Thursday, 29 September 2011

Amazing Sunrise

We had the most amazing sunrise the other morning that I had to post it. I was very lucky to as a lobster boat passed as I was taking pictures. Enjoy because I certainly did.

First Seal Pup of the year.

On Tuesday I was sitting on the boat outside the harbour waiting for the tide, when I got a phone call from David Steel telling me that we had our first seal pup of the year, so here is a few pictures.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Redshank verses Turnstone

When I finished work the other day, I was just about to get into the van when I noticed a Curlew over the pier wall. It was probing around the rock pools for some food and I noticed that it would go to any lengths to get some food.

There was also a Redshank searching for food and it was very successful until a Turnstone turned up and pinched it's prize. Turnstone 1 - Redshank 0.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Arctic Skua

On Monday we had an Arctic Skua close to the boat on the way home so here is a few pictures of it.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Whale Watching Trip

We have decided to do another Whale Trip this Sunday after the success of last week.

We will be leaving Seahouses harbour at 10.30am for a 5 hour trip, taking in Dunstanburgh Castle where there has been lots of Harbour Porpoise sightings lately. After that we will head out to The Farne Deeps which is a large fishing ground, and then work north finishing of around the Farne Islands.

The price is £35 per person with complimentary Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate.

To book please phone me on 07984668093 or 01665 720760

A great day out not to be missed.

WHALE OF A TIME (Part 3) Grey Phalarope

Continued from Part 2

Look it's a Grey Phalarope. I looked but I could not see the bird for the water. Then all of a sudden I spotted it and it was resting on the water with the Kittiwakes. Grabbing the camera I was just about to take a shot, when up it went and flew away. I was not going to go home and not get a picture, so we started hunting for it again. Sure enough there it was. With the boats steering wheel in one hand and my camera in the other, I slowly manoeuvred the boat closer to the bird. As we got closer I headed out onto the deck. Once on the deck I opened the wheelhouse window, reached in and grabbed the controls and clicked the boat into gear. Taking my time not to scare the bird I moved close enough to get a picture. Bingo I got it.

This is just a lovely little bird and I know this was to a Whale Watching Trip, and it was, but this little beauty stole the show for me.

Enjoy everyone and I do hope you like the pictures from our Whale Watching Trip which was a great success and we will be doing one or two again next year.


Monday, 19 September 2011

WHALE OF A TIME (Part 2) Minke Whale

Continued from Part 1

When we get back onto the Helicopter I will get the pilot to have a look around for you and if we see anything we will give you a call on channel 67. I thanked him kindly and off they went.

They were only away a few seconds when he shouted on the VHF and told me there were a big gathering of birds and he could see Harbour Porpoise.

I turned the boat and headed towards the flock of birds but we were not even close when a Minke Whale broke the surface. A customer shouted it's on the left hand side about 400 yards away going south. I quickly turned and steamed south towards the Whale when it broke the surface again. We started counting how many times it was taking air before it dived and it was 3 to 4 times. Great, so I grabbed my camera as it was down for a while but I was ready for it. Click Click. I got it.

We followed it for about 15 minutes and it disappeared so we decided to head back north towards the big flock of birds that were still there. We were just about to turn and the Minke broke the surface again but this time it was even closer. That's it I said to myself. Lets get really close so everyone can get a good picture. It didn't just come a little closer but right beside the boat.

When I looked at my chart to see where we were and we had followed the Minke 5 miles south and after everyone had good views and pictures of the Minke we turned said goodbye and steamed slowly north.

While we were cruising north we passed 2 Pufflings and an adult Puffin in full moult. There were lots of Guillemots, Gulls, Gannets, Kittiwakes, Arctic Terns, Manx Shearwaters and another Arctic Skua. Keith said there was a Manx resting on the water so we went a little closer to get some nice pictures when Keith shouted................

To be countinued.....

Sunday, 18 September 2011

A WHALE OF A TIME (Part 1) The RAF Rescue Team

We were supposed to doing a Whale Watching Trip last Saturday 10th, but we decided to cancel it due to bad weather and I was so pleased we did as we rescheduled it for Saturday17th and trip and weather were just amazing.

We had S.E. Winds on Friday so there was a heavy slow swell in the water, but as the day went on the swell disappeared.

Dunstanburgh Castle

We steamed slowly down towards Craster we passed a Great Skua and a Arctic Skua flying north and about 30+ Wigeon also flying north. On arriving at Craster we encounter 5 Harbour Porpoise showing really well. After spending a little while watching them, we steamed out towards the deeper water.

While we were steaming out the deeper water the RAF Boulmer Helicopter flew passed our port side and flew over an Angling Boat, then all of a sudden it turned around and headed towards us. The next thing I heard was my boats name being called on channel 16 on the VHF.
 It was the RAF Helicopter asking me if I could turn to channel 67. On doing so they asked me if it was OK to lower someone on the boat for some practice. After agreeing they give me a compass bearing of 280 degrees and told me to go 6 knots.
 Keith told all of our customers to gather there bags and move closer towards the wheelhouse. When all of our customers were beside the wheelhouse they started to lower the first person, and then the other came down. The second person was a dentist, who was being trained by the RAF. (I don't think he enjoyed it very much)

When the Helicopter was above the boat the noise, wind and spray are unbelievable. Bud, my dog was shaking like a leaf in the wheelhouse, but the customers loved it.

Just before they were about to leave one of the men came to the wheelhouse and said thank you very much for helping him with the excercise. As we shook hands he turned and said to me........................................

To be continued

Friday, 16 September 2011

Diving with Seals

It's getting close to that time of the year when the seals are starting to gather around the islands as the cows are very heavily pregnant. At this time of the year the seals are very playful with the divers, and they come from far and wide to dive with the seals. They say it's like playing with a small puppy.

My brother, Toby and Ron, our very experienced skipper. Take out the divers on Sovereign 2 and 3 and when it gets to this time of the year the divers tend to just want to dive with the seals. Yes, the islands has alot more to offer than just the seals, but in Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec the seals are so playful that once the divers have had dived with them  they can't get enough.

The yearlings are really playful and often play hide and seek, nibble the divers fins then swim away like naughty little school kids. They often cause confusion amoungst divers by tugging on their fins as they swim along and the diver assumes it's his buddy.

With the older cows you can play games. I often heard divers say they where blowing bubbles on purpose and the seals was copying them.

Other favourite's are..... Waving their hands and the seals copy......Spinning around........but what really bugs seals is if the divers try to put their heads between their legs as the seals can't do it!!!!!!

The seals also get very itchy and loved to be scratched. You often see seals asleep on the bottom but it's usually on a gravel patch as they can scratch themselves while they are there.
You can always tell if a seal needs a scratch, as the divers put their hand out and the seal goes stright over. I've heard of divers scratching the seal's tummy and the seal just rolls over enjoying every moment of it.

We often say don't be scared of a seal as they will never hurt you. Yes, they do get to playful sometimes and push the boundaries with a nip or a little bite on the head but I have never heard of a diver being badly hurt by a seal.

You always have to remember that you are in their territory and one kick of its tail and it's gone.
On the land they are very vulnerable and they can't get away very easily and they will bite you hard. Just ask the Wardens as they are very aggressive toward them when they are tiring to do there seal counts.

Divers say that you can dive all around the world, but you will never get interaction like this anywhere else.

Here are some pictures I have been given over the years. Enjoy.