|Cleaned and packed for winter, the Brownsman cottage|
|Final goodbye's from the Seals|
|Door closing, Steely and Ciaran leaving for the winter|
|Relief...the boat arrives|
|Time to celebrate nine months of hard work on the Farnes|
|We're off...a very happy head ranger|
|Goodbye Farne Islands (with rough sea)|
|Landing in Seahouses|
|A mountain of stuff to move and sort|
|Recycling off the island|
|A happy but tired Seal team|
|The awards night went down well|
|Boat skipper Bobby Pearson with April and Laura|
Sunday 9th December comments: We made it. We had it all; tension, high drama and a final (unlikely) escape as the Farnes team have departed the islands.
The rangers on the islands had very little sleep on Thursday evening as the wind (as forecast) had increased from the north and when the alarm clocks broke the nightly silence at 6am, it looked as if the team would be marooned until at least the weekend. However we were not to be beaten, as the skill of the boatmen ensured the boat was sailing, despite the rough sea.
So before the sun had even thought about rising, the team were ferrying stuff from the accommodation to the jetty ready for collection (not an easy job when you have to navigate angry Grey Seals in the pitch dark!). However we completed the task and just after 8am, the boat came into view and the Brownsman team were saying goodbye to their island home soon after. Next stop Inner Farne and another job complete.
It’s a huge undertaking the final day as we move everything off the Farnes from personal kit, to generators, engines and even the kitchen sink (almost). Recycling, scrap metal, gas bottles, general rubbish, an old cooker and anything else we have collected over nine months also comes off with us. Its no easy job with a lot of lifting and organising but something this team is very use to.
Eventually, the boat set sail through Inner Sound with a celebrating team and we arrived triumphantly in Seahouses, back on the mainland. Our day wasn’t complete as everything we brought off had a home to go to, but as darkness fell, the tired team settled down for a final evening of celebration.
The evening was as good as ever, which included a spoof awards night and the rest was history (mostly a blurred history). Saturday morning brought several sore heads and heavy hangovers before the team departed the length and breath of the country (every where from Isle of Scilly, to Sheffield and beyond).
It’s been an amazing roller-coaster of a season and over the next two weeks I’ll bring you the highs, lows and everything in between including a round-up of the team and the thank-yous which go with it. Where back on the mainland and planet Farnes is empty, until we return next spring. Long live Planet Farne.