Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dolphins and Fin Whales

At last a sunny day with light winds after all that wet, windy weather!
A Sea Trust pelagic looked set fair, yet truth to tell the sea was a good deal rougher than expected as we headed out towards Grassholm. A large swell made conditions on the Celtic Wildcat quite uncomfortable for a while until we moved further out. One Porpoise was the sole cetacean seen until we left Grassholm with it's spectacular Gannet colony behind and headed towards the Celtic Deep and beyond. Near The Smalls lighthouse we encountered a couple of pods of Common Dolphins and we were to see nearly 150 in all in the next couple of hours. Several came and rode in the bow wave but only one group seemed intent on play as they leapt out of the water, albeit some way ahead of the boat.

The grand finale came around 23 miles off St Anne's Head when a blow and a huge broad splash some distance ahead turned into views of three Fin Whales one of which appeared briefly quite close to us before heading for the depths. We drifted for some time hoping for further sightings of the leviathans but had to be content with the first brief but exhilarating views.

Quite a day!