The Inner Farne Lighthouse is finally getting painted and boy it looks lush too.
Its been a long time and the National Trust lads have been going over everyday to sort it all out and it looks just perfect now.
The shine on her as you pass looks great and lets hope it stays this way because its something to be proud of.
It's never nice to see a boat leave but the time has come and Serenity is on her way to a new home.
She has been a brilliant boat for us and hardly let us down and if it was not for her we would not be were we are today.
She was our first boat that we did tours around the islands and the one that brought my brother and myself closer. (Not that we weren't anyway) So thank you.
On Monday she was taken by a wide load wagon by road to her new home in Cornwall where she will be operating as a passenger vessel doing the same thing down there as she was up her.
As you might already know that we have slowly changed our vessels to catamarans as we think they are more stable in the water and I suppose we are just moving with the times. On a personal note, they are really easy to handle, better for the environment (less fuel) and the biggest thing of all is..... No painting. Whoop Whoop.
Well we have to paint the bottom of the hulls, but that's only a few days work which is much better than standing on the pier in the freezing cold trying to hold a paint brush while the waves are crashing over the pier and Yes, we will still have to do jobs on the boats, but the difference this time is if its cold, damp and bitter we can turn around and go home as I know I don't have to paint the boats ready for the season.
Anyway, from everyone at Serenity I would like to say "Thank you" for being a loyal servant to us.
The grey seal pups are starting to arrive in abundance now, and at the last count their was 526
but over the last four days we have had dreadful seas with big waves and we have not been able to get out so fingers crossed the seals and their pups have managed to survive this weather.
I suppose its nature and over the last few years the seals have had it good and the numbers have increased a lot.
The rangers have started their counts and when you look at the rocks its all multi colored now. We also have spotted some new born pups with their umbilical cords still on.
We also spotted a branded seal with a large V branded on her back. They
stopped branding in 1995 but I'm not sure how old this one is but I will
find out in due course.
We saw young born pups calling for their mothers as they were really hungry and others who had fallen into the water and their mothers were encouraging them to get out. We saw a young pup enjoying her mothers milk and other so tired it was not bothered where it slept.
We even saw the start of new life being created.
Over all my fingers and toes are crossed that all is well out on the Farnes and all the seal pups are doing just fine.
We did some filming for the program "Coast" featuring Neil Oliver a
few months ago and I have just received confirmation that the program
will be aired on BBC 2 on 19th October at 8pm.
Coast is a BBC documentary series first broadcast on BBC Two television in
2005 and is still going strong today and with the new series already
started, we are really looking forward to seeing the Farne Islands back on TV again.
If you have already missed the start then click on the Coast link below.
Andy, myself and a few of our guests spotted a grey seal eating "Lump Sucker" fish.
As we watched it for a while, we realised how long its claws where and just how powerful they can be. I remember speaking to former head warden "John Walton" a few years ago about the seals and I was gob smacked when he casually said that he was bitten by a seal a long time ago. He even showed me the scar which was quite impressive if I may say for myself and its not until then do you realise how lucky he was. I know a fish is a totally different thing to a human, but it only took a few minutes to devour it, so it just goes to show you that John was very very lucky.
A Lump Sucker has very rubbery skin, which makes it bit more tricky for the seal to tear apart but it did not take long before the seal was enjoying the fresh meat.
I know the pictures do not look good and probably do not put the seal into a good light but they have to eat and we tend to forget the a wild creatures. We like to see things all cute and cuddly and they are at times but this seal is not one of those times sorry.
If I get to see some cute seal pups later in the year I will post them I promise but in the meantime here are the pictures.
On Saturday 8th October the first seal pup of the year was spotted on the Longstone Island.
It's lovely to see but I'm not sure if this pup will survive as its on a very low rock and the weather has changed since Saturday and the big seas have started to roll in.
I have also seen another two pups on Monday on a different island but unfortunately one of them has passed away. The other one looks in good health and a lot higher up the rocks too.
I will keep you posted on whats happening and hopefully the seas will calm down for them.
Don't worry its not dead just having a little snooze.
Its not very often I say this but September was a really great month for working on the water around the Farnes.
Well I say working, but it's not really work now is it. All I do is stand or sit, around all day talking into a microphone and telling people about the wildlife and history. I chat to people, give Andy (my crewman) some grief, and watch all the wildlife around the Farne Islands and I even do a bit of photography if I have a spare minute.
It has not been the wildlife that has made September great, as that has been very quiet, but it has been the weather itself. It's not very often that the sea is like glass and it's hardly ever hot out at sea either but this month it has been both.
Near the end of the month it changed but that is to be expected but the rest of it was outstanding.
I use Twitter a lot and I do a thing called "A view from my office window today" and I know it annoys people sometimes and I do tweet the bad weather too but it lets people know what its like and shows you what a hard life I have. lol.
Anyway I have talked enough rubbish now, so I will let the pictures do the talking....
I know this is nothing to do with the Farnes but when you get some guests in town who are mega superstars then it would be rude not to blog about it.
They have been filming the new Transformers 5 at Bamburgh and Alnwick Castle which features Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and the one and only Sir Anthony Hopkins.
We can't forget the cars as they were a big hit with everyone. Bumble Bee and all the other cars were on show and it pulled in the crowds. I'm not sure if the locals enjoyed it as the traffic jams were from Seahouses to Bamburgh.
All the pictures of the cars are by my daughter "Charlie" so i can not take any credit at all.
My sister in law, "Sally" and her family missed the cars but they were not bothered at all as Sir Anthony Hopkins stopped and had his pictures taken with (from right to left) Grace, Faith and Mae.
The film is called the "Last Knight" with the plot revolving around King Arthur which is why its being filmed at the Bamburgh and Alnwick Castles and it will be released in June 23rd 2017 so watch out for it.