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Sailing the Forth, from South Queensferry to Anstruther

The Firth of Forth is home to a stunning array of Scottish wildlife, including various seabirds, seals, dolphins and even whales. The best way to spot many of these more elusive species is to get out on a sailing boat on the river itself. At Edinburgh Boat Charters we offer many trips that will allow you to see some of the wildlife on the river. However, our best trip for wildlife spotting is our slightly longer ultimate day sail to Anstruther in Fife that takes place on board our luxury sailing catamaran.

On departing from our home berth in Port Edgar Marina we immediately pass under the famous Forth bridges and circumnavigate the Island of Inchgarvie. While this island still has the remains of some World War fortifications on it, it is more famous for the seabirds such as fulmars, herons and cormorants, which make the island their home. It is also quite common to spot seals in the waters around here, as well as relaxing on their favourite buoy near Inverkeithing Bay.

Sailing on we will pass by the other inner islands of the Forth; Inchcolm, Inchkeith and Inchmickery. Out of these Inchmickery is the most interesting for wildlife as it is an RSPB reserve and is home to breeding pairs of common eiders, terns and various gulls. On another one of our full day trips we can occasionally land on Inchkeith Island and it is amazing to see the hundreds of seagulls that have nests on the island.

Once we get out to the open sea the wildlife becomes more varied and interesting. We sail towards the Bass Rock, an intimidating island of volcanic rock that rises to a height of 313 feet above sea level. The Bass hosts one of the largest gannet colonies in Europe and is home to over 150,000 birds. Remotely operated cameras on the Bass feed back to the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, as well as footage from Fidra. Fidra is an uninhabited island off the coast of North Berwick which exists as an RSPB reserve for various species of seabirds.

After passing the Bass Rock we will sail close into the waters surrounding the Isle of May, a protected wildlife reserve, where you will hopefully catch a glimpse of puffins and seals. This island was incredibly used as a “stone frigate” named HMS May Island during the World Wars. Nothing much remains of the island’s military defenses, except for the odd plinth here and there used by the puffins.

After saying goodbye to the local puffins, our yacht will head straight across to Anstruther. Here we will berth and you will get to experience the local culinary delights of the “UK’s best” Fish and Chip shop before taking a taxi back to Port Edgar Marina. Hopefully you will have spotted a vast array of wildlife on your trip but, either way, you will have experienced a fantastic day out on a luxury sailing yacht.

Ellie Trim

Edinburgh Boat Charters

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