Friday, 1 July 2016

Kidnapped by Seagulls.

Sat 11th June
Alan Breck's fav hangout

    Thinking of somewhere to visit  I overheard some ladies chit chatting about cruising round the river Forth whilst I was travelling to work when I remembered a couple of games we had done last year involving Inchcolm island and decided that was the weekend trip taken care off.I booked us a couple of tickets on The Maid of the Forth sailing from South Queensferry and we headed out to the pier hoping for a nice day.
It was,apart from the weather which was a bit dreich,which is a Scottish word for heavily overcast but at least the rain kept away.
Definitely wind swept and interesting.
The Maid of the Forth is a nice little boat which does tours round the river and also rents itself out for functions and also occasional evening jazz cruises which will be one date for the future.
                                                   We set off on our cruise first under the Forth Bridge and it was good to see under the bridge for a change as I'm usually travelling over the top of it workwise.There was a taped orated guide with the dulcet tones of singer and narrator Bill Torrance who's voice we hear on our local radio at the moment advertising funeral packages.
I hope it's not an omen.
Queen Elizabeth II just being touched up!
On passing under the bridge we passed the first of the four 'Inches'-Inchgarvie,a very small island which has been used for various purposes including a prison,a quarantine hospital for plague victims before being used as gun batteries in both World Wars.Its purpose now as well as being a support for the bridge is a home for hundreds of seabirds.

  We carried on past Hound Point which is the largest oil export terminal in Scotland where large oil tankers which have been patiently waiting outside the entrance to the Forth(See 'Ennui and Guano' for more  info and pictures)come to be filled up.It takes approx 24 hours to fill one of these babies.
Fill her up and check the tyres.
Obviously in respect of the chief engineer who'll be born not too far from here in about 200 years time.
  We carried on past Dalgety Bay which has the ignominious title of Edinburgh's hostel,before heading in past Braefoot terminal, which loads liquid gas on to tankers from the Mossmorran gas plant outside sunny Cowdenbeath towards the pier on Inchcolm Island to be met by a smiling Historic Scotland representative and a s**tload of evil looking nesting seagulls.
First impressions.
Now I know how Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren felt like in 'The Birds'.
 This was a small islet populated by gnomes.From where they came nobody knows.
 Inchcolm is an island which again has had a varied history with firstly  the building of an abbey after King Alexander I spent three nights marooned on the island cared for b
y a local hermit.That's what I call board and lodgings.
From then the abbey was repeatedly attacked by English raiders but continued on to The Reformation where its use as a religious institution diminished rapidly.Once again the island was used as a quarantine point for plague stricken ships entering the Forth and also a hospital for the Russian fleet in the 1790's.I bet Putin would like that one.
From then it has been used as suitable location for gun batteries from Napoleonic days through to both World Wars as it's in a very suitable site to cover all approaches to Rosyth naval base.
 The one thing I can say about Inchcolm is that it has its own self defence system which consists of hundreds of seagulls most of them are black backed gulls which are mean f*****s who spend a lot of their time stealing other birds chicks and eggs usually devouring them whole and usually during flight.They stand on paths daring you to come nearer and when you do their henchmen appear on the scene and being a fan of the film "The Birds" I decided that backing off was the best option.
'Go ahead make my day'
Taking kids to the park.

Lovely camouflage'
 Inchcolm is a very nice and I would thoroughly recommend it for a day visit but I would visit it in about September as by that time the birds have flown to their winter pastures leaving the island to the sparrows.
Somebody is a wee bit overdressed.

                    Speak to you soon hopefully from a bit sunnier Cornwall.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for relation Tim. I am going to see that island too, for the same reason as you did. But I will wait till September as that birds don't looks very friendly... See you soon.