1st whales of 2007 to Ardmore, Co. Waterford

8th Jan 2007 Freezing cold at Ram Head, Ardmore, Co. Waterford on Saturday 6th January, with sea state close to a 4, wind a 4 too, swell 1mtr+, viz. 11-15km. Initially found 3 Harbour porpoises close in (less than 1km)...nothing then for an hour, lots of bird activity though, but no cetaceans. Then Ann thought she saw something, then declared positively "blow!" and continued to give detailed descriptions of two animals about 8km out.

I couldn't get onto them for ages but eventually got good views of two fin whales on our spotting scope, one with a considerably taller blow than the other. Considering the wind strength the blows were both very tall and distinctive, and I got clear views of their dorsal fins as they headed south towards a feeding frenzy. One of them seemed to disappear but I later caught sight of a whale much closer to Mine Head, further east along the Waterford coast, in the middle of another feeding frenzy, which could have been the same animal if you think it could swim a mile or so in 20 minutes……bear in mind these were known as the “Greyhounds of the sea” by the whalers. The last sighting of a 2hr watch was a small group of dolphins milling about 5km offshore.

We hope to get out on Wednesday 10th Jan. if the forecast remains favourable and these relentless southwesterlies decide to give the storm-lashed south coast a badly needed break.

By Andrew Malcolm & Ann Trimble, IWDG

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