The Otter story made the national headlines and top billing on the local Teletext news report, and even the mighty Terry Wogan mentioned it on his breakfast program. But every day is different out here and the Otter story is quickly forgotten as we've got trouble, big trouble.
The storm has been raging from the north or north-west for two days now and as each day passes the sea builds in strength, power and magnitude. The North Sea is a vast place and a northerly backed wind will whip across it, increasing the swell and the waves. There's nothing stopping it until its reaches its first breaking point; the Farne Islands. Welcome to the Farnes in late November. This morning has been incredible, as I'm witnessing waves on areas of the island I've not seen before and even standing in the centre of Brownsman I can feel the sea spray breaking over. The islands weather machine is recording a chill factor of -2.4 degrees and its only ten o'clock. This is the true raw strength of the North Sea and it's not stopping. Its brute force will ravage the islands leaving very little standing and the outcome looks bleak.
The Grey Seals out on the colonies will suffer and the fight for survival is none more apparent than on Nameless Rock, a small low lying island opposite Brownsman (see photo above). A small pup was born on their just over a week ago and its now under siege. The waves are breaking over the top, the tide is rising and it's helpless and there is nothing we can do. Will he make it? The swell is crushing everything in its path and it won't stop for a small seal pup. It's mother must be distraught but I don't fancy its chance, I really don't. I'll know the outcome in the next few hours as high tide approaches but I can only but pray for the little life on the rock.
This is just one small story of the bigger drama which will unfold over the next few days on the Farnes. Without doubt the pups are paying a heavy toll on the islands as the harsh mistress that is the North Sea will be washing them off the rocks and beaches around us. Its a cruel time of year and for young pups, they won't stand a chance if they don't find safety. Moving just a few yards further up the beach can make a huge difference between life and death, but I suspect its to late. I'm fearing the worst and those with a nervous disposition may not want to read tomorrows entry... The storm is raging.