Home to one of the biggest gannet colonies in Scotland, North Berwick’s Bass Rock is an impressive sight, and the Marr family have made it their mission to bring as many visitors to the area so they can educate people about the birds.
Sula Boat trips, currently run by Pat Macaulay and her brother Chris Marr round North Berwick Harbour, let visitors catch a glimpse into the lives of these interesting creatures which swarm the massive rock, turning it a massive sea of white.
On board the family’s boat, Sula II, people get the chance to view some of the 40,000 pairs of gannets that come here every year and smother the rock to nest here. And as well as running boat tours, Pat and Chris also do their bit to protect the birds, which are one of the largest European seabirds, by rescuing injured gannets which have fallen off the cliff face into the water or rocks below.
“It’s very hard to just watch a bird every day you go round that rock, watch that bird getting thinner and thinner, getting dehydrated. And if we don’t pick it up it’s going to die. We don’t try and interfere with nature (but) if the birds fall we will certainly rescue them. It’s a lovely job to do, it really is. There’s a lot of satisfaction with it,” Pat told Brigid Benson, the author of 52 Weekends By The Sea.
Pat and Chris are the 11th generation of the Marr who have worked out of North Berwick Harbour in the fishing industry, and the pair learned their trade from their father Fred. “My father was just a wonderful man who had the patience to teach me rowing and how to fish, how to make a fishing line and certainly how to respect the sea,” Pat explained.
Find out more about the tours from the website www.sulaboattrips.co.uk. You can find out more about the tours by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 01620 892 838 to find out the times of the sailings. Also check out the website www.52hq.co.uk for the book 52 Weekends by The Sea written by Brigid Benson and Craig Easton.