Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Rounding Troup Head

I've visited Troup Head many times now, to see Scotland's only mainland gannet colony, but this was the first time I'd seen it from the sea.

There was a fairly big swell, but everyone seemed to be coping with it well, although we did have a few problems with keeping direction in the double. Our zig zag course worked well though, and we still made progress.

Soon we had hundreds of gannets soaring over our heads, and we stopped for a bit to enjoy the spectacle.

The swell was still a bit bigger than we'd expected from the forecast. It went down significantly there later in the day - a little late for us though. It just meant we paddled a bit out from the cliffs (much to John's disgust as he was trying to photograph us from the cliff top) and I didn't feel I could take my hands off the paddle to take photos for much of the trip.

Mostly we saw gannets (of course!) and kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots but there were some puffins around too. My best puffin sighting of the day was when one flew directly towards us with its big orange feet in full view, and then veered off a few metres before it reached us. We also saw a puffin close in to Crovie, so I'll have to keep a sharper lookout from my balcony, just in case...

When we moved into more sheltered waters and I felt able to take photos again, I discovered that my camera had some water on the lens - the first time I've really experienced that problem. So the next photos are all a little smudged looking!

Heading into Gamrie Bay. These sea stacks are the ones I can see from my house.

Soon it would be time for lunch...


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