One of the wardens and a researcher needed to get over to Skokholm for some bird ringing/banding training, so I volunteered to take them over in the zodiac.
It wasn’t really feasible to leave the zodiac anchored off or moored, so I just did a quick drop off in the morning. I took one of the guillemot researchers, Julie, with me so that on the way back I wouldn’t be alone in the boat. There are some pretty exciting tidal currents around the islands, but it was all fine, even with a tired old boat with a keel that deflates itself in a matter of minutes. Fortunately the rest of it manages to stay inflated!
At high water with a little bit of swell sloshing around it was a case of nose in to the rocks and scramble out of the bow, trying not to slip over and back into the sea! Delivery complete and it was a slow trip back to Skomer taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the cliffs on the way.
In the afternoon it was time to pick up the guys, I had to take someone with me again, so Elspeth (a guillemot PhD student), and Catherine, the conservation long term volunteer came for the ride. Being low water I was able to tie up the zodiac safely (aided by slippery rock scrambler Elspeth), and we went for a look around.
The cottage is really lovely, with a cosy lounge area that includes a multi-fuel stove.
The toilet includes this stunning stained glass window. It’s a pretty amazing work of art and probably means people spend longer in there than they really need to! There is also a rare bird wall with some paintings of rare birds that have been seen on the island.
There was such a different feel to the island, a much quieter, more relaxed atmosphere compared to the busy hustle of Skomer. I guess that is mostly the coming and going of overnight guests, and day trippers. Hopefully I might get a chance to go over again later in the summer when Guillemot monitoring and counts are out of the way.
Better post this now, it’s been in the pipeline for a few weeks, and interrupted by counting thousands of Guillemots every other day.