Category: winter

The half-mile paddle-out….

… and the month-long storm that caused it.

Sorry its been so long. Winter has been a miserable affair this year.

I got back from a weeks snowboarding in Slovakia last week. It was about -27 at its coldest over there in the dumping fresh snow.

Yet when i landed back in Edinburgh I already knew it was colder, dark and more miserable here. We had heard on the saturday of the ship that ran aground at the Farnes.


We followed the updates and gossip on FaceTube and also kept an eye on the weather forecast. It was bleak. – Cold. Hovering just above freezing, with gales from the East. This meant big seas.

That forecast was 10 days ago, and the weather front arrived on the coast before we did. Its also looking to stay the same, for another two weeks, right through Easter weekend.

So there have been some proper big days on the sea, and plenty of casualties along with it. Seals, both adult and pups have been washing up all over the beaches. Along with a wide assortment of bird; Terns, Gulls, Guillemots, Razors and even Puffins, dozens of them.  Its quite sad.

And what of the MV Danio ? the 80m freight vessel that managed to ‘miss’ the mighty Longstone lighthouse and park herself on the rocks a mere 30m away ?
Well the Danio is still there, waiting for the right tide to take her off the rock. Rumor is that they are going to move her tomorrow (26th March). A tug from Leith is moored just North of the Farnes waiting for the weather to break. I snapped a quick picture of the rope that has been shipped in to help move the 2500 tonne vesel. £20,000 worth of 6-inch thick rope….

And in the last 12 days, with seas as big as have been seen for a while, one boat has been the only one leaving the harbour at Seahouses. Stand Sure, skippered by Jonathan Dawson has been assisting the salvage team, moving people and equipment between the islands and the harbour in 6m seas… not a job for the faint hearted !

Lets hope they get her of the rocks in the next few days, nothing too bad can really happen, but it will be a mighty mess if she wont float off and sail away…


Into the unknown…

We have tried to let winter pass quietly this year. But we still managed to slip away for a week and explore a corner of Eastern Europe… Slovakia.

Into the Unknown…. Snowboarding Jasna / Chopok, Slovakia 2013 from swinhoe on Vimeo.

Thanks to all the guys at Propaganda Snowboards for hosting us…

A quick snap of the Aurora Borealis

We dont often see the Northern Lights this far south as a rule… but two weeks ago we got a treat.

Aurora Borealis over Bamburgh Beach

This shot is via James Cummings – good work young man.

Sadly I missed this wondrous sight as I was out of the country, sliding down an Alp. Hopefully I will get another chance to this this sight at home. :)

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.. :)

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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