On Monday 7th Nov at around 9:30am five of us set off in the car and Jenny Skylark in tow to North Berwick. We launched from the beach (you can take the road trailer onto the beach down the slip outside the harbour) and set off at around 10:30am.
We had 5 life jackets, VHF, anchor, large yellow bailer, spare oar, 8 kabes and 8 pins, first aid kit, hot drinks, water proofs, Cox’s jacket, hats, water and food.
You can leave the trailer above the high water mark on the beach and the car has to be parked on the streets; most of the harbour is no parking.
We left on High Tide so the cave was underwater, but we could still get quite close to the entrance in the incredibly flat sea.
A ship approached rapidly at first and then stopped some 1,000mts from us. We were able to row up to it, close enough to have and exchange hand signals with the folk on board the research/working vessel from the Forth; we had our Viking hat on at the time, which I am sure scared them witless. They then sent off a little red helicopter, but we were not impressed, not at all.
After this, we rowed off Eastwards towards the Craig, where we showed Claire where we almost smashed into the rocks during the N. Berwick regatta last year! and we carried on rowing towards the Lamb rock/island.
We stopped at the Craig again on the way back to see the baby seals hiding in the rocks, in the sun, they looked, well, succulent.
It’s a worth while row that can be done comfortably in two and a half hours, with stops along the way. However, we were told by North Berwick and others that have been to the Bass Rock in kayaks, say that it can be quite rough around the back of the Rock as the big swells hit the rock and there is a mess of water that can be dangerous. If in doubt stay away form the Rock, there is no way onto it from the skiff in high tide, you need a flat sea and low tide. But if you do land you will need to pay £100 at the bird centre for the privilege.
On calm days one could stop on the way back at either Sea Cliff beach, but the beach below Castleton is more on the way back.
The pictures should give you an idea of the idyllic conditions we had on the day!
Thanks to Claire for some lovely pictures