Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Just another day at the office!

from Stacey Wall...
As I was working at Celtic Diving yesterday it was just another normal day, until I saw them. It was early afternoon and I was watching two pods of dolphins right there in Fishguard Harbour. As they came in closer, milling around a guy on a kayak, I got some nice shots of dorsal fins.
The two pods stayed in the harbour for a long time. Further away the group was smaller in number, approximately 6-8 animals. The closer pod was larger, approximately 10-12 animals. I think the larger of the two were definitely feeding as their swimming seemed purposeful.
I thought they were bottlenose dolphins as they were quite large animals and I could not see any light markings. However when Cliff got a closer look he advised me they were common dolphins. The smaller pod had moved further out by this time.
As the afternoon wore on the animals behaviour began to become a concern as their swimming became slightly erratic. The tide had turned and was on its way out but it seemed the commons did not know which way to turn and they continued to swim back and forth, at some points right up to the wall. I also observed some tail slapping, and their swimming had pulses of speed mixed in.
I carried on watching and willing the pod to swim away. I love seeing dolphins but not when there is a chance of a disaster, as the tide in the harbour changes quickly. It was brilliant to see help from the rowing ladies as they tried to direct them out, and with this help and that of another boat they managed to usher the animals into deeper water. This was a relief as the light was fading but it was decided they were safe and they were left to it. Today I was happy to see no dorsal fins in the harbour!