The Reaper docks in the Broch

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The 109 year old sailing drifter Reaper sailed into Fraserburgh Harbour in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Reaper, currently on tour visiting some of the old herring ports in the Moray Firth, launched at the Forbes yard in Sandhaven in 1902, and is the last authentic survivor of the Fifie type of drifter, once the mainstay of the herring fishery on the East Coast of Scotland.

Speaking to the Herald on Wednesday morning, Jim Main from the Reaper said: “We left Gamrie at about 10.30 pm last night and had a very gentle sail round arriving in Fraserburgh at around 1.00 am.

“Since starting the tour in Lossiemouth on May 9, 35 schools have visited the Reaper, giving us a total of 998 pupils to date.

“We are expecting about 150 school pupils today from Sandhaven, St Combs, Crimond, Boddam, Anna Ritchie School in Peterhead and possibly Westfield as well, so we will clear the 1000 mark easily today.

“Over Thursday and Friday we will have visits from Rosehearty, Lochpots, South Park, Fraserburgh North, St Andrews, Fraserburgh and Buchanhaven as well.”

During it’s time in Fraserburgh, Willie Whyte of the Excelsior Fishing Company has arranged, in co-operation with the Fraserburgh Harbour Master, to have his modern pelagic trawler Forever Grateful berthed within a few yards of Reaper, and she too will be open to visitors providing a stunning contrast between the old and the new!

Reaper will be in Fraserburgh for three days in total, Wednesday May 18 until Friday May 20 and will be open to the public free of charge from 9.15 am until 5.00 pm.