The winter is finally here, not in temperature but definitely in terms of wind and storms. Ed and I are keeping an hourly eye on windguru these days. The end of our time on Skomer is approaching fast (or is it?) and we were hoping to get off on the weekend or early next week. So far it doesn’t look good.
We are still monitoring the seals every day, the haul-out counts are increasing but the births are going down, however today we had another one born on Driftwood Bay. Its mum has chosen the best beach on Skomer: Driftwood Bay is basically a cove in South Haven facing North-West and it is completely sheltered from all wind directions. Northerlies get held off by the Isthmus, Southerlies by the Neck. If I were a seal I would definitely choose Driftwood Bay to give birth.
|Newest pup with mum and a Great Black-backed Gull feasting on the afterbirth|
Ed heroically finished the first stage of our new Sales Point project. Not even hurricane Barney could stop Ed drilling, sawing, measuring and swinging his level about. The new Sales Point will be able to resist even the strongest storms and we believe it will still be standing in 100 years’ time (whether the new wardens like it or not :-). In order to get the posts in we were hammering and chiselling like dwarfs for days; we had to kneel in the muck, lean headlong into a foot deep hole and pick away at the bed-rock.
|Sales Point or swimming pool - that is the question. Will the concrete set in so much water?|
|Building the new Sales Point with the sea roaring in the background|
|And finally today: the finished frame|
We have finished the winter preparations and are now waiting for good weather, the seals of course still keep us entertained and company like these two who were lying around on the slip. The bigger one has got hiccups :-)
And even though the strong winds are a bit annoying I was rather awed when I watched the enormous waves crashing against Skokholm in the distance – some were so large, they reached all the way to the top of the cliff. Here is a little clip of the Mew Stone getting hammered.