Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Great Northeast Adventure - part 1

A trek up to Northumberland brought me to meet up with friends old and new at Beadnell on the Northumberland coast. I set out from home early on Saturday so as to arrive in time for a paddle around the Farne Islands.

The winds had settled down overnight so we set off from Harkness Rocks towards the Longstone Lighthouse. As we drew nearer the abundant wildlife became obvious. There were sea birds all around us; rafts of puffins on the water, terns swarming over the low-lying land and guillemots standing guard upon each headland. A young inquisitive seal watched us as we ate our lunch.

Following a visit to the Inner Farne to watch the puffins clown like antics and have our heads pecked by terns, we got back on the water to head back to the beach where we started in the shadow of Bamburgh Castle.

On Sunday it was race day. So we headed off for the seaside town of Amble for the annual Coquet Island Race. The event starts on the estuary of the Coquet River, through Amble harbour, round Coquet Island and back again.

North West Sea Kayakers provided a good supply of paddlers with Kate Duffus taking the honour of first lady and John Bunyan taking second overall to finish.

Many of us are staying on for a few more days to make the most of the fine weather so to start the new week we embarked upon the classic border paddle from Eyemouth to Berwick. To start with we headed further north to have a look at the awesome cliffs at St Abbs Head.

Further south the spectacular scenery is relentless with sandstone cliffs riddled with caves, gullies and arches.

I'm heading south now to the less well paddled areas of Northumberland and then to the cliffs and stacks of the Tynemouth area.

No comments: