Category: weather

The bit before Easter

The blossom is appearing all over the trees, daffodils  are springing-up everywhere, and the kids are on holiday from this friday.

Easter is upon us.

The unseasonably nice weather has got everybody moving and thinking about the summer ahead. And that include us too ! :)

We went for a quick shore-dive last night, just off Beadnell Point, and were greeted with STUNNING conditions. Still a bit chilly, but totally worth it.

Check the video below… :)

Another season over…

This time last year we were knee-deep in snow. Well, you were, I managed to make it out of the country on the last flight from Newcastle before they shut the airport due to the weather.

And look at it now – its like Spring – blue skies, sunshine, double figure temperatures… and since im still here, I have been making the most of it with some long walks along the coast.

All these shots are taken with my iPhone, and far from being high-grade, yet still capture the coast in its glorious autumn light… :)

Im off to Indonesia for a month… more at Christmas…

February… Indo, Cycling, hiking and Spring…

Wow, sorry. Guess I kinda neglected to post over the winter… :(

Its February now. Autumn feels like a long time ago. The water is SO cold now. I spent 5 weeks in Indonesia, and then went straight to Texas for Christmas for two weeks. In effect, I managed to miss all the snow chaos here in the UK and plonked myself on a nice warm beach instead. January has been pretty mild, and there has been so little swell of any significance that Ive all but given-up surfing. Almost.

Instead we have been making a couple of trips to Glenshee to slide around on the ice, and doing long cycle rides and hikes. The weather has been truly balmy by standards. Only a few days under zero, and Ive seen a few days in double figures..  in January… better get ready for Easter… ;)

And a quick video from the top of Hedgehope;

Untitled from swinhoe on Vimeo.

Im going to try and make more effort here and post more fragments and quick snapshots from the villages and area, and in that vein find below some snaps from the 4 hours hike at the weekend – Langleeford car park – up Hedgehope – around to Cheviot – top of Cheviot and back to the car park. 10 miles and a 850m vertical climb. Lots of snow and ice. Such a good day. :)

Note; All the photos and the video were taken with my iPhone – and im so impressed with its quality ! More frequent posting via the iPhone to follow.. :)

Jellyfish !!

Well, we’re pushing onwards and upwards with summer. The kids have been on holiday for a week and that means its only 5 weeks until we get the villages back and normality returns :).

Two jellies at Bamburgh

In the last two weeks we have seen the start of the Jellyfish season on the beaches. Normally, we dont see so many until September, when the weather livens-up, but with a strong Northerly/Easterly wind, they get blown inshore from sea and stranded on the beaches.

I think I’m becoming a bit obsessed with them. They are such interesting creatures. (last night I found myself trawling through the many pages on Wikipedia about the species).

Yesterday I was diving on a boat at the Farnes and Paul, and the Divers and I got chatting about the Portuguese Man ‘o War. Apparently they are occasionally spotted around the Farnes and St Abbs.

The Portuguese Man ‘o War, the Box Jellyfish and the Lions Mane are the biggest and most dangerous kinds, but are RARELY found in waters of the North Sea.

The Portuguese Man 'o War - not local to the area.

Now, LOTS of Jellyfish get washed-up along the beaches here, but rarely are any of them any real danger. Even the most dangerous Jellyfish are rarely fatal, and 99.9% of the time the worst case scenario will be severe pain until treatment is administered. Any deaths from Jellyfish stings are unlucky and are associated with people who many be allergic or be especially susceptible.

There are thousands of different species of Jellyfish, but along the beaches of the North East, you will see a regular collection of about a

Brain-like tissue and textures...

dozen, ranging in size from a centimeter to about 2-3 feet across. They come in clear, white, blue, pink, purple, red and deep red colours.

Generally the smaller pink/blue types are harmless and can be handed without injury, the darker they are the more likely they are to sting. If you are stung, the best treatment is vinegar. Take a cloth of bandage and soak it with vinegar, removing any excess, then apply to the affected area. In the rare event of  having been stung by a Portuguese Man ‘o War, don’t use vinegar – this can make the sting worse and spread it (the The Portuguese Man ‘o War is not actually a Jellyfish, but a close relative).

Foot used as scale

Remember that the stings – or nematocysts – can remain active long after the jellyfish has died or dried-up, so be careful when handling if you choose to do so. Local fishermen laugh heartily when old stored fishing gear is taken out of storage and handled months after being on the sea only to sting the new lad on the harbour not wearing his gloves.

Winter draws to a close.

Its been a heavy, cold, hard winter up here if we’re honest.

The weeks of snow, ice and cold weather were only a mild distraction from short days and dark nights.

But its now mid-march, and the weather is breaking. The snow drops are pushing through the grass, the caravan sites are re-opening and the village has some people in it once again.

I’ll have some more Spring-like shots later this week to put up, but just quickly, a look back at the winter gone.

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