Sunday, 11 September 2016

Great Start Unfortunite Finish 10/09/2016

A great start to the day with a sighting of Common Dolphin off the lighthouse at Strumble within ten minutes of arriving. Some twenty or so were milling around with a few feeding rushes observed before they moved off to the west. Porpoise action was slow due to the small tides and those that were there were not showing very well.
      A move in to the breakwater and a bit of a wait until the Bottles showed up with several animals in two groups moving into the far side of the bay. The timing was perfect as Cliff was bringing some people out to do a dolphin watch at that time. Now for the unfortunite bit. On a good day for boating and with several fast boats in the harbour and beyond we have always had a fear that at some time an incident may occur. With the dolphins heading deep into the harbour they were sighted by Kayakers and a speedboat just Goodwick beach side of the entrance to Lowertown. I have to praise the speedboat owner/operator as they stayed still observed and filmed the dolphin and then let them go on their way taking no further action or attemping to follow them. However,  some other boat owners were not so understanding with one craft tracking the dolphin as close as 3-4 metres at times and following them all around the inner harbour. Others joined in and at one stage the dolphins looked visibly agitated as three boats approached in a tight group. The dolphins eventually made a break for open water and as they approached our position a shout went out to back off from Cliff and indeed two boats peeled away and turned back into the harbour. Sadly one owner took offence and approached us being very confrontational and abusive to Cliff. I will leave it there as the authorities have been informed and I do not wish to prejudice any proceedings that may follow.

Praise indeed for this group who had a great and respectful encounter with the bottlenose leaving them to go on their way without disturbance.

                                               A chase at speed with a dolphin just ahead.

                                                              Another boat joins in

                                 Hemmed in. The other boat is just out of frame on the right.

                                        Just too close! The boat is underway and following.