Thursday, 4 September 2014

Stena Europe Survey...

Stena Europe Ferry Survey 2nd/3rd of September
Steve Rosser, Barbara Davies and I (Verena) set off on a lovely sunny afternoon on the Stena Europe. Leaving Fishguard Harbour and passing Strumble Head we had several sightings of porpoise and two bottlenose dolphins on the starboard side of the ship. As we were entering the “Risso’s triangle” we spotted several groups of Common Dolphins, some of them coming right into the bow. Our trip ended with a fantastic sighting of a Minke Whale just outside Rosslare Harbour.
The next morning we made our way to the bridge, set up everything and had a quick look through our binoculars to see what is outside the harbour. And there it was again! A Minke Whale just outside the harbour! However, as the ship was leaving and coming towards the area, where we had seen the whale before it did not surface again. The survey continued with several sightings of porpoise. Leaving Tuskars Rock well behind we saw a group of about 7 Risso’s coming close to the ship and then one of them started breaching several times just next to the ship giving us brilliant views on it. About 10 minutes later, we saw a very distant group of 20+ common dolphins travelling in parallel to the ship, splashing and leaping out of the water the whole time. Then it went quiet. For the next 1 ½ hour all we recorded was a dead seal, tangled up in a net and floating on the surface. Coming close to Strumble Head again our survey ended with several sightings of porpoise and two pods of common dolphins coming close to the ship.
It has now been two years, since I’ve last been in Wales and on the Stena Europe. Thanks to Stena Line and Sea Trust! It was nice to be back and I had a great time!