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Farne Islands

An hour north of Newcastle is the coastal town of Bamburgh, famous for its castle and beaches, 2 k off shore lie the Farne Islands, there can be up to 28 of them depending upon the tidal state.  We paddled out to Inner Farne, Knoxes reef and the East and West Wideopens.

Leaving the beach just after high tide we had the benefit of a slight tail wind that became a crosswind as we headed out.

Looking out to the islands from the shore

about half way battling the current and crosswinds

The Islands get about 45,000 visitors a year, you can’t officially land on the Islands until 1.30pm, but the guys let us land on the slip way before the boatloads of visitors arrived, staying below the high water mark we avoided having to pay the national trust landing fee

Looking to the outer Islands

The Islands are known for their bird life, with puffins dominating there are colonies of terns, gulls and of course the shags!

The clear waters are popular with divers, who can explore any of the hundreds of craft that have foundered on the rocks over the years

The local grey seal colony seemed friendly enough, about 40 of them left the beach to join us in the water, following us for a time, swimming around and under the boats.

Columns of Dolerite rise vertically providing nest places for hundreds of breeding pairs of birds.

Moments before Simon got caught up in a rip just as we left the lee of the Island and capsized, just to keep us on our toes Saira binned it too

We headed up to the top end of the Island to begin the ferry back to the beach.

Huge thanks to Aaron at Robin Hood Water sports for sorting some boats out for us.