My favourite Rocks, Dunbar, East Lothian – Ink and Acrylic in a Watercolour Moleskine

This is my entry for this month’s challenge. I have fished from these rocks, for many years. They are situated to the east side of Dunbar harbour and its castle. The sea is rich in many varieties of fish such as whiting, cod, pollack (coal fish) and wrasse which are hard work to catch as they live near the rocks and dive under them when threatened. I once even caught a scuba diver. If the fish are not cooperating I just stand there watching the gulls and cormorants dive-bombing the seals. I love the sea and just to be there, on my favourite rocks, is so therapeutic.

I lay upon the headland-height, and listened
To the incessant sobbing of the sea
In caverns under me,
And watched the waves, that tossed and fled and glistened
Until the rolling meadows of amethyst
Melted away in mist.

Palengenisis – H W Longfellow

My scene shows the Dunbar based lifeboat, the John Neville Taylor, on exercises. She is an “All weather, Trent Class” boat which is one of the RNLI’s biggest types. There is also an smaller, inshore boat based at the harbour. UK lifeboats – The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) are run by volunteers and funded by charitable donations. Over 137,000 lives have been saved by many different boats since 1824. Extremely brave people! Most Scots donate generously to this worthwhile cause.

Dunbar is probably best known as the birthplace of John Muir, the naturalist, who emigrated to America and came up with the concept of the National Park, arguably one of the finest ideas ever to emerge from The United States. There is a museum dedicated to the man in the town, a statue of him as a young man, in the main street and a small nature reserve to the west of the town.

Dunbar castle, itself, is now completely ruined and functions as a massive refuge for thousands of nesting seagulls. It was to this castle that Bothwell abducted Mary Queen of Scots in 1567 and they were married soon afterwards. An army was raised against the “ruling” nobles at Carberry (Near Mussleburgh) but battle did not take place, Mary insisting that Bothwell be given safe conduct instead of fighting. She was soon to be imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle and forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son, James. Its a pity that Dunbar Castle is beyond repair as its historical links are without question. A large part of it was demolished when the present harbour was widened in the nineteenth century.