Friday, 13 June 2014

Farne Islands - 7th June 2014

On the friday night we set off early from work in Manchester, only to sit on the M60 for half an hour due to an accident, so it took while to make our way over to Leeds and to actually start heading north. After a quick supermarket stop so Jim could buy some Alnwick Rum, we arrvied at our destination, the dive centre at Beadnell where we would camp for a couple of nights. A pleasant evening was spent cooking a meal followed by stroll down to the beach and around the village.

Jim surveys the morning's route

Saturday started off sunny with a fresh breeze, and it was in pretty good conditions we set off from the beach N of Bamburgh Castle.

Rachael and Jim with Bamburgh Castle in the background
Unfortunately not long after setting off, Rachael didn't feel too well, so we returned to the beach and after some discussion, Jim and I carried on with our original plan.

Jim at the Megstone
We planned a clockwise route, visiting the Megstone and then heading over to Staple Island and then N on to Longstone. Once we neared the main islands of the archipelago, we were surrounded by guillemots and puffins.

Jim stalking Puffins
On our way out to the Longstone,we switched to the SE side of the islands to find more sporty conditions on the "weather" side (the wind was from the S).

Jim returning to his kayak - with a seal alongside
There were plenty of seals around the Longstone who kept an inquisitive eye on us, including one that lay down for a kip alongside Jim's boat. After lunch we made our way back along the chain to Inner Farne. By this time the wind had got up some more and the conditions were quite rough on the windward side and it was nice to be able to get out and stretch our legs on the bird reserve. Note to self... take National Trust membership card next time, NOT RSPB.... hopefully I can claim my entrance fee back.

Typical Farne Island view of a Tern

The rain set in while we were walking around Inner Farne, so photo opportunities were restricted, but it was still great to see the birds so close. A quick crossing back to the mainland saw us back just before 4pm. Approximately 16.5 km paddled.

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