With this favourite old Sunderland lustre mug as a constant reminder in the kitchen....I have always wanted to take a boat trip off the Northumberland coast and visit the Farne Islands.
A group of Islands not only famous for the puffins and grey seals, but also the heroine Grace Darling and her father who rescued the survivors of the Forfarshire Steamer in September 1838 after it ran aground in a violent storm.
You can read more about her here
They lived in the Longstone Lighthouse pictured above.....on one of the furthest islands from shore.
So, it was on a glorious day last week that we took the Golden Gate boat complete with lots of four legged friends....dogs being welcome to take the trip out and explore the rocky island, which I thought was a great idea.
As we approached the island, camouflaged, fat grey seals posed on the rocks for the cameras.
Having landed we walked towards the freshly painted lighthouse...
Took the steep ladder steps to the top,
To admire the view and listen to the history of the huge light.
Then back in the boat, hugging the islands rocky outcrops,
Where the seabirds nest ...
A fabulous and informative two hour trip for the bargain price of £10 per person....most definitely one to do again next year, earlier in the season, to see the puffins who have now flown back to Scandinavia for the winter.
Final factoid from the Skipper in his Northumbrian twang,
"Puffins only lay one big egg a year....they dig two burrows...one for a bedroom the other for a toilet."
Well there you go...
He didn't say they look like woolly pom poms when they are babies though...