Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Serenity 3

We are pleased to announce that we have eventually got another catamaran and she's called Serenity III. She is a smaller version of Serenity II but good things come in small bundles.

She has been in the boat yard for sometime now, but she is eventually home in Seahouses harbour were she belongs and ready to take our guests out and enjoy the wonders of the farne islands. 

My brother has done a vast amount of work on this boat and deserves a massive pat on the back for it. The paper work alone has been mind blowing but he did it and when you look at the boat its a job very well done.

This was an old boat we bought so it was a little bit harder getting her back into working order. We had to save as much as we could of the old boat but the wheelhouse was irreparable and the MCA agreed that we could put a new one on her. We did do a few new things but they just made sense and it would have been silly not too.

Since we got Serenity II and we found out just how good catamarans are it just made sense to get another one and we are really pleased with her so far.

So if you don't have sea legs then our catamarans are the boats for you, and if the like a boat with 360 degree views and the perfect platform for viewing the farne islands then look no further than Serenity II and Serenity III.

I recognize some faces on board her too and I hope they are enjoying our new boat. Remember "Sir"


Sunday, 29 May 2016

It must be love....

Sometimes you see things around the islands and you have to take a second look. I noticed a pair of shags enjoying each others company on the edge of the cliff face and it caught my attention.... Ahhh and before you say pervert or a pair of shags, shagging it was nothing like that at all. It was more than that.... it was LOVE...

Their necks were interlocked with only eyes of each other. (until I turned up) They ruffled each other feathers and then gently rubbed bills together. It was beautiful to see and something I will never forget.

The guys on the islands might see this all the time but when you are on a boat and not staying around for long, then you tend to miss all this kind of stuff, so for me its was special to witness.

Number 10 is my favorite but which is your favorite and why? 
















Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Kill

Yesterday (21/05/2016) we witnessed a Great Skua trying to kill a Herring Gull.

Yes, I know you might not think this is a great blog but for me this had to be blogged, just to show you the other side of nature.
It's not everyday you get to see a great skua close up but to witness one killing a herring gull, right in front of my eyes was something different. I have seen them before at the farne islands but not as close up as this one, and I have also seen them bully seabirds for their food which is what they are all about but to see one killing a gull for food is something that I have never witnessed before and a day I will never forget.

I have always been a lover of these birds and I think its their style and aggressiveness that I admire the most.
I know they see other birds with food and they pinch it and I know the other birds have worked hard to catch their food, and for someone to come along and pinch it but you have to take your hat off to them.
They don't just pick on small birds either as I have heard stories from other birders that they have seen  skua's  take down a gannet to get their food. Now you have to have some balls to do that as they are a big seabird but I suppose it's survival of the fittest and these birds just don't give up, so to see one the other day killing a herring gull it just goes to show you that will not stop at anything to survive.

I think the pictures will tell you the story better than I can and the fear in the gulls eyes tells you another story.

For more about these birds have a look here...   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_skua

Friday, 13 May 2016

Another Aurora

We had another little showing of the northern lights again this week. It was not a great show but I'm not complaining one bit as they are always great to see.

I think this might be the last one as its getting really light now and it did not get really dark until midnight and it started to get light again by 2.30am so if we do manage to see another show it will have to be sooner rather than later.

So if you are ever in the area and you here about the lights then head to a dark place away from the street lights and you may be able to see them.

Stag Rock in Bamburgh is a good place or be lazy like myself and head to Seahouses beach just like the pictures below. I also think when the tide is out its a bit better, as it shows you some nice ripples in the sand and reflections too. 

Friday, 6 May 2016

St Cuthberts Chapel

On the 5th April was a momentous day for everyone associated with the Farne Islands as it was the day the chapel cross was put back in it's rightful place. After a 16 year absence it was great to see the cross in it's full glory as you walk up the newly laid boardwalk towards the chapel. 
St Cuthbert's chapel is a Grade 1 listed building and steeped in history, so it was very important to get a new cross erected as soon a possible. A donation box was placed in the chapel and the money that was raised went towards a new cross. 
A new cross was sculpted by David Edwick who also installed it with Nick Lewis who is the house steward from Lindisfarne. The old cross stood there for 160 years until it was blown off in gale force winds in the winter of 2000, but today it's back where it belongs. 

When I look up towards the chapel from the boat, I get the feeling that St Cuthbert would be very proud of this moment and so he should be as it's great to see the cross back where it belongs and history is once again rewritten. 
I think a big thank you goes to everyone who put money toward this beautiful cross and thank you for being part of this little bit of history.

The rangers mending the boardwalk towards St Cuthberts Chapel. Note no cross.  

The cross back where it belongs.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Guillemots on Eggs

On Saturday we noticed Guillemots on eggs at Staple Island and Brownsman Island and as we looked around we noticed not just one or two but a lot.
So there we have it, the season is definitely underway and we only have to wait for the next 40 or so days and we will have our first chicks of the season.
Exciting times are ahead and everyone at Serenity is really looking forward to it.

We also have had some dreadful weather lately and we have hardly been at sea, so this is why I have never blogged for a while.
I also took a cheeky week away to the sunshine and I could not have timed it better as I only missed one day at sea.
It was great to get away, but a real shock to the system coming back from 30 degrees to 1/2 degrees.

Serves me right eh..... lol.

Over the last few days we have seen Guillemots on eggs, a Gannet sitting on the cliff edge with all the Guillemots and not a care in the world, Kittiwakes building their nests, 3 seals with tags but I have to say the tags are dreadful as the numbers just rub off which is really annoying. Some dirty Puffins and a good showing of Bottlenose Dolphins on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday there was about 60 and Sunday about 15. Great to see and once again our guests had big smiles on their faces.

Fingers crossed this weather starts to behave itself and we have a good summer but sometimes you can get some nice pictures when the weather is changing all the time.