Log: LE Niamh January Patrol

31st Jan 2009 Survey Ended: January Patrol

Area: East, South, Southwest and West Coasts

Agency: Naval Service

Ship: L.E. Niamh

Observer: Dave Wall

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Jan 29th 2009

Last day at sea spent south of Cork. Though we headed out to the Labadie bank a developing gale brought matters to a close and we surfed back towards Cobh in some horrendous sea conditions with sea state 8-9. Docked at Haulbowline in the afternoon, marking the end of this patrol and survey.

Jan 28th 2009

Day spent along side at Haulbowline for repairs to ships boats.

Jan 27th 2009

Another day spent in the Irish Sea. We headed south for Cork in steadily improving sea conditions and by late afternoon it was flat calm. Despite the conditions there were no sightings as we traveled east of the Arklow Bank.

Jan 26th 2009

Departed Dublin at 11am and headed out into a calm Irish Sea. Spent the day surveying north of Howth and Lambay. Conditions were ideal with sea state 1-3 all day. Five sightings of harbour porpoise were made, totaling 7 animals. A grey seal was also sighted logging at the surface.


Jan 24th & 25th 2009

Spent two days alongside at Dublin.

Jan 23rd 2009

Awoke to gales in the north Irish Sea. Spent a few hours surveying in force 8 and it was no surprise that no sightings ensued. Sailed up the Liffey at lunchtime to dock in Dublin.

Jan 22nd 2009

After a night at anchor in Bantry Bay, sheltering from gales we set off eastward in the afternoon, destination Dublin. More heavy swell c5-7m but with fairly light winds (Beaufort 4). We again tracked from Bantry to Galley Head but with no sightings. Gone are the whales and masses of dolphins that were present throughout this area only a few short weeks ago.

Jan 21st 2009

Started offshore of Cork Harbour in the morning and surveyed westward in rapidly deteriorating weather. Sea state 5-8 as day went on. Not helped by a 6-7m swell. Only one glimpse of a dolphin on the bow as we rounded Mizen Head.

Jan 20th 2009

Surveyed from the Old Head of Kinsale to Mizen Head. Weather conditions were poor with a sea state of 4-8 and a 7-10m swell. Despite this one group of common dolphins was seen feeding under a flock of gannets to the south of Galley Head.

Jan 19th 2009

Surveyed the area between Cork Harbour and Old Head of Kinsale in poor conditions. Winds varied from force 5 to gale force 8. No Sightings.

Jan 16th-18th 2009

Mid-patrol break.

Jan 15th 2009

Surveyed the area between Cork Harbour and the Old Head of Kinsale in force 5-6 winds with a heavy southerly swell. No sightings.

Jan 14th 2009

Docked in Cork Harbour for repairs to ship and Delta Rib

Jan 13th 2009

Today we mounted another short foray across the shelf to the southwest in very heavy swell. Beaten by the weather we returned to anchor to conduct some repairs. One small group of 3 common dolphins briefly appeared at the bow.

LE Niamh Pounding into the swell © Dave Wall GMIT/IWDG

Jan 12th 2009

Today we conducted a transect from Bantry Bay to the shelf edge to the southwest in sea state 3 to 5 and heavy swell. Two small groups of common dolphin were encountered (c10 animals).

Jan 11th 2009

Another day at anchor due to continuing severe gales.

Jan 10th 2009

The day was spent at anchor, sheltering from gales.

Jan 9th 2009

The early part of the day was spent on the Labadie Bank before moving west in the afternoon. The sea state remained good for this time of the year with sea state 4-5 all day. 9 sightings of small groups of common dolphins were made during the day, totaling 53 animals