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.
Friday 22nd June
Our final marine workshop of the week was with Small Isles Primary School, Jura. They spent the day on Silurian learning about the boat and its research equipment (such as the hydrophone and binoculars) and also about marine life – from lobsters to plankton. Lunch was enjoyed on deck in the sun. Here are some of the highlights:
‘I liked holding the starfish.’ Melissa the mussel
‘Today I saw a lobster and a crab.’ Becky
‘One thing I enjoyed today was the lobster.’ Gavin the gull
‘I liked looking at plankton and the lobsters and crabs and searching for things on the boat.’ Dom the dolphin
‘I liked looking at the starfish.’ Billy
‘I liked holding the crabs.’ Kyle
‘I liked the starfish.’ N icky Mulholland
‘I liked looking at the crabs.’ Ryan the rock
‘I liked holding the starfish and liked the treasure hunt.’ Drew
‘I liked looking at the lobsters’ Harriet the hermit crab
‘I loved looking for plankton. They looked like seaweed.’ Rachel the sand rabbit
‘We had a great day – a good mix of listening and doing. The children enjoyed themselves and learnt a lot.’ Alison
21st June 2007
Today we were joined by Port Ellen Primary. Before each group came on to the boat, the education team visited the school and students learnt about the work of the Trust and how to identify whales, dolphins and porpoises. Then each group walked to Silurian to begin the workshop aboard.
In the morning the P4 class wrote these comments:
“I had great fun. I enjoyed seeing the starfish”. Rachael
“My favourite part was when we got to hold the starfish”. Charlotte
“I liked holding the starfish”. Katie
“I liked the crayfish”. Robbie
“I liked everything today”. Liam
“One thing I enjoyed today was seeing the crayfish”. Adam
“I liked all the things because we saw starfish and we got to hold crabs. I thank you”. Rhiona
“I cam to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and enjoyed the time”. Kevin
“I liked everything”.
“P4 of Port Ellen Primary School went on the Silurian. We saw a crayfish. It was very big. We also saw starfish. I liked holding them”. Keith
“I enjoyed seeing the crayfish and the lobster. I enjoyed seeing all the other animals”.
In the afternoon the P3 students wrote:
“I have seen Sea Urchin the best”. Megan
“I liked the starfish”. Megan J
I liked looking at all the different fish”. Lucy
”Velvet swimming crabs have red eyes”. Fraser
“I saw a seal, starfish, sunstar fish and a whelk and a clam and a sea urchin. It was cool”. Alice
“I liked listening to the different noises of the different animals. I liked everything”. Anna
“I liked looking at the starfish and when we were listening to the animal noises underwater”. Rachel
“I enjoyed holding the starfish and crabs”. Eilidh
“I liked seeing a seal called Toby”. Callum
“I liked looking at Toby in the binoculars and the crabs”. Bailey
20th June 2007
Bowmore Primary School enjoyed their experiences on Silurian today. P1 arrived first, followed later by P2 and then finally, this afternoon, the gaelic medium students. The gaelic medium students had time to write some comments:
‘Today I went to Silurian. I enjoyed seeing a crawfish, lobsters, shellfish, starfish, dogfish and seals. My favourite part was holding the starfish.’ William
‘Today was fun in many ways on Silurian. Today we got to touch, search and sea (geddit?!) at the end there were animals like dogfish, crawfish, sea stars etc. But the real surprise was when we were at the stern and spotted a grey seal! In fact it was beside the boat. Thanks to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust!’ Anon.
‘I really enjoyed being on the Silurian. We saw loads of sea animals and even a big seal.’ Sarah
‘I liked the dogfish and the seal and the star fish, because I liked the feeling.’ Lauren Macgregor
‘Today I liked everything I did today’. Amy
‘Today was fun on Silurian because we saw lots of different sea animals like seals, star fish, crabs and lots more. My favourite part was seeing the seal coming up from the water and a fisherman was feeding it. I really enjoyed my day.’ Sophie Ferguson
‘I liked the dogfish and the seal.’ Kathryn
‘Today we saw a seal and I thought it was amazing how it moved its tail.’ Leah
‘I liked the boat and seeing the starfish. The people were very kind to us.’ Gregor
‘The seal was swimming in the sea and it came up to the surface.’ Lauramay
‘I really enjoyed seeing the seal and I loved seeing the crawfish.’ Michael
19th June 2007
Marine workshops were delivered to Islay High School students on board Silurian again today. Students investigated the boat, learned about our research programme and the specialist equipment involved, as well as learning about marine life big and small.
We invited students who are studying Intermediate Biology and Managing Environmental Resources aboard in the morning. Here are some of their thoughts:
‘Today I learnt how much equipment is used for research and how advanced it has to be’ Iain Farrell
‘Today I Learnt how not to hold a crawfish!’ Sam Johnston
‘Today I learnt the noises the seals, whales and the crawfish make’ Stefan Robertson
‘I will remember Iain getting soaked by the lobster’ Thomas Coughlin
‘What I really liked about today was seeing the lobster, crawfish and crabs. The lobster was a lovely colour and the crawfish was much bigger than I had expected’ Eilidh
‘I enjoyed today because I learnt how whales and dolphins locate each other, their food and predators by only sound’ Ryan McEachern
‘I enjoyed coming on the boat today. It was fab! I learned a lot of new things – crawfish are huge! Amy Dunnachie
This afternoon we continued joined by an enthusiastic group of Higher Biology students:
‘I enjoyed the day on Silurian as it was both fun and informative’ Sandy Machellan
‘I enjoyed today because I learnt many new things’ Robert Torrance
‘I enjoyed today because we had a really good laugh. I learnt a lot about marine life, which they made fun’ Jenny Williams
‘I enjoyed today because I got to hold lots of interesting sea animals’ Anon.
‘My experience on Silurian was brilliant and I have learned new ways to identify dolphins which are common around Islay. I loved handling the different sea creatures and learning about them too’ Sarah Scott
‘I will remember the huge crawfish’ Sean
18th June 2007
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th were spent travelling to Port Ellen, Islay from Tobermory. After an excellent overnight stay anchored off Oronsay, we were joined on Sunday by Sir Maxwell Macleod (HWDT Director), Jack Matthews (HWDT Chairman), Robin Harper (leader of the Scottish Green party), Melanie Reid (journalist with the Times) and Eden Kinneard.
Today, Monday, was busy with Islay High School standard grade biology students. Here are some thoughts about the morning session, from the students...
‘One thing I enjoyed today was learning about all of the equipment that is used on the boat’ Anon
‘Today was good because we got out of school and learned new things’ Laura
‘Today was good because we learned about all the different types of Crabs, Starfish and Plankton’ Ailsa Murray.
‘Today was great because we got to learn about what the people on Silurian get to do’ Eilidh Campbell
‘Something I learnt was how to tell if a crab is male or female’ Anon
‘One thing I enjoyed was listening to the noises that the whales and dolphins make’ Rebecca Woodrow
‘I liked when we all went down and listened to the different whale noises’ Rhona Mac Arthur
‘I thought today was good because I learned lots of new things, we saw plankton and listened to whale and dolphin noises. It was good fun.’ Sarah Murray
‘Today was very different and fun. I enjoyed it.’ Lisa Matthews
...and some more from those aboard this afternoon...
‘I saw ciliate and I was the only one. It was a single celled animal plankton’ Andrew Duncan Mackay Morris
‘I liked playing eye spy with my binoculers’ Shannon McGregor
‘The thing I enjoyed today was learning about different creatures and the different sounds animals make’ Corinne McCrory
‘I thought today was fandabiodosie’ John MacNeill
‘One thing I enjoyed today was looking at plankton on the microscopes’ John MacPhee
‘I enjoyed listening to the sounds of the ocean animals on the hydraphone’ Keith
‘The best thing on the Silurian was learning about what lives in the seas and all the different types. It was fantastic.’ Kirsty