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,
Monday 15th May, 2006 Anchorage Tobermory Position: 56°37.200 N 006°03.700 W The new volunteers arrived on the boat, moored in Tobermory, at 6pm on Monday night. A cosmopolitan, international group, they are Joseph (Percy) from India, Raihan from Bangladesh, Samantha from Hong Kong, Emi from Japan and Mike from…well…Mike’s from Cheshire, England, but who said Cheshire wasn't exotic? We had a good evening settling in, introducing ourselves, getting briefings on the boat, and eating epic quantities of macaroni cheese. The beauty of the area and the shock of having to living on a boat were just starting to sink in… Tuesday 16th May, 2006 Anchorage: Oban Position: 56°24.800 N 005°28.500 W Distance surveyed: 24nm The crew were woken at 6.30am, first by the smell of gas (Duncan, the skipper leapt out of bed, and dashed to the kitchen – was the boat about to go up in flames??!! Nope, the jet-lagged volunteers were just getting used to the idiosyncrasies of the stove). Next came the plaintive voice of Raihan ‘I think the toilet’s blocked!’. Rob, the first mate, with special toilet cleaning duties resolutely pretended to be asleep, but fooled nobody… After breakfast, it was time to start learning all about the science and sailing that would go on over the next ten days. Briefings included what species we’d be seeing and how to recognise them, how to use binoculars (it helps if you take the lens covers off), how to use basic deck gear, and entering visual and acoustic data in the boat’s systems. Then it was off to sea, and our intrepid observers were rewarded with some harbour porpoise sightings, loads of guillemots, and the standard issue west Scotland rain. We steamed down the Sound of Mull to Oban, where we were to tie up for the night. Some work needed to be done on the boat’s acoustic systems, and this was best done with Oban as a base. Another delicious dinner followed, and some chill out/pub time, followed by a lovely early night. Susie, Scientific Officer, UK