Thursday, 16 August 2012

Firth of Forth and Inchcolm Island

Speeding across as fast as my 2.5hp engine could go, (which is not very fast) I passed through the line of navigation bouys which mark the passage of Mortimer's deep and breathed a sigh of relief that no huge oil tankers ran me down.

I tucked myself behind Meadulse rocks and eased off on the throttle. I was safely across my first major shipping lane without incident.

I was only a stone throw away from my destination, and could clearly see the ancient Monastery on Inchcolm Island. It is known as the "Iona" of the east coast.

Historic Scotland have restored the ruin and look after the island. I had the entrance fee of £5 in my pocket but wondered if I had to pay it as I had crossed to the island under my own steam. I headed for the landing stage and a small strip of sandy beach beside the jetty. The gift shop and admission offices looked shut, it was still only 8.30 am and no tour boats were due to arrive until much later.

The only life that I saw was the seagulls that watched every move that I made. They sat silently on every rock, looking like living gargoyles from some ancient castle.

A couple of Kayaks littered the beach but there was not a sight nor sound of paddlers, Monastery attendants or even mad Monks. I tightened my grip on my five pound note as I parked my inflatable beside the abandoned kayaks. I hoped that I was in luck and had landed on a deserted island.

I walked quietly across the beach towards the Gift shop and breathed a sigh of relief. It was closed, my five pounds could stay in my pocket for another day. I looked down the landing jetty which pointed straight across to Silversands Bay where I had come from and really began to enjoy my first foray on the east coast waters. Even the sun was coming out to make my day.

To be continued ....

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