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After weeks of planning in conjunction with Seafish Scotland and the festival organisers, on Thursday May 23rd 2003 the Budding Rose left Peterhead with a crew of volunteers bound for Scotland's first International Festival of the Sea. We arrived in Leith Docks Edinburgh the following morning, and proceeded to take our berth along with over 200 vessels of all different types and sizes, this included warships, tall ships, traditional crafts and fishing vessels. We were berthed in the festival named fishing village and were berthed alongside more traditional built fishing vessels including the hundred year old Fraserburgh registered Reaper owned by the Scottish Fishing Museum in Anstruther. As well as the vessels on show there was a wide range of show attractions, from steel bands to shanty groups, dancing in the street, and maritime arts and crafts, and exciting simulators. As well as these forms of entertainment there were many restaurants featuring delicacies of the sea, which some of the crew of the Budding Rose had time to sample after the Budding Rose was closed to the visitors.

 

From Friday morning at 10am to Sunday night at 5pm for approximately 8 hours a day the Budding Rose was open to visitors. In that time over 2000 visitors to the festival boarded the Budding Rose and learned what it was like to be a fisherman aboard her. To promote Scottish haddock many visitors were also given samples of fresh haddock to take home with them and cook. Every visitor was given a guided tour of the Budding Rose.
Ahoy there A proffesional cook Boarding   Grubs up
In the wheelhouse the skipper Peter Bruce explained the method of fishing the Budding Rose uses, the way he steers and navigates the Budding Rose, and what all the electronic equipment is used for. In the galley Stephen Ritchie explained the role of cook in the Budding Rose; he also showed a video on the television of the crew of the Budding Rose being rescued from their previous vessel before it sank and the building/launch of the present Budding Rose.
Stephen also shared his experiences as skipper of working out of Peterhead, and how fishing has changed since he first went into the wheelhouse over twenty years ago. Under the shelter deck Stephen Bruce and Brian Buchan skipper of the Lapwing took turns to explain how the catch was cared for aboard the Budding Rose, from the time the fish was brought forward with the codend winch, and dropped into the reception hopper, till the time they were gutted, washed and packed in the fish room, and finally landed at the end of the trip on the market in Peterhead. Brian' son Robert age 10 now better known as Robert "Entrepreneur" Buchan showed everyone (usually to their amazement) who visited the Budding Rose the different species of fish caught aboard the Budding Rose in a typical trip. Robert was so professional at it he even received some tips.
The fish on show were a catfish, a monkfish, a dogfish, a brill, a ling, a lump fish which everyone found very amusing given its good looks, a halibut, and big cod, and a haddock. Robert was the "star of the show" and everyone could not get over his knowledge of the fish at such a young age. Retired fisherman Johnny Coull showed the visitors the cabins where the crew sleep when not working on deck, and he even give some of the kids the opportunity a chance try out the bunks, lucky for Johnny none of them fell asleep!! Alex "Shonie" (a very well known fishing family name in Peterhead) Strachan, also a retired fisherman from Peterhead helped everyone aboard, and gave them a very warm welcome, before he showed them which way to go to start there visit aboard the Budding Rose. Also onboard the Budding Rose were representatives of the Fishermen's Mission, Superintendent Graham Dench and his wife, and Ian Bailie and his wife Leslie. Ian is director of the Fisherman's Mission fund raising in Scotland. On the aft deck where the visitors boarded they had a sales table and collection boxes. In the three days over 500 was raised for the mission.

Over the three days hundreds of children along with their family's and friends visited the Budding Rose, before they left they were given a quiz about the Budding Rose and a drawing competition again featuring the Budding Rose. Two prizes are on offer a family pass to Dynamic Earth and a family pass to Deep Sea World, both prizes were donated by the Fishermen's Mission. Winners will be informed soon also the results will show here on the net in the near future.

The voluntary crew of the Budding Rose had a wonderful time sharing what it was like to be a fisherman aboard a modern fishing vessel, it was our privilege to be visited by guests from Australia, USA, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, China, Norway, Denmark and even a fisherman from Turkey. The crowds of people meant that some guests had to wait over 20 minutes to get aboard and they wish to thank everyone for the patience shown.
We will never forget our visit to the International Festival of the Sea, and we hope our guests enjoyed it as much as we did. If you visited the Budding Rose at the International Festival of the Sea, be sure to leave us a message on our guest page.