Tripping to the Isle of May

This week, when some of us should have been working, Andres organized a quick trip out to the most remote of the islands on the Firth of Forth. How could we refuse! The Isle of May was calling.  For years it’s been a tiny dot on the horizon, seen from Portobello beach only on a good day.  This week we were lucky to be able to visit it.

Ian Mills from Crail had sent photos of dolphins to some of the crew – he promised faithfully that we’d see some.

We got the best of days for our trip; the weather was kind, the swell was interesting but not too fierce and a crew from Crail were also pulled away from real life to join us.

There is a lovely little harbour in Crail and the small beach is a beautiful golden colour. We launched in time to catch the last bit of assistance from the incoming tide.

We soon started spotting puffins in big numbers, along with gannets, cormorants and, by the time we got closer to the island, lots of seals. Some real whoppers, but no dolphins. Not one.

We spent a couple of hours on ‘the May’ eating too much picnic (in my case) and getting a great view of some puffins up close. They obviously know there are close circuit TV’s around and weren’t scared when Andres suggested cooking a few.  (I think the webcams are from the North Berwick Sea Bird Centre).

More folk from Crail joined us on their RIB – they brought out the Crail lunch and took some great photos of the boats, as did Ian Mills. It was great to get to know another set of rowers. It’s their local island but they seemed as pleased as we were to get away for the day.

The journey back was livened up by Andres having a quick swim – it was very quick – but he managed to swim under the boat and hop back in with some panache.

The offer of fish & chips on the harbour wall got us focused on the journey home. The outgoing tide had a real pull on it. We were surprised to see just how much the Crail guys were allowing for it – but they were right – aiming for a point far to the east of Crail got us in to the beach, just in time.  Any longer and the outgoing tide leaves their beach a fairly swampy smelly mess!

Many thanks to Andres & Ian Mills from Crail for organizing a great trip – one of my best days of the summer.

MC – My first ever blog post!

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