Fisherrow Harbour is a traditional stone walled fishing harbour, now mainly populated by leisure craft. Jokingly referred to by locals as the harbour on the hill, it requires over 4 metres of tide for most of the yachts to begin to float, leaving a narrow window of approximately 2 hours either side of high water at Leith for entry / exit.
Once out of the harbour, the positives of the sailing area are immediately obvious. There is little to none tidal stream in the bay and there are no isolated dangers lurking to catch you unawares, just be wary of your depth as it can remain shallow for a long way out.
Typical cruising destinations for our members are Aberdour, 10 nm distant, a very picturesque village on the Fife coast with incredible views of Edinburgh and the Forth bridges. Similar to Fisherrow, entry to the harbour is restricted by tide although it is possible to anchor amongst the moored boats in the bay.
Inchkeith, only 5.5nm from Fisherrow, an island dominated by abandoned military fortifications and a lighthouse. There is a harbour on the west side, although the advice from the local old salts is to try the approach first at low tide when normally submerged rocks are easier to see and the potentially dangerous half tide ledges of the harbour walls are uncovered.
Granton, 7nm distant, home of Royal Forth YC and Forth Corinthians YC, has an all tides pontoon and is well sheltered, but be aware of strong tidal flows around the entrance.
Where else? Anstruther is a lovely drying marina with legendary fish & chips, Dunbar has an impressive harbour entrance, dynamited through the foundations of an old castle, Port Edgar, up under the bridges, is a well developed all tides marina and the hub of the bigger racing events on the Forth, just make sure you have the tide on your side trying to get there!
All this information and much more is contained in the Pilot handbook for the area, pointing out hazards and the best way to approach heading somewhere new.