Thursday, 29 March 2012

Bay of Dolphins!

Hi Cliff- Glad to hear you had a good survey on the 'Stena Europe' ferry on Wednesday. I sailed back on her this morning after spending a few days in Ireland. I was eager to get out on deck so I left my dear wife 'cwtched up' nicely in the 'Premium Plus' lounge! (very nice too). I can assure you that I had my fill of 'free' crisps, wine, coffee, olives etc; (well it wasn't free really as we paid a bit extra for the privilege but it was a nice treat!). A black cat perched on a 'very' high wall at the Rosslare ferry terminal watching the boarding proceedings was probably a good omen. Anyway enjoying the lovely black 'gillies' in Rosslare harbour is always a pleasure as we sailed out into a sea state 0 to 2 (it remained like that all the way across). As you know we sailed out at the usual time of 9am and by 9.15am I had spotted 4 porpoise feeding around the area of the buoys (port side) and at 9.30am came the tell tale signs of 'splashing' ahead of the ship and sure enough I had by first sighting of common dolphins of the year. They were foraging quite steadily with the occasional breach, they were spread out into around 3 close groups and I estimated their numbers to be in the region of 60 plus animals. I'm sure I saw a few with calves too (is it to early?). They were fairly close to the ship but weren't interested in 'bow-riding'. A nice little group though. I didn't get anything then until we were just about to enter Fishguard harbour when I spotted a single distant porpoise. Bird-wise I had my first 'kirriking' sandwich terns of the year and at about 11.15am far away from land a pair of ravens flew over the ship! I reckon they were probably flying in the direction of Ireland (N or NW anyway).