Life on the Edge - 2017

28th Aug 2017

Departing Fenit August 28th to September 3rd on the Celtic Mist to the Shelf Edge and South West Cork and Kerry.

Participants will receive instructions on how to record and recognise sightings prior to joining and these will be covered again on start up and reinforced during the survey.  This data will be submitted to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group database and available for future publications on the distribution of cetaceans in Irish waters.  Participants will be introduced to cetacean acoustics and it is planned to use a towed array to record and track cetaceans where and when possible and to target certain species for recording where possible.  Emphasis will be on visual observation and recording of behaviours of animals on the shelf edge, in particular it is hoped to see some fin and humpbacks feeding and observe these behaviours. This is an opportunity to gain experience of a wide variety of cetaceans in Ireland’s most prolific marine environment. Crew must be prepared for 2 to 3 days without seeing land.  No prior experience of sailing, or marine mammals is required but some prior experience or interest is typical of all previous crews members.  This will be the sixth year of operation and this year some expenses are being supported by the EPA and as such the cruise is offered at €600 per person for the week.      




The objective for the entire crew is to gather as much sightings and acoustic data on species encountered as possible, along the shelf edge, in sea states of 3 or less, so rough weather will be avoided.  Participants should expect to spend about 2 to 3 days at sea depending on weather and will be required to assist in sailing the vessel, recording sightings and other crewing duties.  Night time sailing will be required and crew will sleep in shifts at night.  While time at sea is not luxurious, it is hoped to record a large variety and number of species and this is an opportunity for participants to see the greatest variety and abundance that the Irish waters have to offer.  Early September typically sees periods of settled weather so we will utilise these to cover track lines on the shelf edge.

Food on board will be provided, although when in port crew will buy their own occasional meal ashore typically.  We may spend a day in port while waiting for good weather and will arrive back into Fenit September 3rd. Participants will be expected to organise their own travel to and from  Fenit we will assist in any way we can.  Further details are available on request by emailing Patrick Lyne at or .

Figure 1: Possible track lines for offshore portion of trip.  But these are subject to change depending on prevailing conditions. 

One Space left for this trip!