I’ve never paddled the Farnes before, but I remember years ago watching very enviously a group of Sea Kayakers setting off from Bamburgh, when my kids were little and we were on holiday in that part of the world. Happy Days!
Mike Robson put out an email saying he was running a trip on the Sunday out to the Farnes. As it is a heck of a long way for me I travelled up on the Friday night to make a weekend of it.
Arriving late, I parked up in the free 24hr car park with the helpful no sleeping, cooking or camping sign, wondering what they were going to do if I dared to dose off. So I decided to take advice from the highways agency, pulled the blinds up on the van and took a well earned rest. Well you should not drive tired! After a good nights sleep I woke to beautiful blue skies and after breakfast set off to the beach.
The pictures below say it all really. The sunny ones are from the Saturday, dull cloudy ones from Sunday. Click on the images for the full screen versions. Use your browser back but to get back.
A little short video of a snoring seal I saw near Megstone:
Unfortunately, the following day the weather was quite dull. There was some discussion on which way the tide was running, or I should say a general lack of tidal planning and the group size was a little large. Having previously worked out the tidal vectors the day before, I was somewhat cheesed off when I got shouted at by Mike for paddling too far right (my 80 degree vector). Even using a transit from Longstone lighthouse you could see that we were be swept in a NW direction and we would end up having to paddle back to Megstone! I was beginning to think coming as part of such a big group was not such a good idea. Later on as the group became more and more spread out, myself and another became separated from the others on the way back to Bamburgh. We were now paddling very much against the flow and stopping was only pushing us back down towards Seahouses, so we carried on until the beach at Bambrugh was reached. As a consequence paddlers arrived in dribs and drabs and Mike again was once again none to happy. In hindsight, I was wrong to leave the others and I have since apologised to Mike. Some useful lessons were learnt by me and perhaps by others too.
Both days I forgot to turn my GPS on at the start… Blue is from my solo Saturday and the red route is from the Sunday!
On the subject of tidal planning I have created a spreadsheet some pages on Tidal Planning one of which just happens to be for the Farne for the same date as this trip. See Tidal Planning (Part 2).
Overall it was an amazing weekend! Thanks to Mike for organising.