference!

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