Monday, 11 July 2011

Fantastic ferry survey (Part Two)

Hi Cliff,
Here is the second part of our Ferry Survey.
After a very short night with an off effort sighting of Common Dolphins at 4:30am by Sarah and me and a sighting of a Porpoise at 4:40am by Alan Murrow, we started our survey again in the morning. We started off at Sea State 2 but it calmed down to a Sea State 0 as we got closer towards Fishguard. Even though conditions were excellent, there was no early sign of any cetaceans.
Being far past Tuskars Rock we finally spotted the first Porpoise, shortly followed by a few more Porpoise sightings, one of a mother and a calf. We got really excited when we spotted a distant pod of 4 Risso's Dolphins and a bit later a pod of about 20 Common Dolphins leaping out of the water and coming close to the ship. As the sea calmed down, it got more and more hazy. We could see Strumble Head Lighthouse flashing through the haze, and decided to end our survey due to bad visibility.
Just as we were about to leave the bridge the crew pointed a close Common Dolphin out to us and Rhianna was quick enough to get a glimpse of it.
Even though second leg of the trip was relatively quiet we saw around 30 cetaceans of three species and had a fantastic time on the Stena Europe.