With excitement buzzzing through everyone today as it was our last trip today before we take Free Spirit out of the water for her annual maintenance, TLC and the removal of her old Perkins engine.. Seeing her being re-powered with a fabulous eco-friendly, electronically-managed Volvo D6 @ 330hp, giving Free Spirit an exciting and much improved performance which will allow us all to cover, search and explore a much bigger area than we do currently. Something I have wanted to do now for the last three years. Just brilliant and so exciting, is all I can say.
Our first port of call today was a quick call in to check how little Seal Pup No3 was doing. Joy of joy, as this dear little pup was taking possibly its first swim in the very calm, clear and shallow water of its tiny little birthing cove. Ahhhhh.. Mum close by.. it’s always a giggle watching a seals pups early swimming lessons as they haven’t quite got used to their buoyancy, with their bottoms and tiny flippers invariably sticking up higher than the rest of their tiny bodies which results in their flippers flapping away wildly, trying desperately to propel themselves along and making it rather comical to watch! Photographs taken, we left the area as quietly as we had found it, happy in the knowledge that this little pup was getting stronger and learning to swim confidently as this coming Wednesday, there is a big South Westerly storm rolling in which will unfortunately cause quite a big sea and surging waves to head into its tiny little cove. So it’s fingers and toes crossed it will ride out the storm, which fortunately is only blowing for a day before the wind swings to a Northerly, safer offshore direction again.
It’s always a joy and privilege I feel to share and interact with any Dolphins on any of our dedicated wildlife cruises. As you know there are never any guarantees as to what we will find as it’s wildlife and wild after all, however it’s always such a thrill and so lovely when we do and happily, we weren’t to be disappointed today, as we found a small group of Common Dolphins. The only thing however that was rather strange and had us all asking questions was that this little group of three consisted entirely of very young and very small calves/juveniles with no adults in attendance, and even though we worked slowly and carefully over the whole area, no other Common Dolphins were observed. What is strange, as you know, is that Dolphins are incredibly social animals.. Mothers and their tiny calves and juveniles are usually locked together, side by side, within their strong family groups. Hmmm.. So why were these three, tiny little individuals all on their own?! Intriguing to say the least.
Earlier on, I had seen a huge distant SPLASH. My thoughts were it was potentially a large breaching Cetacean, either a Whale or one of the bigger Dolphins like Bottlenose or Risso’s Dolphins. However, on arriving in the area, As it was so distant, no animals could be seen..
This 2017 season has been another phenomenal one and so exciting, which I will happily give you all a breakdown and put up some photo albums for you all to enjoy. We observed and recorded some truly remarkable and special wildlife, eclipsing last year’s record numbers of Cetaceans, still observing seven different species of Cetacean which is fantastic.. Just missing out on an eight Cetacean Species this year, as several times Pilot Whales were sighted to us close to where we were. But regrettably, we did not manage to locate them. Hopefully next year, with Free Spirit’s New Volvo D6 Engine and her improved performance, allowing us to cover a bigger area on our dedicated 4 hour wildlife cruises, we will record an eighth Cetacean species. As Pilot Whales do pass through and feed along our stunning and beautiful Cornish coastline.
THANK YOU for all your support everyone. You have all made it a truly fabulous and very exciting year! God bless you all, with sincere gratitude and untold appreciation, as without your support, none of this and all the phenomenal wildlife we record would be possible.
22 Atlantic Grey Seals, eighteen hauled out, COMMON SEAL, hauled out, WOW a first, as we have never observed or recorded this individual hauled out, Seal Pup No3, first swim Ahhh, 3 Common Dolphins, a calf and two juveniles, Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Little Grebes, Herons, Egrets, Redshanks, Curlews, Green Shank, Oystercatchers, Mediterranean Gulls