Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Bass

The Bass Rock completes the island group of the outer Forth.  A volcanic plug, it stand 107 metres high and is visible for miles around.  No surprise then that it currently houses a lighthouse, albeit one which is only visible on it's southern flank, as detailed in the chart ...

The Bass Rock has had a colourful history.  It's earliest recorded inhabitant was St.Baldred.  Not much is known about St.Baldred.  He spread the Christain word around the 6th/7th century.  It is said he lived a very simple life, lived the life of a hermit, and often retired to the Bass for contemplation. 

Over the centuries it has been used as a prison and a garrison.  A summary of it's history can be found here.  Nowadays it has a more "peaceful" existence as a bird reserve, being a home to around 50,000 pairs of gannets, reputedly the largest gannet colony on mainland Britain.

From a kayaking perspective, the main approaches to the Bass are from North Berwick, vial The Leithies

Or from Seacliff Beach ...

Seacliffe Beach is a private beach, for which two £1 coins are required for entry. 

The Eastern / North Eastern side of the Bass can usually be relied upon for a healthy dose of clapotis.  Once I manage to hold a camera in it I'll post some pictures !

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