Sailing the Forth – Edinburgh to Anstruther

As the crew for Edinburgh Boat Charters I have participated in a lot of sails along the River Forth, however, I had never sailed all the way to Anstruther before. I finally got the chance to do this trip with a couple of customers who wanted an exciting private charter that took them there. On the day of the sail we left Port Edgar Marina and motored slowly underneath the amazing new Queensferry Crossing before turning into the wind and getting the mainsail up.

Once we were properly sailing we tacked around and headed towards the Forth Rail Bridge. From there we sailed past several of the islands of the Forth, including Inchcolm Island which is a popular Historic Scotland site famous for its 12th Century Abbey. The Abbey looked magnificent as we passed it heading further down river. From the water we had the most amazing view of the Edinburgh skyline from the Castle to Arthur’s Seat, with all the spires in between like that of St Giles’ Cathedral. You can also catch a glimpse into the Dalmeny estate, which you don’t normally see, as you sail past Barnbougle Castle.

Further down the river we passed Inchkeith Island which was fascinating to see as it is not normally a place you can get to. There are portions of 16th Century fort walls and military structures from the World Wars still in existence on this island, in addition to the lighthouse which was erected in 1803 by Robert Stevenson, one of the family of Stevensons who were Scotland’s foremost lighthouse builders. At this point we decided it was definitely time for lunch so we anchored around the back of Inchkeith and ate our picnic.

After our brief lunch break we headed out to the open sea towards the Bass Rock. This amazing island is a volcanic plug that rises out of the sea to a height of 313 feet and is famous for being the world’s largest gannet colony. Even from a distance we could hear (and smell!) the thousands of gannets that call this island home. Circumnavigating it we then headed straight across the sea towards Anstruther, passing near to the waters surrounding the Isle of May. It was incredible being out on the open sea as there was nothing between us and the horizon to the East, something that I had ever experienced before. The catamaran seemed dwarfed by the sea surrounding it and it was a pretty awe-inspiring adventure for all of us. As we got closer to the Isle of May we kept our eyes peeled for the wildlife that it is famous for, mainly the puffins that make this island a protected wildlife reserve. We were incredibly lucky and spotted a number of them in the water near the catamaran.

After we had waved goodbye to these incredible birds we sailed straight across into Anstruther. Once we were securely berthed in the harbour we jumped ashore to stretch our legs and find the famous Fish and Chip shop!

All in all, I had an amazing first sail to Anstruther and was delighted that I had finally managed it, as well as sailing on the open sea. I hope to get the chance to repeat this experience in the future!

Ellie Trim

Edinburgh Boat Charters

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