Wednesday 12th 2015 was a fantastic night for storms, but not the storms you are thinking off.
It started with a text message about 7.30pm, saying “would I like to go out to go out to the Inner Farne to see some Storm Petrels” The second I read it I said Yes, and then I thought oh no, my boat is in the corner and it will be high and dry. My heart sunk but then they said they were not going to start until 10pm. Pheww as my boat would starting to float by then but it would be more like 11pm before I got out there. Not a problem at all I was told and before I knew it I was on the boat heading out to the Inner Farne.
Its a little bit weird going out in the pitch black and it does not bother me, but there was loads of lobster pot buoys around and I was scared I would hit one as that would not have been fun at all.
I managed to avoid all of them which is good news and it was not long before I reached my mooring at the Inner Farne. Once I was moored up the rangers came over on their zodiac to pick me up and take me onto the island.
Once I arrived and the zodiac was tied up, I looked up into the sky and it was crystal clear. The stars were shining brightly and the milky way was just beautiful. It felt a little bit strange being there during the night but at the same time peaceful.
The lads told me that they had already caught one and were hoping for more, so my fingers were crossed as I was desperate to see one. After a bit of a chat with everyone I went outside to take some photographs but I was not really sure where to start. Probably the excitement was getting to me.
I had hardly had a chance to set up my camera when I got a shout to say that they had caught one. I ran down to the Pele Tower as quick as I could, where they were just about to ring it and I was gob smacked just how small it was. I knew they are small but it’s not until you see them in someone’s hand do you realise how small they are. They say good things come in small bundles, well in this case they are true. What a cracking little bird and to think that they live their life on the sea, makes it even more special.
The lads ears must have been bleeding with all the questions I was asking, but if you don’t ask you will never learn. After they ringed the bird they took it back down the water to release it.
I was buzzing as it was a lifer for me and so far this was a night I will remember for the rest of my life but that was not the end of it. After taking a few pictures of the meteor storm, which I was not really successful at I got another shout that they had caught another one.
This time it had got itself a little tangled so they were carefully getting it out if the net. While one of the lads slowly getting the net of it’s wings another bird hit the net but quick as a flash they got it out before it struggled and got itself all tangled up. Great result.
If you are not sure how they are catching them, then what they do is put a special net up and have a tape recording of the birds call which makes them think they are close to a breeding colony and fly into the net. No harm is done to the bird and its great for studying these special seabirds.
After the guys ringed them and done all the data checks they once again released them down a the jetty. I was once again smiling like a Cheshire cat but as I looked over to the land I noticed the cloud rolling in so I decided to grab another couple of pictures before I headed home.
As I was taking a couple of pictures I looked a the camera and thought the lights of Holy Islands were really bright but then a few minutes later I got a text message saying that their was an aurora to the north. What a plonker and I thought it was the lights of Holy Island and all along it was an aurora.
A few more picture and then it was time to head home. Once I was close to Seahouses I looked at the clock and it was nearly 3am. Where does time go when your having fun, but at that moment in time I did not care at all as I saw things most people would never see in one night and I was a happy lad.
So there you have it, 3 storms in one night. The pictures are not very good sorry, as I was having loads of blonde moments with my camera.