Thursday, 10 January 2013

Exciting times and media madness!

Our Stena Europe survey was pretty amaizing for one carried out in the depths of winter.
The team including myself, Hannah and Steve Rosser were not too optimistic as we headed out of Fishguard Harbour through a veil of misty rain.. Slowly it cleared and we actually spotted a porp off Strumble and later a small pod of Common Dolphins whilst we were still on the Welsh side of the Irish Sea as darkness was beginning to fall.
On Wednesday morning we sailed out of  Rosslare with little wind and a low sun just beginning to rise. The ferry had hardly got out of the harbour when we saw something surging and splashing away from us , definately a cetacean but just a brief glimpse that was too unclear to  put a name to. As we passed the Tusker a small pod of Commons came into our bows  whilst moments later a larger pod was seen heading off to our starboard side . Not long after, a third pod of about fifteen to twenty came into our bows and it began to look like we were doing pretty good.
I spotted a gannet circling way in the distance and then quite a lot of splashing. As we slowly approached the splashes became more and more, untill there were common dolphins coming onto our bow from all directions and they just kept on coming. Scores and scores, leaping and skittering, making the sea ahead of us boil, a fantastic spectacle, a superpod of at least 250 probably more like 500, impossible to count really!!!
I had managed to film it and Steve Rosser got the memory stick to the BBC in Cardiff and that started a bit of a media kerfuffle. I gave them pretty simple and precise details of what happened but by this morning  on breakfast news we had supposedly seen them of Skokholm! Ah well it had been on Radio 4 and radio2, BBC national news and BBC breakfast news , was in the Western Mail today and on RTE Irish news tonight so lets hope someone got it right!