Farne Islands and Holy Island, Sailing around Britain 2014

Date posted: 2 June 2014

2nd June 2014, we left Blythe at 8am, we are heading to Holy Island which is approximately 38nm, the sea state is slight and the wind 0-1knot, we haven’t put the sails out yet, as it seems pointless.

As we headed out of Blythe we had to be aware of the Seaton rocks, so we are heading east for 500 metres, then our COG is 5’ for 8.5nm.

We have been called up on channel 16 and asked to go on the western side of a fishing vessel who apparently has his nets out, Tui is  on our bow at this stage and missed the call, so we just rang him!

As we motor along we have passed Coquet island which directly seaward of Amble, then further up the coast on a headland are the majestic ruins of Dunstanburgh castle.

 

Coquet Island

Coquet Island

For the last hour we have be tailed by a fisheries vessel, we wonder if they think we are pair trawling, as Tui and Kantara are motoring alongside each other. We have also watched the vessel pick up lobster pots and appear to check basket contents. It’s good to see the fisheries department in action.

We also saw this fishing vessel, which we think needs a bit of engine attention, judging by the amount of oil being burnt.

 

Fishing vessel burning far too much oil

Fishing vessel burning far too much oil

At the Farne Islands just off Holy Island, we rafted up with Tui and took the tender ashore, we anchored north of Inner Farne at an anchorage known as ‘the kettle’. We arrived just on low water at 1.20pm, and within five minutes four tripping boats arrived and turfed all their passengers out onto the island, so our trip to Farne Island was in company with about a hundred other trippers.

 

Farne Island from the west

Farne Island from the west

 

 

Rafting up with Tui

Rafting up with Tui

 

 

Seal pups

Seal pups

We walked around the designated permitted areas and were astounded by the wildlife, at close quarters we saw Puffin’s, Guillemot’s, Razorbills, Artic Terns, Cormorants, Seals, Ida ducks, Black Headed Gulls, Kittiwakes all of which were sitting on nests or feeding young. As the Puffins were returning to their nests with mouthfuls of small fish, the Black headed gulls were mugging them for their catch!

 

Thousands of birds nesting with young

Thousands of birds nesting with young

 

 

The Puffins were so amusing

The Puffins were so amusing

 

 

It was pure luck that we came at peak breeding time

It was pure luck that we came at peak breeding time

 

 

The Artic Tern nests are numbered

The Artic Tern nests are numbered

There is a church on the Island, a lighthouse and a tower, wardens for the National Trust live here for the six months of the summer season. Grace Darling is also buried here.

 

Buildings on Farne Island

Buildings on Farne Island

Whilst we were on the island the wind picked up a little and we left our anchorage under sail, the wind was south/south easterly, we managed to get up to 4 knots, then the wind just died away again to nothing!

As we entered  the Fenham flats, we lined up the West and East Beacons and entered without mishap into the Lindisfarne bay, we have anchored off the Heugh, and again Tui with Martin aboard has rafted up next to us. As we entered across the sandbar, at a quick count I noted 56 seals, then as I turned to my starboard I counted another similar number, I have never seen so many seals, just bobbing about in the water. As I am sat typing this, I can hear them calling to each other, it sounds similar to a dog whining, I know they actually say a seal barks, but it’s more of a whine.

Tomorrow we plan to go ashore and visit Lindisfarne Castle and the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory.

I hope that you enjoy the photographs today, they are some of favourite taken this year.

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