04 November 2010

Buckie to Peterhead

The initial route from Findochty is made along the coastal path that passes through Portnochie and immediately after, the amazing sight of the Bow Fiddle Rock. This deserves a post of its own. The sands at Cullen Bay follows and then the town of Cullen itself, famed as the inventor of Cullen Skink soup!
We rendezvous with Tina at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel where I get the chance to say a few words about AOS and Seawheeling before mass. Thanks to Fr Max for giving me this opportunity.
Tea after mass was enjoyed with Terry and Tina in the van, parked alongside the tiny harbour at Banff. Tina was keen to tell of her research into Peter Anson, co-founder of AOS in 1911 (although that date might be a debated issue!). Peter spent much of his life working with fishermen in these small Scotish ports and was a much revered figure among the fishing communties, particularly as the industry declined. Having spent a good part of the day in Banff, and with the clocks having reverted overnight to GMT, there was stil a good ride to Peterhead and so we had to press on without seening the Anson home in Banff. Another reason then to return to this beautiful coast.
I arrived at the port of Peterhead just ahead of sunset, and enjoyed a slow meander round the port before meeting Terry and arriving at St Mary's where we were greeted by Fr Mark Impson, AOS volunteers George, his wife Helen, and Ruth who all turned out to welcome us to this busy fishing and oil support port. We adjourned to the hotel next door and over a lovely dinner, learnt much about the OAS work in Peterhead and nearby Fraserborouggh. I was surprised to hear of the number of Filipino, Sri Lankan, Indonesian and other foreign nationalities who crew fishing vessels here. Anyone who has watched Trawlerman knows what an arduous job this is, and I can only imagine the shock that someone from warm climes might feel at being thrown into fishing at its toughest. A word to anyone who might be visiting this area is that you need some decent language skills to understand what the locals are saying!

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