Friday, 13 September 2013

Dolphins in the Deep

Remember where I was at the end of July? No? Well, read this blog post first because this is a follow up from that post and, well, you might get a bit confused....

So, I left you wondering, will I see dolphins in the two days left in Scotland? The second day on Mull consisted of a land based tour and the weather wasn't anything special so we didn't see any dolphins. However, as the title of this blog (totally not nicked off an Animal Ark book..) might suggest, the last day was much more promising...

The third day we were out with Sealife Surveys on their boat, Sula Beag. We had barely started the transect when, someone thought they spotted a dolphin a way off. Sure enough, there were a couple of dolphins swimming parallel to the shore. Awesome! I thought, I've seen some dolphins! The thing is, someone else pointed out some more dolphins, and then another few dolphins and soon we seemed to have 16+ dolphins swimming around the boat, close enough that we didn't need binoculars.

Wow, I thought. No doubting I've seen some bottlenose dolphins and the ten year old in me was ecstatic! However, the dolphins must have decided that they hadn't put on enough of a show. Two dolphins swam alongside the boat, no more than 5 meters away at one point. I was barely containing my excitement. I whipped out my little point and shoot knowing even that little thing could get a photo of these elegant creatures.

I felt 10 again. However, this time, instead of reading about dolphins in an Animal Ark book, living precariously through the eyes of Mandy Hope, I was the one seeing the dolphins mere meters away. It was breathtaking. I'm pretty sure our bird sightings dipped at that point because nobody was looking up, only down!

This is the boat's picture of one of the dolphins we saw that day, much better than any I was taking! I'm pretty sure increasing the shutter speed isn't something I can do on my little camera...

I was ready to go home at that point. I'd seen more dolphins than I thought I'd even see, and all without leaving the United Kingdom, however this was just the beginning.

Less than an hour later, a shout of "MINKE!" came from the other end of the boat and, sure enough, a minke whale was surfacing surprisingly close to the boat. We then saw that same whale surfacing after diving another two times before we eventually parted ways.

Of course, a number of harbour and grey seals were seen along with a plethora of sea-birds however harbour and grey seals are slightly less exciting once you've spent some time in Scotland and have spotted some cetaceans!

Essentially, after the dissapointment of the first boat trip out on Mull, the last day more than made up for it. Sure, we may not have seen a killer whale or a basking shark but hey, you can't have everything.

I'll leave you with a group photo of everyone on that boat, grinning away after such a successful day 'whale-watching'. Can you spot me?!

"So long, and thanks for all the fish."

1 comment:

  1. Did you see any Trace of a Great White, some people have reported seeing them in Britain.