Life in the freezer …..

….. and this is not about polar bears …..but it could be its that cold ….. but it is all relative.

We’ve had the first real snow of winter and temperatures have been as low as -10C and what does the Boss do?

She finds a small boat and a bunch of Relative Hill baggers and visits a colony of gannets – yes really!

She has been off to Bass Rock located off the southeast coast of Scotland near Edinburgh and – because it is a protected bird sanctuary – it can only be accessed at certain times of the year.

The only gannet seen on this trip was this one in the harbour …..

And this one seems to know the in-joke of what was coming.

And those times of the year may not be the best weather-wise, as this time of year would prove to be.

And a best foot forward was certainly required to get onto the said boat from the icy/slipery landing stage.

So a boat is required …… it might not be the size of a research vessel but it did have GPS, VHF and radar – and a satnav!

A rapid exit fro the harbour in North Berwick before the squally sleety snow arrived that could be seen on the horizon.

A spotter just to keep an eye out …

Here is the destination about 2 nautical miles away – glinting in the sun between sleet showers.

The landing stage is actually a set of steps at the water line beneath the lighthouse, which is also an Ordnance Survey triangulation station, the rock is a HUMP (a hill more than 100m high all round) and it is a SIB (Significant Island of Britain >30 hectares in footprint).

All going well until the sleety squall arrived faster than anticipated and it got a bit choppy and quite wet.

Closer and closer …….

And then it became clear that the state of the tide and the direction of the wind and the choppiness of the sea were going to make it very challenging to land indeed …

as the steps were awash and the hand rail had gone.

Steps were very slippy looking indeed.

So, thoughts of the better side of valour kicked in, and it was not to be this time, so a quick lap round the island …

….. to look at the gannet guano before heading back to shore – to plan another trip before all the birds arrive back from their winter holiday in Africa – don’t blame them for going south based on the weather during this visit.

It is a volcanic plug by the way, that has had all the softer rock it intruded into worn away over the millenium of geological time.

It is also amazing how beautiful ice can be …..

and it doesn’t seem to bother the snowdrops starting to pop their heads up …

…… but the polar bears must feel right at home!

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