Thursday, 24 January 2013

What we do in the winter.

Well we all know the weather we have been having over the last week or so and it's causing havoc with my painting. If you think I just sit around during the winter drinking coffee and playing with the kids then think again, (well I do a bit) as we have to do all the maintenance on the boats aswell as paint them every year.
I suppose it's like all things in life, sometimes you enjoy it and others you hate it. Well at the moment I'm not enjoying it and the weather it's driving me nuts.
 It's so cold that when I'm trying to put the paint on it's like tar. Yes, I know what your thinking, do some painting inside, well that's all done, and all the accommodation is done at the Bed & Breakfast too. I'm well ahead of myself this year and I know I'm complaining about the weather but I would rather have it this way than rushing around at the last minute putting paint on the boat as it's going back into the water.

I've done a bit of birding this year but not much around the doors, so when a friend text the other day to see if I wanted to join him taking pictures I jumped at the chance. I wrapped up well and joined him down the harbour. Boy oh boy its was bloody freezing, but I need to learn and the only way I can do that is get out there and ask lots of questions.

After 10 minutes my friends ears had warmed up after my none stop waffeling, so of I went to try and take a picture. At first it was not bad but then we had a 2 second hail storm and the side of my face was stinging, but I smiled and got on with it. After about an hour I had enough. My excuse was that the light was going but all I wanted to do was jump into a nice hot bath.

To be honest the pictures were a load of rubbish as the wind was a little to strong to hold the camera still or was that me shaking like hell. Who knows and who cares but I was not going to be defeated, I will try again another day.

I did try two days later and with better results.

Firstly a few pictures of all our hard work painting boats.

Peter with the roller after I had cut in. 

 All the life-rings are painted and the sign writing all done.

 The hull half painted and this was about the best day we have had.

 All the life-rings hanging up drying.

 Mara Mhor..(Big Seas) Now this is the way forward. Just the anti fouling on her bottom to do and that's it.

Big seas just outside the harbour.

The Gun Powder Hut covered in foam created from the seas.

Waves crashing over the Breakwater.

More big waves just outside the harbour entrance.

More big seas.

Big Big seas crashing into the Inner Farne and the rest of the Islands.

Then the snow came. It's not very often you see snow at the harbour.

Over looking the harbour.

The harbour entrance.

The snow only lasted one day at Seahouses and it was gone the next.

Yes it's me...Trying to take some pictures, when I should be out sailing around the Islands. Oh well better now than in the middle of the season. 



Monday, 21 January 2013


About early December I noticed a few Fulmars were back around the Farnes. I do like these birds and when all the Guillemots and Puffins are back they tend to get over looked as there are so many other birds you just can't see them.

I think it's the way they glide across the water without hardly moving their wings that impresses me the most. Plus at this time of the year when none of the other birds are here, you get a chance to view them alot closer. Saying that I don't think I would like to be spat on as I've heard it's stinking.

One of my favourate places is the Inner Farne cliff face, as they use the updrafts that go up the cliff face to their advantage.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sunday's Trip

On Sunday I went out with a few guests and we decided to alter our route a little bit. Well I did, but I asked first.

We steamed up to Stag Rock to see if we could see any Long-tailed Ducks.

As we were getting closer we saw 2 Long-tailed Ducks fly away but as we approached Stag Rock we saw a group resting on the water. After a quick count there was 18 in total and they looked beautiful in the sunlight. There must have been more further north toward Ross Sands and Holy Island but I was happy with what we could see.

After viewing them for a little while we turned and slowly steamed towards the Farnes. On doing so a group of 50 Common Scoters flew south across the bow of the boat and settled on the water just below Bamburgh Castle.

When we arrived a the Megstone a single Scoter flew straight past the boat but by the time I picked the camera up it was gone. After viewing the Shags at the Megstone we headed across to Brownsman Island to see the seals. There was not very many on the Brownsman but the Whames were covered.

As we were looking at the seals one of my guests noticed a couple of Long-tailed Ducks resting on the water, but they did not hang around for long. Thanks Rob for spotting them anyway.

After looking at the seals for a while we travelled around the Islands viewing Turnstones, Purple Sandpipers Shags and the odd Curlew. When we arrived at the Inner Farne we watched the Fulmers gliding around the cliff face using the wind to their advantage.

After a few pictures we decided to go home as it was turning really cold.

So here is a few pictures of our day out.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Tystie (Black Guillemot)

I have been out around the Islands over the last week or so which has been really nice as the weather has been nice and the seas have been calm.

On Saturday 5th at about 1pm, I was just about to steam across to the Inner Farne when I noticed a wintering Black Guillemot resting on the water beside Gun Rock, which is a little rock beside Brownsman and Staple Island.

At first I was not sure as it kept on diving but as we got closer it surfaced just in front of the boat. I shouted at a friend as she had never seen one before. We quickly grabbed the camera's and snapped away.

Anyway here is a few pictures of this lovely bird.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year and I would like to thank everyone who has either sailed with me last year or just read my blog.

It's been a while since I have blogged as I have hardly been out around the Islands during December. The seas have been really rough and we all know how much rain we've had, but I did get out a couple of times so here is a short blog.

The last 2 trips I did was on the 9th Dec and Boxing Day and it was one of our Grey Seal Trips.
I only had 5 people join me but they thoroughly enjoyed the day out, but the Sunday's trip was cancelled due to the bad weather, which was such a pity as the gang were really looking forward to it.

I've done this trip a few times now and I still get a real buzz about it. We spend about 2 hours on the Island viewing the Grey Seals and their pups, with some fantastic views towards the Northumberland Coastline.

This trip is all about the seals, but we still have to remember that we are invading their home, so the up most respect has to be given to them, ourselves and a safe distance between ourselves and these beautiful creatures is the most important thing.

The other thing is that it's really slippy on the rocks and after telling everyone to be careful I fell over myself. Oh well I can't really go to clams direct now.

After a few hours on the Island we depart and take a slow cruise around the Islands looking for that perfect picture or just taking the scenery in. It was just a lovely day and I would like to thank everyone who joined me that day and here is a selection of seals from that trip.

We will also be doing these trips again next year and if you interested please just give me a shout.

Over the Christmas period I did get out on Boxing Day and I was really looking forward to it as there is only so much you can do at home, plus I was going a bit mad.

We had a few guests wanting to blow the cobwebs away or hangovers, so off we went. The sea was littered with branches and floating logs and see this was from all the bad weather we had before Christmas. The water was really brown and you could tell the rain had washed all the mud out of the Tweed and the tide had brought it down to the Islands, and even at the Longstone Lighthouse the water was brown.

As we arrived at Brownsman Island you could see tree's, rope, bouys and other bits of rubbish wash up on the grassy bank side. Well not so grassy bank side, as a combination of the big waves and the seals have turned it all into mud, then it hit me, "The Smell", it was stinking. This can't be the brown water, and as I got around the corner I realized it was not the water, it was the seals. Their were thousands of them, all basking in the sun, mourning and growling at each other, then giving me the look as to say "What the hell are you doing here".

I must admit it was the seal poo and its not a pleasant smell at all. I thought to myself for a while, but then I had to tell the guests what the smell was as I was getting some funny looks.

Oh well on with the trip. The seals were everywhere and the guests got some great views. We also saw lots of Turnstones, Purple Sandpipers, 2 Curlew, a Peregrine and 3 Long-tailed Ducks.

As we got towards the end of the trip we noticed a new born seal pup on the beach at the Inner Farne. I could not believe it as the seas were that big one day that the waves were as high as the Inner Farne Lighthouse and for this little fella to survive was just amazing. Whether it was born after the bad weather I'm not sure but you have to take your hat of to it for sticking it out.

Seeing the pup was just lovely but along the cliff face of the Inner Farne was a little sad as we seen a Razorbill covered in oil and it was trying to clean it off. I did not give this fella much hope but hopefully it will be ok. 

After some nice views it was time to head home, so here is a few more pictures for you.