Sunday, 13 December 2009

Grampus Greetings

After writing off November as a dead loss without a "Stena Europe" ferry survey , the first month missed since we began in April 2004, I was relieved to get aboard again yesterday.

Steve Rosser had responded to my last minute call for help and it was he that saw the splashes as we were making our way out of Fishguard Harbour, out into the bay. The sea was pretty choppy but the splashes were big enough to be discernable about a mile away. We were not sure what to make of them untill the boat got a bit closer and we saw the large raked dorsals of Risso's as they tail slapped and breached. Sadly we did not get much closer as they were heading north but it was a great start to the survey.
We added a single porpoise on the outward leg and again in pretty choppy conditions only managed another just off Pen Anglas on the way back. The forcast had looked pretty favourable but but it was certainly worth going despite the fact it was not as good as the forecast predicted.
Interestingly Risso's Dolphins (Latin Name Grampus Gresious) are a bit of a Christmas time speciality in the inshore waters of Pembrokeshire, with sightings over several years around the Christmas holidays from Strumble Head and last year Ramsay Sound !