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.
Saturday 12th May 2012
Anchorage: Tobermory pontoon
Distance travelled: 26.9NM. Total 192.7NM
We woke to find a blue sky, the loch mirror smooth and bathed in sunshine. Spirits were high as we motored out towards the Sound, and we mulled over last night’s presentation by Olivia on the HWDT research projects that we have been collecting data for, wondering whether we might be fortunate enough to see one of the nine unique West Coast Community of Orcas that inhabit these waters, or indeed a dolphin or minke. It wasn’t long before the clouds and rain descended but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm and we had 2 sightings of porpoise and six acoustic detections to keep us going. As we came up the Sound of Mull we had our longest protracted attack from ADDs (Acoustic Detection Devices- used by fish farms to deter seals) which lasted at least a couple of hours. With force 8/9 gales predicted, a tentative plan to head towards the Ardnamurchan Peninsular in a last ditch effort to see a cetacean other than a porpoise was abandoned with heavy hearts all round. Olivia informed us that the water surface temperature during the week averaged at 9.5°C, higher than you would expect for this time of year. Will this make a difference to the number of sightings we get in May? Olivia will be sure to investigate further.
So in to Tobermory Marina where we dined on yummy leftovers; then it was time to swab the decks and polish the timbers! Argh! Now Phil, Irene and Chris have sneaked ashore for a hike to the lighthouse; if they see any cetaceans on their way they’ll be hung from the crows nest. Only joking! So all that’s left is to scrub the salt out of our skin and hair and enjoy a much anticipated meal together at Café Fish, which I’m sure we will wash down with plenty of fine booze.
Despite the paucity of sightings all of us agreed that it has been an amazing experience on board the Silurian. John our Skipper has taken us to some wonderful remote areas of the Hebrides that very few are lucky enough to experience. The crew have been unremittingly good-humoured, enthusiastic and hospitable throughout our trip, keeping us safe, warm and fed. They are all extremely knowledgeable and have answered our numerous questions with expertise and passion. We’ve all bonded really well and had a good raucous laugh at shared yarns. We would definitely recommend the experience.