Friday, 29 July 2011

Party time on the Isle of May

Heading out from anstruther

Trevor nearing the May
Trevor, Ken and Kevin
On Saturday 16th July we had a wee jaunt across to the May Isle. We had quite a late start due to me having to go in and do some work first. Trevor, Kevin, Ken and myself all met up in Anstruther at 3.30 and headed out to the island. There was a nice gentle swell going over and loads of puffins and gannets to be seen. It wasn't long before we arrived and started to explore the caves and arches that are dotted around the island.

Kevin and Sarah
Sarah and Kevin

The last time we were over we never got near to the cliffs due to the waves crashing, so this was great fun. Coming round to Pilgrim's Haven, we heard lots of singing coming from one of the caves. I went over to have a nosey. As my eyes adjusted to the dark of the cave, I saw seals swimming around me. At the very back of the cave was a rocky beach with masses of seals all having the time of their lives, singing, until they decided to take the plunge all together. All I can say is, my reverse paddling is good enough for me! They all came out bobbing around the boat, being nosey back.

Cormorants or Shags?

Whose going to run the gauntlet first?
We carried on round watching various gulls perched on the tiniest ledges with fluffy babies. How they survive, I'll never know. Some of them were quite low and close to the water. If there was a slightly larger swell a lot must be washed away.

We stopped off at Kirkhaven, where the jetty and visitor's centre is. We had arrived after the last boat trip had left. The other island inhabitants must have realised this and had also come out to play. There were hundreds of rabbits bobbing all over the place. With no predators out there, they must be breeding like, well, rabbits! Back in the boats, we carried on past the Middens. This must be the Puffin section. Although we had seen Puffins all round the island, this is the section where they were flying round in large clouds, a bit like starlings in the evenings. Before we left the island, we were followed again by more playful seals. It's great just sitting still watching them glide under the boats in the clear water.

Kevin's forgotten his boat
Young Trevor back on dry land
Heading back to Anstruther, the sky darkened and the thunder started crashing over towards Edinburgh. All very well if the lightening stayed over there as well, I didn't fancy being out on the open sea with no shelter in the middle of a storm. We arrived back with thankfully no lightening strikes. By now it was raining heavy. As we turned into the harbour, we saw we had a long walk over mud and seaweed. By the time we slithered up to the cars, the rain was coming down in bucket loads. We tied the boats on and got changed quickly before heading back along to the chippy, then into the pub next door for a quick pint, well, we'd earned it.

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