Log: LE Emer April 2009 Patrol

17th Apr 2009 Survey Ended: LE Emer - April 2009 Patrol

Area: South and East Coasts

Agency: Irish Naval Service

Ship: LE Emer

Observer: Dave Wall

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17th April 2009

Ship berthed at Haulbowline marking the end of this survey.

16th April 2009

Attempted survey as we steamed east into bad weather, however a sea state of 6-7 meant that survey had to be abandoned. The ship proceeded to anchor in the shelter of Cork Harbour.

15th April 2009

Moderate sea conditions (sea state 3-5) were accompanied by heady fog and occasional rain. Despite the conditions 4 groups of common dolphins were sighted (totalling 29 animals) as we patrolled between Hook Head and Cork Harbour.


14th April 2009

A sea state of 4-5, decreasing 3-4 in the evening. As we patrolled south of Hook Head, little was seen until after dinner, when sightings of 3 small groups of common dolphins (totalling 20 animals) were made.

13th April 2009

Departed Dublin Port in the morning but poor sea conditions and rain prevented survey effort.

11th & 12th April 2009

LE Emer remained docked in Dublin while some of the officers and crew took part in the 1916 Easter Rising commemoration.

10th April 2009

Spent the morning travelling north from Wicklow Head to Dublin Port. Calm conditions resulted in sightimgs of one harbour porpoise and one grey seal.

9th April 2009

Spent the day at anchor in Cobh while waiting out the gales. Tonight we head east and up the Irish Sea for Dublin.

8th April 2009

Departed Lawrence's Cove at 08:00 and headed S/SW over the shelf. The weather was fair with sea state 3-4, increasing 5 in the late afternoon. A heavy swell was present all day. While on approach to a French trawler white shapes surfed down the swell to starboard. 6-8 animals, all of which were white or largely white could only mean one thing... Risso's Dolphins! These were big brutes of animals and were following in the path of the French trawler, apparently feeding from its nets.

In the afternoon four groups of common dolphins were encountered as we moved back east, totalling 25 animals.

Risso's Dolphins, West of Castletownbere © Dave Wall GMIT/IWDG

7th April 2009

Due to gales we remained at anchor at Lawrence's Cove.

6th April 2009

Departed Haulbowline at 11am on board the LE Emer. During the day we transited near to shore, alongs the south coast from Cobh to the Fastnet Light. Weater was force 4 with a heavy swell. The Navigation officer sighted 3 bottlenose dolphins as we left Cobh (probably part of the semi-resident group at Roche's Point) but no further sightings were made during the day.As night fell we arrived at the anchorage in Lawrence's Cove, Castletownbere.

Dave Wall