Saturday, 27 March 2010

The Farnes

The Inshore Forecast :-

Wind                      S or SW 5 or 6, decreasing 3  or 4
Sea State                Slight ir moderate, becoming smooth or slight
Surf                        1ft, 6 seconds, SE

That was the forecast on the Friday night, 22:00.  Friday had been breezy, and the inshore forecast seemed on the 'light' side.  Still who were we to argue ...

However, on arriving at Bamburgh, whitecaps were very much in evidence, and a 'good' F4 was blowing.  The SE going tide would have been flowing about 1.5 - 2 Knots.  Having driven down, the inevitable decision was to head out to Megstone 'for a look'.  We decided to head north to the lighthouse first, just to get a feel for the conditions, then if happy, head across.  The short paddle to the lighthouse at Blackrocks has as hard as expected.  But being out, agreed to head out to Megstone.  With the wind on our backs, a good 3.5/4 knots was paddled.  Sea state was a definite 'moderate', comensurate with a F4 beam sea.  Enjoyable, but concentration required.  After a wee confab, agreed to cruise down to Inner Farne.  Again, concentration required the whole way, with the boats bouncing about a bit, and the wind threatening to snatch the paddle.

A short break on Inner Farne, and another we discussion.  Whilst heading out to Longstone was a possibility, it would have been a long, very long, slog back.  So agreed to paddle round the islands about Inner Farne.  One set of overfalls made this part quite interesting. 

Coming round the south side of Inner Farne, we caught the full force of the wind and tide again, with whitecaps visible all the way up the Sound.  Took a line towards the lighthouse at Blackrocks again, and started paddling.  The waves were a boucnct three/four feet, but were regular and quite enjoyable.  Once up to about Bamburgh, we should have been in slack water, but progress was painfully slow.  I think we were all quite glad to hit the beach.

So not quite the weather we were hoping for... but an enjoyable day all the same.  Made all the more memorable by watching a bride having her photograph taken against the backdrop on Inner Farne.  Not every day you see a   bride's white dress on the beach !

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