I think I can sum up my feelings about the Isle of May in one sentence - one of the best places I've ever visited with one of the worst journeys I've ever experienced. I still maintain it was worth it, because PUFFINS, but looking at the photos still makes me feel queasy all over again... (speaking of photos, prepare for an overload!)
|Tam's mum got her hat finished!|
With our feet back on dry land, we ate our picnic, surveyed the map, and had the pleasure of catching various pairs of gulls, um, right in the middle of mating season. So...yeah. Fun. After lunch it was off to find the puffins! The boat docks around the back of the island next to the small visitor centre and toilets (the only facilities on the island)and we decided to walk to the north end first then circle back round to the south. On the way we spotted the original lighthouse, dating from the 1600s, and next to that was a much more modern version, the location of my wind tunnel moves. Seriously, lean forward as far as you dare and the wind will hold you up!
Further along the path we found them. Puffins. Puffins everywhere. All the puffins!
Finally getting to see puffins in real life was so fantastic, an amazing feeling. They're such graceful flyers but kinda funny looking up close. In a ridiculously cute way of course. And they got even cuter when Tam told me the baby puffins are called Pufflings. Dead from cute overload.
Eventually we left them to it and walked along to the other end of the island, going by a man made loch and the ranger houses. I'd expected to see more puffins dotted around but each species of bird seemed to keep firmly to its own spot. Down the other end were shags, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and some more seals. We even saw some baby shags in the nest, and a couple preening each other. Now why can't I get Tam do my hair?
After a couple of hours on the island, it was back to the boat and out to sea again. This time Tam sat inside with me while the others were on the upper outside deck. When we left, I was mentally preparing myself for another wobbly journey but I just kept telling myself it would be over quickly. Well, it wasn't. It was also much worse than the outward trip, with the crew handing out sick bags and waves pouring over the boat. On three occasions I thought I just might die, and all hopes I had of becoming a real life James Bond one day were dashed in the instant I realised I may throw up after all (I didn't. Just.) Still, I made it to dry land again, and even managed a fish supper from our favourite chippy an hour later. After spending the rest of the weekend feeling sick and dizzy though, I definitely can't claim 'I don't get seasick' any more... Tam's mum, on the other hand, thought it was the best fun ever being up there as the waves rolled up, so we'll call her Jane Bond from now on.
On that note, I'll end by saying that, contrary to appearances, I would go back in a heartbeat. PUFFINS.