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Change of plan

We set the alarm clock early in order to leave Eyemouth with sufficient water under the keel. In effect this sees us motoring out of the harbour at 05:45. As we round the end of the pier and head out towards open water, Leontine gets the first sight of the sea outside, away from the peace of the inner fisherman’s harbour and she calls out “It’s rough out there!” Leontine starts bringing in the fenders and the land lines as we begin to nose-dive through the surge out to sea. It is obvious that this is going to be a rough start to the passage up to Port-Edgar. Roland reefs the main sail and off we go to the north.

Panorama view of Edinburgh from the Castle

Our exact destination at this moment is unclear for the following reason. Up until now each and every harbour we go to we call on the phone the day before to warn them of our pending arrival and to check whether there is sufficient space/depth for our boat. We called Port Edgar the day before our departure and they informed us that there was no way we could stay there for three nights - which we require for a decent visit to Edinburgh, they continued to say that we could “maybe” stay two nights - the final decision was left in the air as they would call us the following morning to let us know the availability. So as we sail out we have three possible scenarios carefully worked out. Firstly we sail a short distance to Dunbar and anchor there. Secondly we turn north at Dunbar and sail to Arbroath, moor there and visit Edinburgh by train and thirdly we get a place in Port Edgar and continue just as planned.

Roland calls Arbroath to check availability and tidal restrictions and gets a green light from the harbour master for a passage north, although it means beating against the wind for another 30 nautical miles Leontine agrees to skip Port Edgar and do the “train option” into Edinburgh from Arbroath.

No sooner than we make the turn to the north Roland gets a phone call from Port Edgar informing him that a berth is available after all for three nights….we agree that Arbroath is our preferred destination and kindly turn down the offer from Port Edgar.

As we go further offshore fortunately for Leontine the sea-state settles, the sun comes out and passage becomes one of expectations for a beautiful new destination - Arbroath.

Arboath inner basin at sunset

Just outside the harbour entrance we inform the habour master - Bruce of our pending arrival via our VHF radio and are met by him at the dock waiting to receive our land lines.

The following morning we pack our two small rucksacks with our essentials and catch a train to Edinburgh. The train ride lasts an hour and forty-five minutes. We walk out of Edinburgh Waverly railway station and find ourselves all of a sudden in a totally different world, far away from sailing and harbours. Edinburgh is a beautiful city - cosmopolitan, historical, and above all very friendly. We are too early to check into the little hotel we had booked via Bookings but we manage to leave our bags there.

What to do in Edinburgh? We decide to walk up the Royal Mile and visit Edinburgh Castle - after standing in a queue for half an hour to buy tickets we slowly climb the hill to the castle proper with hundreds of other tourists. As our slow tour round the castle continues it is clear to see the frustration on Rolands face that he is definitely not enjoying the visit. We leave the castle and decide that we should find a good restaurant to sooth us. We find one The Witchery and enjoy oysters, foie gras and chablis…. Our evening dinner in Edinburgh is as a delight: Sushi in one of the best Japanese restaurants we have ever eaten in Kanpai Sushi.

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