Most weeks April through October she is either monitoring
the waters of the west coast of Scotland for whales, dolphins, and
porpoises, or serving as a floating classroom for one of the many Argyll
island primary and secondary schools.
log below to find out what Silurian and her crew have been up to each
week and all about the whales, dolphins and porpoises they spot!
To find out about the latest marine life sightings spotted elsewhere,
This first trip of the season was out to bring two primary schools aboard the 'floating classroom' from the beautiful island of Gigha and the picturesque village of Tayvallich on the shores of Loch Sween. We sailed down with sunshine and blue skies from Tobermory on Monday the 25th of April monitoring the marine life on the way and were excited to spot a few porpoises before we reached Gigha.
Fortunately the weather was just as beautiful when the children came aboard Silurian on the Wednesday. Everyone enjoyed learning about the touch tank full of local marine life, catching and identifying plankton, listening to different whale and dolphin sounds and getting a grand tour of the boat. In particular, when the hydrophone (underwater microphone) was put in the water for the children to listen to the sounds around the boat some whistles and squeaks were heard -- possibly the sounds of dolphins in the area!! The usual biscuit and juice breaktime was made even more special when Danny, a volunteer, recited some wildlife poems for the children. The school day came to a close all too soon and we found ourselves once again packing up and sailing off to another school.
Duncan (Skipper) teaching the children about navigating Silurian
We reached Tayvallich on Wednesday evening after a pleasant sail from Gigha. The calm of the evening turned out to be the "calm before the storm" as the next morning brought in gale force winds and very wet and cold weather. Silurian was rocking and rolling about on her mooring and therefore not safe enough conditions to bring the primary school on board. The whole crew pulled together though and packed up all the gear, including the life-sized inflatable dolphin, microscopes, mini-hydrophone, slideshows, etc . . . and brought it all up to Tayvallich school. It was a full day with the wonderful students and teachers at the school which was finished off with a very enjoyable game of Dolphin-Squid.
Nicole Freire, Education Officer
Here are a few more photo highlights from the trip:
Pulling up plankton with Gigha Primary
Marcus (first mate) sunbathing in between visits from the children
Children from Tayvallich School enjoying a game of Dolphin-Squid