|Getting off? really? The sea state at 3pm today... (David Steel)|
|Packed for winter (David Steel)|
|Personal stuff ready to go (David Steel)|
|Get ready, mainland here we come (David Steel)|
|Cellar of the Pele Tower all packed|
Friday 6th December comments: This is it. We arrived on the islands in a south-easterly storm on 21st March and since then we have been living, working and breathing the Farne Islands. It’s been an eventful season, at times intense but as enjoyable as ever. The summer was stunning, the media coverage outstanding and the team brilliant.
Today we had two missions. To continue packing ready for leaving and a quick Seal count to try and estimate what damage had been caused by the storm surge of the previous day.
And the result? Rather more surprising than we had hoped. The two major colonies of Brownsman and Staple experienced no losses as all pups were accounted for. The protective cow seals had somehow managed to push their pups to safety, up the banks and away from danger. It was an incredible result considering the conditions. However it wasn’t all good news as the small outer-islands have experienced losses but that was expected considering the weather we’ve just had.
So that is that. All packed, all ready. Tomorrow is the big day. Just after 8am we are hoping that William Shiel and crew will be arriving on Brownsman, then Inner Farne and taking the team west to the mainland.
Or so we hope…
The ‘storm surge of the century’ smashed the islands yesterday and the residual swell is still monstrous. We have a small weather window early morning and that is our only escape, but will we make it? Its touch and go to say the least, as Mother Nature may just have one final, evil twist. Mainland here we come. Maybe.