Friday, 22 June 2018

Bottlenose Dolphins

We have been seeing lots of bottlenose Dolphins again this year and it does not half give you a thrill. I never tire of seeing them and it gives our guests an extra special treat they are not expecting.

I had a tear in my eye the other day when I little boy was brought to my wheelhouse by his mother to say thank you. He went on to say that he has never seen any seabirds before as he lived in a city and this was the 1st time on a boat but what made this trip cool was seeing the whales jumping out of the water in front of the boat. Bless him, I did not have the heart to say they were dolphins as his face was all lit up with excitement. Dolphins make everyone's day but that little boy made my day.

We have been working with a few people so we are hopefully going to have a guide on some of the dolphins we have been seeing and hopefully learn a lot more about them.

Any way lets hope the sightings keep on going all year and everyone gets a chance to enjoy them.

If you would like to see lots more videos of the dolphins this year then head over to our
Facebook Page and give us a like as we post them there all the time.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Leucistic Guillemot

Its been 5 years now since myself and Andy first spotted the Leucistic Guillemot at the Farnes and this year we have eventually found its hiding place.
Its taken sometime and its still hard to find at times but what a feeling it is to be able to show our guests this beautiful seabird during the trips.
The other day while we were on one of our trips we spotted it on the water with all the other Guillemots and it was very obliging and let us get really close so we could see it in detail.

I just love this seabird and long may it entertain myself, my staff and all the people who join us.

We have also noticed a pair of Guillemots nesting on the cliff face this year which had really intrigued us, as one day its a Bridled Guillemot and the next day its a Common Guillemot. We would love to know which is the female and male but we will have to wait until closer to the end of the breeding season and hopefully we get a chance to see the jumpling take that leap of faith and see which parent is in the water.

Watch this space and hopefully we will be able to let you know but in the meantime here is some pictures of the Leucistic Guillemot.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

New Born Guillemot Chicks are here

During our Sunset Cruise on Thursday evening we spotted a few Guillemot chicks under the wings of their parents. At first we were not sure but after watching for a little bit she or he moved just enough for us to get a glimpse of the tiny chick underneath her wing.
For me this is a wow moment as I get to see them arriving, mating, sitting on the eggs and then its hatched and new life starts in front of my eyes.

We have also spotted a Bridled Guillemot and a Common Guillemot sitting on a egg this season too. This is the first time we have seen this and we are really looking forward to seeing which is the mam and which is the dad. Its not going to make any difference at all but for us its just curiosity to see which is mam and dad as its not often this happens.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Not so Common

When we were on a trip the other day, I was in the middle of my speech about the Grey Seals when Andy (my crewman) tapped me on my shoulder and said there is a common seal over there.
I put down my mic and picked up my bins for a look and there it was, right in the middle of all the grey seals.
Its been a good few years since I last saw a common seal at the Farnes and I'm surprised we don't see more of them, but this was a pleasant surprise.

You could tell its not used to boats as we were nowhere near it and it was getting really nervous so after a few pictures we left it alone.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Orcas (Killer Whales)

On Bank Holiday Monday I received a phone call from my friend Matty about some whales he had seen. Now judging by the sound of his voice this was not the normal whale sightings and I was right as it was an Orca Whale.
He was totally buzzing and so pleased to tell me that he was off for another look. I asked him if he thought I might be able to see them too if I headed straight out there but he was not sure as they were seen 6 miles away.

10 minutes later I got a call from Glen on the fishing vessel Standsure saying the same thing but he had seen more. I could not help myself, I had to rush down the harbour, jump on board the boat and go and see them. A friend of mine joined me and we headed straight out of Seahouses.

Once we arrived we found nothing and after a good look around we headed back as I had a trip out at 10.15am. We were a little disappointed but nothing ventured nothing gained.

The guys did get a little footage of video so here is the link FACEBOOK but please turn the volume down.

Here is a picture but its not very good sorry.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Eggs have been spotted

The Shags and Guillemots are now on eggs. It may only be a few but that's it the breeding season has begun. I'm not sure how the Shag season will be as we have seen lots of dead Shags along the shoreline because of the "Beast from the East" and very unsettled weather after that, but fingers crossed they make a good recovery. When I looked back at the records from last year we had our 1st shag chick hatch on the 1st May but this year the 1st egg was spotted on the 1st May, so they are a month behind. Hopefully its nothing to worry about as their breeding season is not as critical as other seabirds because they live here all year long and hopefully this is just a little blip and they will bounce back.

The Guillemots look like they are doing really well and the weather does not seem to have affected them as much as the shags. They are a hardy seabird and must put up with a lot of weather all the time. Its nice to see them again and the noise around the islands is great. The fights and the squabbles is part of life on the cliff faces and this season is no different and long may it last.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

They are back.....

Well the nations favourite seabird is back on the Farnes and its great to see them again. I must admit I do love them, as they just seem to put a smile on my face when I see them and if you know me, then that does not happen very often. Yes, I'm talking about the Puffin.
Everything about the Puffin makes me smile and its great to see them back on the islands and this year is the year of the Puffin, as the National Trust wardens are doing the Puffin census.
This happens every 5 years and it takes 3 months to do but the final figures after the count will be based on the last 5 years so fingers crossed the result will be a good one. I will post again when the results are in.

All the seabirds are lovely but the Puffin stands out with its brightly coloured bill, funky walk and its nodding head, hence its nickname is the "Tommy Noddy"

Anyway they are back and I hope you all get a chance to see them.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The start of the season 2018

The new season has begun and I was already really looking forward to it but the weather reared its ugly head and has not only spoiled it for me but lots of people who have been here on holiday. Yes I have managed to get out some days but other days  I have not even left the house its been that bad.
We hardly ever get easterly winds on this coast but since the "Best from the East" we have been getting them nearly every week. We tend to get one or two a year but I have never known as many and as often as this.
Maybe its just me, as I tend to get to excited to get back out onto the water and show people what the Farnes has to offer, but the British weather just lets you down. I suppose its only the start of April and if I could ask for one thing I think it would be for the government to fix the Easter holidays and not just for my sake. but for all those people who are here on holiday.

On a lighter note when we have made it out on the water we have been lucky enough to see some Bottlenose Dolphins, Harbour Porpoise and my brother even saw a Minkie Whale, which was a real bonus. We have also seen a lingering Black Guillemot near the Longstone Lighthouse on a few occasion's which is really nice and it was starting to change back into its summer plumage too.

The seals have been everywhere and they seem to enjoy the sun when its out too. I know they are hardy creatures, but I do feel for them when the seas are big and the islands are getting battered by huge waves. When the seas are crashing over the harbour wall I'm glad I'm not out at sea in my boat and then I think of the seals and seabirds and all the things they have to put up with especially in bad weather.

Here is a few pictures I have taken lately around the Farne Islands and watch out for our next blog as it will be about the Puffins.

Over the years I have never seen as many seals on the beach at the Inner Farne but this seems to be becoming the place to be in the winter and who can blame them as its the perfect place to chill.

Again I have never seen the seas so big this year and when I chatted to some of the older fisherman they have never seen it so big either. I managed to get some pictures of the seas going over the top of Staple Island and The Inner Farne too.

 Once again thank you for reading our blog. Until next time.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Swimming Pigs and Thunderball Grotto - Bahamas

We sailed to Cape Eutheran Marina and stayed for the night. This was just a short stay as we had some washing to do and it was a little close to see the swimming pigs.
It was a very nice island and the marina was lovely to but we all wanted to see the pigs so that's all we could think about and we could not wait to set off the next morning.
We had a lovely sail to Pig Beach even though the weather was not the best and we had showers all the way but it was the pigs we wanted to see, so the weather did not matter.

In all my life I have never seem such a funny thing a swimming pigs. It's just something I did not expect to see while I was sailing and to get a chance to swim with them and to stroke was amazing. As the weather was not the best there was no tourists around so we got the place to ourselves. If you are ever in the Bahamas then you have to go and see this for yourself as its so much fun and the pigs are very happy too.
You can feed them but you can only feed them in the water so the piglets don't get any food as it might kill them. They are just allowed their mothers milk for now until they get older. Its a great idea as you get to see them swim and if there is any bits left over it just washes out sea. You are only allowed to give them certain foods too and not anything which will affect them at all and at the end of the day they are here to help the locals make some money from the tourists.

There is a few old wife's tale that they were put on the island by a group of sailors to make space on the boat and then they were going to come back to cook them. The sailors never returned but the pigs survived on excess food that was dumped over board by passing ships. Another was they swam to the island after the ship hit the rocks and sank. Even though these are really good stories I think they were put the to help with the tourism as they do attract a lot of people to the beach. About a year ago they disappeared from the island and we were later told that some total prat, who I would to punch, gave them rum as they thought it was funny and they all died. This is why when you see them now they are all tagged and got names. I'm disgusted by humans at times if this is true but again its all gossip and deep down I hope its all lies.
What ever the truth they are here to stay and they will put a lot of smiles on people faces seeing them.

After that we went to a cave called Thunderball Grotto and if you any sort of James Bond fan this was an area it was filmed. Its a small cave been carved out by the sea and it is amazing to swim through, with fish swimming around you and very pretty. There is also a hole at the top of the cave which lets in some amazing light and as we left to go back to the boat we saw someone jumping through the middle of the hole into the cave itself. I looked at Simon and he looked at me and we both said together "We have to do that".

We all had a great nights sleep and a lovely breakfast, we could not wait to to see the pigs again and of course Simon and myself were itching to jump of the top. The weather was a little bit better and more people were around today so we headed out with high hopes of a wonderful day. The
pigs did not let us down at all and if anything they were even better than the 1st day. They were so hungry when we arrive that they nearly got into the dingy for a carrot. I have never laughed so much and they even swimming around the dingy. This was great for me as I had brought my goldfish bowl lense with me to get a half in and half out of the water pictures.

We left the pigs with big smiles on our faces and we were of to Thunderball Grotto for some more fun but just before we got there Kim shouted Stingray and before you could say Stingray again both Simon and myself were in the water swimming beside it. Wow I was blown away.

When we arrived at the grotto, we dropped the anchor and jumped into the water. We swam through the grooves in the rocks and then all of a sudden it opened up into a massive caves with a hole in the top. It was crystal clear and had loads of fish around. It is something I did not expect to be honest and again if you ever get a chance to come here then do as its amazing. After swimming through all the tunnels and caves we had a steep climb to the top and when you get there you kinda wet yourself as its higher than we first thought. I was not going to mess this one up as the hole was not as big either. Its was about 25ft high and all I can say it was a hell of a buzz. Well that's the polite words as there was a few swear ones added into that. It was Simon's turn so I filmed him coming down and I can tell you now it was so funny seeing his face when he surfaced. We looked at each other and giggled like little kids.

This was by far the best day and to make things a little bit better I was starting to feel part of the family which made things for more easier. I felt so comfortable around this family and I know they are very similar to me but when you are in their home you just want to fit in and now I was....
Why not click on this link Sailing Britican and see the video of the swimming pigs. Kim is far better than me for the videos and more consistent too.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Govenors Harbour - Bahamas

The weather was mixed as we sailed to our next destination and when we arrived we had to take a mooring boy instead of anchoring because the ground was to hard for the anchor to dig into. This is not a problem but it costs and I think we had spent enough lately. Never mind it can't be helped.
After we were all moored up we went ashore to have a look around and we decided to get something to eat there too. As we waited for our food to be prepared we were told that there was a festival on and we should go and have a look as it started about 7pm.

After some amazing food we wondered to the festival which the noise was electrifying. Lots of music being played, food stalls and beer being consumed and this was just the start of it. Sienna saw some candy floss and had to have some of it and as her back was turned I pinched a little bit. Well it was my job to wynd her up. Ha Ha.
Just after 7pm the street was full of dancers of fantastic costumes and they were being judged by some very serious judges and we later found out its a very big thing to win, plus it was on the tv too.
We never stayed to the end as it was getting late for Sienna and we were all tired anyway.

We all woke after a good nights sleep and were ready to look around and we also needed fuel for the dingy. Simon and Kim were also going to buy a sim free mobile as theirs was on its way out and they also wanted to see if they could get a good deal for the internet. After a successful day and they also got a great deal on the mobile plus internet while in the Bahamas we decided to sail to our next destination. It was only a days sail away but we wanted to that sail to be closer to the following destination where we will be able to swim and snorkel.