As we have ten days to kill before we fly south for our sons graduation we have decided to hop along the coast and visit some of the smaller harbours. Today we sailed just a couple of miles down the coast from Banff to Whitehills, this was approximately a two mile sail. I took the boat carefully out of the harbour and we let Simon take over and sail Kantara to Whitehills, which actually took almost three hours and we covered 7.7nm tacking.
To be fair, I wanted to leave Banff marina at slack water, which according to the tidal diamonds was 12 mid- day, and I also asked if we could arrive at high water Whitehills at about three, so in fact I got my wish.
On route Sean put out our fishing line and within the hour we had caught three good size mackerel, which I turned into pate later.
The wind varied from one knot to about four knots and was either on our starboard bean or bow, the sea condition was moderate. The entrance into Whitehills was interesting; we came in at high water, keeping to the port side of the directional poles in the water. It almost seems as though you are going straight up the RNLI slipway before you turn sharply to port, once you’re in there is enough space to move around. A top tip is to continue through the first harbour into the second harbour and berth on the hammer head of the pontoon. We didn’t know you could do this and had a bit of a rocky night. Bertie the harbour master made us very welcome.
So what did we think of Banff, overall we came away with a very favourable impression of the community. We visited Duff House only a short walk from the marina ( 1mile), Duff house was renovated in the nineties, and does not have any original house hold articles, but a collection of furniture and artefacts from the correct periods relating to the house. Sadly quite a number of the paintings are copies, but when we were there they did have number of exhibitions on, which were very interesting. I guess the description from the Scottish Natural Heritage leaflet is pretty accurate, ‘a country house gallery’. Sadly more memorable was the doe I saw whilst we were walking up to the house.
The toilets by the marina have won an award, which was proudly displayed! I have to say they were nice, but still not as nice as Colchester Marina!
The town of Banff has a variety of small shops, a Tesco and a Co-Op, a few restaurants and the obligatory pubs. There is enough here to do for a couple of days stop over, you are within walking distance of Macduff, another harbour on the other side of the bay, we also saw a number of suggested walks. On our last morning we walked towards Whitehills along the coastal path, and then came back along the disused railway line, which took a couple of hours.
We used one night of our rover ticket at Banff and paid twenty pound for the second night which included the electric and showers.
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