I will admit to circumnavigating this tired block in Fraserburgh a few times. The GPS says “you’ve arrived” but other than a tiny marina jammed with huge shiny fishing boats there was hardly a soul around and no obvious place to park. Trust me, this neighborhood was never featured on a Fraserburgh brochure. It’s strange to arrive at a stop sign with a one way sign on your left pointed to the right and a one way sign on your right pointed to the left, and yet here we are. Which law should we break? I looked up and saw a rather impressive lighthouse high above us on a prominent point of land. Our parkup must be over there.
Turns out to be a less than level gravel leftover lot, with poor quality graffiti sprayed about but featuring a beautiful view of the waves crashing onto the rocks. I pulled up rather close so we could all enjoy the power and majesty of the sea, failing to appreciate that, in some people, the level of appreciation diminishes with proximity.
I guess we’re still drawn to the sea. We often end up in a similar place with a similar view, except for the graffiti.
We settled back and I noticed a line of red flags close to shore and we knew that had to be a fishing net. A plume of spray caught my attention just at the edge of my peripheral vision. I hadn’t seen what caused it, but I already knew what it was. Suddenly energized I yelled, “Thar she blows!” Marce hurriedly joined me and the binoculars came out of the drawer as we both scanned our little bay. We knew that it’ll be surfacing in a few minutes due to the shallowness of the bay. There it is right in front of us. The whale had all the characteristics of a humpback when diving but was probably a minke. It seemed to be working a parallel line next to the fishing net right in front of us. I’m not sure how long we watched this whale but it took us back to magical times in Australia with so many close encounters with humpbacks zooming under Escape Velocity, mama whales tending their babies and heavy breathing 20ft away from us while we were waking up to coffee, Escape Velocity’s hull reverberating with a symphony of whale song. Yes, whales are special to us.
Later that day the wind picked up as the tide rolled in. For the first time we could feel the van get buffeted in the gusts. Our semi private rocky ocean view was getting rather boisterous. I’d done a lot of driving so I said I’m turning in but Marce pestered me with, “How can you sleep in this wind!?” and “It’s dark and I have no idea how bad the waves are getting!” I assured her there wouldn’t be a problem.
Someone periodically kept me up to date on the wind direction and velocity which by 5:00 am had gotten much worse and shook the van like a space shuttle lift off. It was suggested that a change in relative wind angle might do the trick and as I can’t control the wind I opted to change the angle of the van. A 35° realignment toward the north and we were facing directly into the teeth of it. Peace and harmony was restored in our happy home.
Reluctant to do a few more laps around Fraserburgh’s contradictory one way snafu, we slept in. Later, when we did leave, we crept down a one-way alley the wrong way, and around the corner from where we slept we saw a 20ft sea wall that said “Caution: waves can breach this wall.”
Good to know.