Sunday, 18 November 2007

Harbour days

One of the advantages of living here is that there is a busy harbour very close by. It's always an interesting place to have a wander around, remembering that it is very much a working harbour, with fishing boats chugging in and out, and offloading their catch. Time it right, and it's a good place to purchase a fish or lobster that's about as fresh as you can get.


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The current harbour is 18 years old, and already looks to be quite crowded a lot of the time. Even here, in mid-November, there's a number of sailing and pleasure boats in there, in addition to the fishing boats. As someone who knows practically zero about boats and sailing (but who gets out on them as much as possible), the striking thing is the diversity of boats that berth (see, am getting the lingo!) there.


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Berneray hasn't quite reached the extent of Grimsay harbour, where it's sometimes possible to walk from one side of the harbour to the other across the boats literally wedged in there. However, during the summer, the harbour got nearly full on several occasions. Pontoons on the other side of the causeway for long-term berthing have recently been mooted.

With the profile of the Outer Hebrides rising, several youngsters looking to take careers that involve boats, and boating and yachting becoming a less exclusive pursuit, I do wonder if some extra facilities will be needed on, or near, to Berneray in the next few years to cope with any increase in sea-based traffic.


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