Saturday, 6 March 2010

Commons not common but they are still there!


A Stena Europe Ferry Survey was completed with Aniek van den Berg and Ernst Schrijver, two young Dutch students who have been braving the cold and surveying our porpoises in recent weeks. Our outward leg on Friday proved the most profitable and was completed in sea state one and in daylight for the first time this year. Our porpoises failed to show at Strumble although they had beed seen in numbers the day before by A&E .soon after the gang of Herring Gulls that had been hitching a lift with us flew off to our starboard side drawing our attention to a pair of Common dolphins which were beating a hasty and pretty discrete retreat from us. Had it not been for the nosy gulls we might easily have missed them! Porpoises were seen on the Irish side as we approached the Tusker Light Rock including two mothers with small calves.

The return Journey was in a choppy sea and though we searched hard, nothing was seen until just off Strumble when a shaft of sunlight revealed two porpoises subsurface surfing, close to the ship. Ermst spotted them and it was a just reward for our efforts. Sea Temperatureof 6 degrees Celsius was recorded off Tusker with 7 degrees given for the Turbot Bank, as against 8 degrees on our last Fishguard Rosslare trip in February!