2019-05-08 - Penzance-St Marys

Survey details

Survey route: Penzance-St Marys

Company: Isles of Scilly Travel

Sea region: Celtic Seas

Survey start date: 2019-05-08

Number of nights: Day sailing


Survey sightings

Cetacean sightings: N/A

Bird sightings: N/A

Other animals: N/A

The team (including two first time surveyors) met in blustery conditions in Penzance. The forecast was for moderate winds, heavy showers but workable sea conditions. The wind forecast turned out to be a  little optimistic but amazingly no rain. As the ship progressed west the wind and sea state increased to a point where effective surveying was not possible so we came off effort about an hour from the islands having seen no animals. 

However, the sun shone in St Marys  and after a leisurely island lunch and stroll we began the return leg in a pessimistic mood. But to our very pleasant surprise the wind and sea state had dropped markedly so spirits rose. We were then rewarded, in the middle of the journey back, with an hour of common dolphinsightings (some under diving gannets) amongst shrieks from excited passengers who saw them also.  The icing on the cake was the sighting of 3 white animals who passed directly underneath the ship several times without surfacing. Again seen by many on board and assessed by us to be Risso dolphins.The remainder of the survey was quiet but the calmer conditions continued.  Overall a very productive survey despite a very uncomfortable outward leg. Both new surveyors were very happy and extremely keen for a repeat performance on their next survey.

7 Sightings totalling 109 animals:

106 Common Dolphins  

3 Risso Dolphins         

Bird list:

Manx Shearwater, fulmar, razorbill, guillemot, great skua, gannets, cormorant and shag.

Photo by Sue Sayer, Cornwall Seal Group (one of the returning passengers).

Photo by Sue Sayer, Cornwall Seal Group (one of the returning passengers).

Survey team members

Mike Taylor, Michelle Ward, Lexie Massie