What amazing weather we are having at the moment.
Every day the sun is shining and the sea is perfectly calm. The ship has been full of passengers who have enjoyed sitting on deck, basking in the sun and seeing some good marine wildlife sightings.
Small groups of Harbour Porpoise were easy to spot in these conditions and we even saw several Ocean Sunfish. The sunfish were often spotted by passengers leaning on the railing looking down on this weird fish. One of the passengers thought they saw an upside down turtle but once I showed them a picture of an Ocean Sunfish. They said ‘That was it’.
The birds seem more active at the moment diving on shoals of fish. Gannets and Manx Shearwaters were present in large numbers with the occasional sighting of the rare Balearic Shearwater. These feeding groups attracted some good sized schools of Common Dolphins, some of which raced around towards the ship pleasing the passengers with their aerobatic displays. Risso’s Dolphins were also spotted not far from the islands.
Lots of different species of jellyfish have begun to appear and hopefully may attract a Leatherback Turtle or two. After a record year in 2012 one has so far been reported in the area and if this weather stays 2013 could be even better.
Paul Semmens Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trusts.