Wednesday, 13 June 2012

It begins to kick off!

Another last minute Stena Europe Ferry Survey with Cristina Munilla , Stevo and Tony Lucas, juggling weather forecasts, managed to find us out in the St Georges Channel in near perfect conditions, expectations were high. I was hoping for our first Risso's of the year and maybe a repeat of last years Minke bonanza. Porpoises obliged from Pen Anglas onwards until about halfway out when a few of pods of Common Dolphins added to the tally, with more porpoises as we steamed through past the Tusker.

The long midsummer days afforded us a second bite of the cherry on the evening return from nine pm till almost ten, that brought several more porps some more commons and a Minke cruising past the Tusker Rock Lighthouse!

This morning found us back in Rosslare with perfect glassy overcast sea. Things started kicking off with several porps swiftly folowed by a distant loosely associated pod of Risso's which Cristina scoped and identified a couple of calves. The Isle of Inishmore ferry preceding us out of the harbour had probably dispersed them making them difficult to count but we settled for about eight adults and at least two calves. Back and bang on schedule!

More Porp's and three more Minke's two of which eventually gave great views having first been spotted at extreme (2 mile + disatance ) had me thinking things were probably too good to be true and about halfway back the wind got up with some rain dissapating the view and roughing the sea up. Closer to the Pembrokeshire shore, things calmed down and we managed a couple more porps, for a total of 67 porpoises with 83 commons, 10 Risso's and four Minke's, not bad for a total of around 7 hours of effort!