Monday, 17 October 2016


Image result for bbc 2 coast pictures

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.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Hungry Seal

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.

First Seal Pup of the year.

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.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Super September

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....



Monday, 26 September 2016

Transformers 5

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.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Dolphins and Dunstanburgh Castle

We do Sunset Cruises every Tuesday and Thursday from May until mid Sept but so far this year it has not been the best.

What we tend to do is slowly cruise around the Farnes, seeing all the seabirds and seals and the light is perfect at this time of day for photography, but this year we have had about 5 really good sunsets and what we try to do is to see them going down behind Bamburgh Castle before we head back to the harbour.

It is really disappointing for me and my guests when the clouds roll in at the last minute and spoil what would have been a cracking sunset but sometimes it does pay off.

This Thursday was one of those evenings when it did pay off, as we were just about to head out for the cruise, when dolphins were spotted. All I could think was that i needed to get out there so we don't miss them.
As we left the harbour I could not see them but then all of a sudden there they were. They were on a mission and I did not think we would catch them up so I asked my guests what they wanted to do. The response was "Lets go for the dolphins"

When a guests asks that, who am I to say no, so off we went. It was not long before we managed to catch up with them and what a display they put on.
At one stage they were at both sides of the boat and I'm positive they were enjoying it just as much as we were. By this time my smile was as big as a cheshire cat but I was not the only one and before I knew it we were at Dunstanburgh Castle. Boy where did that happen, oh well, there was no point in going home just yet so we stayed and watched the sun go down behind the castle.

What a perfect end to a perfect evening and thank you everyone who joined me. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Luecistic Shag

We have seen the wonderful Shag around the islands a lot lately but we have not been able to get a really close look until yesterday and today.

It is not as laid back as other shags and seems to be a little bit on edge the closer you get, and I can totally understand why, as its a beauty to see. 

That's two luecistic seabirds we have seen this year and both were special to see. Anyway enough talk here are some pictures for you. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Sunset and Storms

Its taken a long time, but on Tuesday and Thursday evening during our sunset cruises, we had the best sunsets of the year and to top that off we had flat calm seas, good company and we watched the last of the jumplings take that leap of faith. I didn't want to go home as I was enjoying myself so much, but when I looked at some of my guests, I realized they were starting to get really cold so I had to go back home.

We have also had some great storms and one storm caught me out as I was not expecting it at all.

The forecast said it was going to rain but it was blue skies and flat calm seas, so a little bit of rain was not going to put this skipper off and they never get the forecast right anyway... Bugger the second I left the harbour the heavens opened and it started to chase us as we headed out to the islands. 

We did get caught in a few showers but overall we were very lucky as they past us by, but what we did see was some amazing lightning bolts over Bamburgh Castle and other areas up and down the Northumberland coastline. Yes its not the best place to be during a lightning storm as we are a total conductor but it was good to see.

Yes we made it back in one piece.

During the sunset cruise on Thursday I looked out of my window and saw a puffin fly past and I thought it was flying really funny. I took a second look and it was not until then that I realized it was a Storm Petrel. I run outside to tell my guests, but I think in my excitement the word "storm petrel" came out all wrong and it sounded like "straw man" What a prat eh. No wonder people were asking what I had seen.

Never mind it made people giggle and made me look like a right plonker but to be honest I was still chuffed to see it no matter what I was.

Anyway I have waffled on enough so here are the pictures of the sunsets, storms and the petrel, and remember we sail every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7pm to 9pm, and as the weeks move on it will become quicker so its always good to ask if you are booking.