We boarded the MV Clansman very early on a beautiful, slightly misty Sunday morning ready for the survey to Coll, Tiree and Colonsay. The sea was flat, calm for most of the trip and like a mirror in places. Things were very quiet until we left the Sound of Mull when we spotted a group of 6 porpoise. All was quiet again until after we left Coll and headed for Tiree when we spotted a Minke and then almost immediately afterwards a harbour porpoise. On the trip back from Tiree to Coll we spotted 2 groups of 2 harbour porpoise in quick succession. This trip was all about long periods of quiet and then frantic activity! On the way back down the Sound of Mull we spotted another harbour porpoise and then just after Lismore lighthouse a group of 3 more bringing our total to 15.
After a quick refuel in Oban we re-boarded the Clansman and set sail for Colonsay. On the way down the Firth of Lorn just before the Garvellachs we spotted a large group of (30) common dolphins with calves from the starboard side of the bridge, they were splashing around close to the coast of Mull. The rest of the trip was quieter after all that excitement, we had a couple more very quick sightings of dolphins close to the ferry but unfortunately they were moving too fast to identify with certainty.
Thanks to Hannah, Neil and Siofra for a great trip and to the crew of the Clansman for their hospitality.
Survey team members
Jane Dodd, Hannah Parkinson, Neil Parkinson, Siofra Quigley