Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Firth of Forth and Braefoot Oil Terminal

I continued to look around Inchcolm Island and came across what looked like a tunnel carved into the rocks near the eastern end of the island.

Curiosity got the better of me so I entered it to see where it went. It went right through the rocks to the ruined World War defences on the east end and I later read that it was built during WW1 as an artillery tunnel. The shells for the big guns were kept in here to protect them from enemy bombers and also allow easy access to transport the heavy shells from the pier to the guns.

It also provided me with shelter from the seagulls trying to protect their young. I didnt see much of the remains of the gun bases and pill boxes because of the Kamakazi birds.

I could feel the wind freshening as the tide started to rise and began to think of crossing to the mainland again, but first, I waited to let an incoming tanker pass

I could also see Inchkeith Island looming out the mist and was sorry my main outboard was out of order or I would have tried visiting it. It turned out the outboards was working ok but the propeller sheer pin had given way and sadly, my spares were back at the house.

This tanker passed to the south of Inchcolm and looked like it was heading for Grangemouth Oil Refinary.

Leaving Inchcolm island, I headed north and back across Mortimer's Deep towards Braefoot Oil Terminal.

I was feeling a bit braver and wanted to see what it would feel like being in the direct path of one of the big oil tankers.

It was a sobering thought seeing the huge hull high above my little inflatable. The truth was, I was only brave because I could clearly see it was tethered to the terminal by at least half a dozen ropes.

To be continued ...


blueskyscotland said...

Always fancied a visit to Inchkeith.As far as I know its still privately owned by a man who fits fast tyres.

Donny Wilcox said...

Yup..I will visit it one day Bob. Although it is privately owned.. the access laws mean we can land as long as we take only photos and leave only footprints.

However I have read that great care is needed as there are many open manholes on the island, many hidden by the undergrowth. The metal covers were taken for scrap.