Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Ferry 'Survey' in the FOG

Laura, Rens and Steve left Fishguard on Stenna Europe with high hopes. Sea state 3, sunshine and good visibility (looking inland). Laura soon had us of to a flying start with a single porpoise but then we hit a bank of fog before we reached Strumble. We kept waiting for it to clear but we eventually discovered that there was over 50 miles of it!! Laura and Rens soon got the timing for fingers in ears to ease the pain of the foghorn. It cleared a couple of miles off Rosslare so we gallantly started surveying but there was nothing to be seen. We started packing up but the Captain suggested we hang on because there had been a dolphin off the jetty all the week. We were rewarded with some nice views of the resident bottlenose dolphin. Laura and Rens even went up onto Monkey Island (the roof of the bridge) for better views. The following morning was bright and clear so I took an quick stroll on deck before breakfast. The bottle was patrolling just off the jetty. We had an excellent fried breakfast which was a novelty to Laura and Rens because such fare is not consumed in their home countries. We got on the bridge in good time, recorded the 5 black guillemots in the Harbour and prepared for the survey. As we left the berth the fog arrived. The bottlenose was nowhere to be seen so we were resigned to a poor trip. The fog cleared about three quarters of an hour out of Fishguard so we started again. We recorded half a dozen porpoise before we docked.