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Thread: Whaligoe steps and bay

  1. #1
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    Default Whaligoe steps and bay

    Went for a visit today for the first time ever and it was beautiful.

    Anyone know if it's safe for swimming? It looked just right for dip.

  2. #2
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    Safe? What about hypothermia?!?! I suppose you could swim there in the sheltered bit, but I hate swimming near rocks like that. I always imagine some unexpected wave, or the wake of some passing oil tanker.

  3. #3
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    I thought we'd all acclimatised so well up here we couldn't get hypothermia!

    Seriously though you're right about the waves and rocks but it was just so calm yesterday, it seemed to be saying jump in.

    Did find a lovely bit of driftwood for the garden. Weighed about 40lbs. The wife and I carried it back up. I was just about ready for cpr when i got to the top. In agony today!

  4. #4
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    I wonder how much a basket of herring used to weigh when the fishermens' wives used to carry the catch of the day up those steps in baskets on their backs. I bet you would have found it easier to carry if you had been able to get it across your shoulders. Still quite a climb though. Of course they built them tougher in those days. Or was it the diet of herring and tatties?

  5. #5
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    I must be on the PC too much - I misread the title, thought it said Whalagoe Steps on Ebay!! Was thinking of putting in a bid

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kw14Ultra
    I must be on the PC too much - I misread the title, thought it said Whalagoe Steps on Ebay!! Was thinking of putting in a bid
    hehe

  7. #7
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    I would have bid on that too! My great-grandfather used to fish out of Whaligoe. Would have been nice to own it. I wonder who does own it. Anybody know?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Brims
    I would have bid on that too! My great-grandfather used to fish out of Whaligoe. Would have been nice to own it. I wonder who does own it. Anybody know?
    Don't know but they could do with some tourist agency getting behind them to help with the upkeep.

  9. #9
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    If anyone want to see the steps go to this link http://www.caithness.org/atoz/whalig...teps/index.htm Sorry they are not in the new gallery format. They will go into that format one day when we take all the pictures again on a brighter day.
    An article on the harbour and steps is at http://www.caithness.org/caithnessfi...l/whaligoe.htm
    Amazing that the cost of the steps was £8. Quite amazing even for those days and the words Slave Labour spring to mind.
    In recent years the Wick society have ben responsible for making repairs to the steps a duty taken on I understand at their own volition under the leadership of Iain Sutherland. There was a small contribution box there a while ago and it is probably stlil in place at the start of the path before the house at the top of the steps. So cheap labour paid for the steps and in recent years free voluntary labour has helped to maintain them. A look through the web site will if you think about it show that the huge number of voluntary groups n the county are responsible for much more than just the Whaligoe Steps. But that is one of the reasons I like the place - folk just get on with lots of things.

  10. #10
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    The donation box is still there.

    They've did a fantastic job and I am glad there are people looking after it and keeping it open to the public but it does show signs of needing £investment which is why I suggested some tourist agency should get behind them.

    Either way, thanks to those who are working to keep this and other such areas available to us all.

  11. #11
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    The big problem about doing anything at Whaligoe is that the Ayatollahs of health and safety would tell you to shut the place down unless you provide a safety rail and disabled ramp for wheelchairs!

    Seriously it is as bad as that. The government agency Historic Scotland would need to be consulted and they would further tie you in knots with special permissions and also involve the archaeologists and the listed building expert at Highland Council.

    Then any insurance company for the sponsoring body and the contractor would want to have their say plus the Health and Safety planner for the contractors would want his pound of flesh.

    The best answer is for people like Ian Sutherland with a healthy disrespect for authority to go in and simply do what needs to be done and let the public proceed at their own risk. The regulations around any slightly risky and unusual building operation do not serve the best interests of locations like Whaligoe.

    if you have to use one probably the best choice of external contractor would be one of the mountain path building specialists but there are not many people left with the skills to lay flags like they used to.

    We elect Councillors like Bill Fernie to grapple with problems like this on our behalf! Do we want fewer bends at the Ord or are historical sites like Whaligoe Steps more important?

  12. #12
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    How do you get to them, though..............I had visitors who wanted to see them...........but despite a map, they couldn't work out how to get there!

    They carried on and went to Dunnet Head instead, but they had seen the photos of the steps on the Org, and were disappointed not to see the real thing!

    I said I'd try and find out before they came back. So

  13. #13
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    whaligoe steps are on the way to Lybster on the left hand side, signposted, just pass a large house with a pond, turn left there where there is a row of council houses, park at the end, then walk down the steps.!
    Live for today as tomorrow may never come

  14. #14
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    It is confusing though cos it seems as though you're going through someones garden to get to the steps. If you get lost though theres a guy in one of the council houses that would be happy to show you the way and tell you the history of the place - he walks the steps everyday.

    The place does look like a great place to swim. I had a swim in the cove at Lybster in the summer though and those rocks have those really sharp shells attatched to them, our legs came out shredded.
    Bet it would be fun to take the dinghies down there though.
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

  15. #15
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    Tsk tsk Fran, those are terrible directions! On the way to Lybster from *where*? It's no good saying something is on the left hand side of the road unless you say which way you're travelling! Oh well, at least you didn't say "You can't miss it". That's usually a bad sign.

  16. #16
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    I agree George, my directions were bad. I should have said going south from wick for about 12 miles.
    Live for today as tomorrow may never come

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by porshiepoo
    It is confusing though cos it seems as though you're going through someones garden to get to the steps. If you get lost though theres a guy in one of the council houses that would be happy to show you the way and tell you the history of the place - he walks the steps everyday.

    The place does look like a great place to swim. I had a swim in the cove at Lybster in the summer though and those rocks have those really sharp shells attatched to them, our legs came out shredded.
    Bet it would be fun to take the dinghies down there though.
    O.M.G I remember that place very well . Thought you were going to disapear on your blow up, what a laugh that was !
    computer says no ........

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by paris
    O.M.G I remember that place very well . Thought you were going to disapear on your blow up, what a laugh that was !
    Pity she didna!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fran
    I agree George, my directions were bad. I should have said going south from wick for about 12 miles.
    Your distance estimates are even worse, it's about 7-8 miles from wick to the whaligoe steps.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasher
    Pity she didna!
    nice one sharp i say lol

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