Thursday, 6 June 2013

The final leg of our cetacean spectacular!

After the perfect calm of Monday evening, we awoke to a bit of a Northerly breeze combined with some tide which made the inshore area around Rosslare and beyond past the Tusker Rock a bit choppy. A cloudless sky meant a bright sun reflecting of the choppy waves which made spotting difficult. Even so we picked up the odd Porpoise and then some Risso’s not far past the Tusker.
Half a dozen fishing boats were crowding the deep channel just south of the Tusker, possibly displacing the Risso’s.  Over the years, it has proved to be a prolific area for them which is known to us as the “Risso’s Triangle” and perhaps should be protected from this kind of pressure.
 A little later some very distant dolphins were probably Commons but too far to be sure as was also the case with two other Risso’s sightings.
Maria and Jon Scones along with Rob Davies and Tim Wroblewski joined us for the return leg to Rosslare but unfortunately for Rob and Tim the wind had risen and with a bright sun we were glared out and more or less wasting our time apart for some nice sea bird watching. But even then, just as we were approaching the Tusker a Couple of Risso’s shot close by the bows and Tim got some nice shots of them. Sadly some technical problems meant the ship was delayed and we did not get a third look at the Tusker.

Rob and Tim went off on Tuesday evening leaving John and Maria to accompany Hannah and the Walrus on our last return voyage back to Fishguard. The wind had died down overnight and things were looking a whole lot more promising.  Maria and Jon kicked off with some porpoises with Hannah finding a few more.
 The walrus hit the jackpot though with a huge white Risso’s that was just logging on the surface seemingly intent on watching the ship go by.  I managed to film him and Hannah managed to get a couple of pics. He may have been an old friend as we used to occasionally see a big old white Risso’s at Strumble. We decided to call him Moby Dick in honour of the great white whale in book of the same name by Herman Melville which was partly filmed in Fishguard in 1954.

Although not quite as good as the best day on Monday we were still getting odd porpoises and a distant feeding pod of Commons and as if to put some icing on the cake a Minke surfaced briefly twice to give us four species for the day!  A couple more Porp’s as we headed past Strumble and we completed the last leg of a marathon, four day, 14 crossings of the Irish Sea!
None of this would have been possible without the help and cooperation of Stena Line Fishguard and Rosslare, whose shore side staff and management along with the ships masters and crew give Sea Trust fantastic support.