I had been watching the forecast for the days prior to the survey and despite warnings of wind the weather settled enough to allow us to survey. Yet, as we prepared to board the Scillonian III in Penzance the wind was beginning to pick up.
Arriving on bridge, the Captain showed us some videos taken of bow riding common dolphins and the humpback whale seen in the previous few weeks taken from both the Scillonian III and the Mali Rose (Isles of Scilly supply ship).
As the survey started the sea was already at a sea state 4; however, a group of feeding gannets increased our hopes that we would spot some dolphins feeding amongst them. We scoured the feeding group but the dolphins were elusive.
The sea state picked up to a 5 and the swell increased above 2m. As we reached the islands there was a flurry of cormorants and/or shags. Scouring the rocks for a seal or two for our first sighting still left us disappointed.
The return journey was colder and the wind was in our faces; unfortunately, to add to this the sea state had picked up to a 6 and the swell remained high. Arriving into Penzance the day ended with no cetacean sightings on this survey.
Thank you to my team for their hard work despite the difficult surveying conditions.
Many thanks to Captain Dave Redman and his crew for their assistance and for making us extremely welcome on this survey.
Guillemot, cormorant/shag, herring gull, gannet, great skua and lesser black-backed gull.
Kerry Heseltine, Owen Exeter, Sophie Walker