Thursday, 2 September 2010

Another great day at the office!

After working our eye balls to gristle with only one brief Risso's sighting, despite good conditions, we copped into what appears to be the semi resident Common Dolphins off Strumble.They split into two groups ahead of the emerging Sea Lynx which was powering out from Fishguard at 35 knots. A couple more Porps added to the score but all in all and on top of yesterdays relatively frustrating afternoon, I was far from optomistic for this afternoons leg. The fact that we had seen a couple of Royal Navy ships including a "Sandown" class Mine Hunter apparently armed with SURTASS (cetacean crippling sonar) was not lightening my mood.
Meeting up with Paula and her team which included several old friends cheered me up a bit and I knew they would forgive me if we did not see much!
Sea State was one and remained so. (which I note was not the case further west Rich!) Things started slowly and the report that another Naval Warship was operating in Cardigan bay had me wondering if the skittishness of what few cetaceans we had seen recently was to down to some naval operation.
Then we had our first pod of Common Dolphins , a bit distant, but spectacular and this set the mode, with pods of dolphins some near some far some coming to the ship others going. This interspersed with odd porp's and a few of the now ultra reliable Risso's. We finished the trip with 15 encounters of the cetacean kind. Another great day at the office!