On board Silurian
Silurian is HWDTs research and
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,
If you would like to send the crew an e-mail with your questions click here.
Click here to view the Silurian Log archive.
Bottlenose Dolphin Survey 27th July
Position: 57' 53.471N 07' 2.776'W
The weather this morning promised a good day as the eiry fog from yesterday had lifted. The sea was as calm as a mill pond and as we set out we were greeted by a small pod of porpoises which were unusually friendly. As the day progressed we logged cetaceans and seabirds along the coast of Harris, spotting several groups of gannets feeding. Unfortunately we have yet to find any bottlenose dolphins but we are doing some detective work along the way. It is Laura's (the Sightings Officer) job to speak to local boat operators and fishermen as we go along to get an idea of bottlenose dolphin movements locally.
After a very Scottish dinner of haggis, with all the trimmings we set anchor in the beautiful bay of Taransay and went ashore for a walk. We rounded off the day with whisky and oat cakes.
Kimberley Pavyer, HWDT Volunteer
Bottlenose Dolphin Survey 26th July - 2nd August
During the next two trips on the Silurian, HWDT will be collaborating with scientists from Aberdeen University in a nationwide bottlenose dolphin survey. Silurian will serve as a support vessel assisting the Aberdeen team, who will be searching the coasts for bottlenose dolphins in a RIB.
26th July Scalpay Harbour, Isle of Scalpay
Position: 57' 51' N 006' 57' W
We set off from Kyle of Lochalsh under great conditions and soon spotted our first porpoise alongside a surfaced submarine. Conditions soon dissolved into no visibility, and effort was stopped, although skip managed to site a Minke whale at close quarters which we soon lost in the fog. The rest of the trip across to Harris was occupied by many cups of tea and hopeful chats about the possible change in the weather. Our journey into Scalpay aged the skip by twenty years as we encountered a bridge that was just, and I mean only just bigger than the mast, but he got us through in one piece and into anchor even though you could barely see then end of the boat.