Silurian Blog

Wednesday 21st June 2017

Published: 22/06/2017

Latitude: 57°24.6N
Longitude: 006°11.7W

Anchorage: Portree, Skye

Nautical miles travelled today: 55.1
Total on effort: 98,647

Today we left our anchorage at Poolewe and continued down the west coast of Scotland on our return to Kyle of Lochalsh. However shortly after setting off we received a distress call over the radio from a local fisherman who had lost power from his engine and his vessel was sitting dead on the water. We temporally haulted our survey and headed to his location, we decided to tow him for a short while to keep his vessel clear of the rocks as we waited the arrival of the RNLI lifeboat, which would take over and tow him back to shore.

Shortly after we left the fisherman with the lifeboat the wind picked up and so did the sea state, the rest of the was spent on rough sea. So much so that the front observers had to move to the back of thge vessel, the rough sea continued until we reached our anchorage for the night at Portree on the Isle of Skye.

That night we had a lovely dinner of leftover wraps with all the veg and meat plus a few other bits and bobs we had left in the cupboards, tomorrow we will begin our final stint towards Kyle of Lochalsh and our survey will be complete.

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Saturday 17th June 2017

Published: 22/06/2017

Latitude: 57°27.414N
Longitude: 005°53.358W

Anchorage: Arinacrinachd Bay

Nautical miles travelled today: 34
Total on effort: 98,300km

Today was another rollercoaster ride on board Silurian, with the sea state from three to four and a one metre high swell in places rocking the vessel from side to side, fairly roughly at times. However no harm done except for a bit of spilled soup! Despite the rough conditions through the Inner Sound we had two exciting encouters with common dolphins, two harbour porpoises again in sea state four! We also had some great marine bird sightings, including ganets, guillemots, manx shearwaters, puffins and great skuas.

We've headed intro our anchorage for thge night in a small bay called Arinacrinachd, after a lovely meal prepared and cooked by Alicia and Louisa, we had a few good rounds of card games with Silurian snap being the most entertaining and painful! of them all.

It looks like the weather will be calming down a bit tomorrow after hearing the latest weather preditions from the Coast Guard. Hopefully if the preditions are right we will be heading to Harris in the morning, but for now time for a well deserved sleep for the whole crew.

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Tuesday 20th June 2017

Published: 22/06/2017

Latiutude: 57°46.365N
Longitude: 005°344W

Anchorage: Poolewe

Natutical miles travelled today: 62.6
Total on effort: 98,553

Today has been another long and exciting day for the crew of Silurian, today we left our anchorage at Collsands in Broad bay off Lewis heading out of the bay. We changed course and travelled across the North Minch and towards our anchorage for the night in Poolewe near Ullapool on the Scottih mainland.

The encounters continued today twenty eight sightings occuring which included harbour porpoises minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and a large pod of common dolphins that were bowriding alongsiude Silurian. the sea state was so calm we could see the commons as clear as day under the water, they gave the crew a real treat with their antics and stayed with us for good amount of time. However they soon departed and we continued on our transect line headed towards our anchorage for the night at Poolewe, a small village on the Scottish mainland.

Some of the crew went ashore on the tender to explore, while the rest stayed onboard and took the opportunity to have much needed showers and relax. Tomorrow we begin our journey back to Kyle of Lochalsh where our survey started and where it will soon be at an end.

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Monday 19th June 2017

Published: 22/06/2017

Latitude: 58°16.515N
Longitude: 006°19.088W

Anchorage: Collsands, Lewis

Nautical miles travelled today: 36.6
Total on effort: 98,443km

Today has been the most incredable day of th survey! We left our anchorage at Loch Grimshader and headed up the East coast of Lewis, the plan was was to had past the Eye Peninsula and thn dwon into Broad bay from Tolsta Head. During the survey we encountered seven minke whales, three pods of white-beaked dolphins, dozens of diving ganets and other marine birds, plus the big suprise of the day a sunfish!

We had a suspected lunge-feeding minke whale as it surfaced rigt infront of Silurian with large amount of force, revealing a lot more of its body than usual giving the crew a big shock to say the least. Other minkes surfaced long side Slurian, so close ou could smell the distintive odour of the minke's breath.

The last pods of white-beaked dolphins we encounted today swam alongside Silurian bowriding and swimming constantly underneath the surfaceof the water, we could easily see the distinctive white pattern on their flanks through the water. After all the excitement of seeing multiple minkes and white-beaks and as we were returning to our transect line our skipper Stuart spotted a sunfish, which was calmly swimming alongside the port side of the vessel.

Its been quite an exciting day but also an exhausting day for the whole crew and now we are at our anchorage for the night at Collsands within Broad bay or Loch a Tuath, the sun is shinning overhead and we are all looking forward to a nice dinner and a well deserved rest.

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Sunday 18th June 2017

Published: 22/06/2017

Latitude: 58°08.291N
Longitude: 006°24.925W

Anchorage: Loch Grimshader

Nautical miles traveled today: 51.2
Total on effort: 98,390km

Today started off with an early bang on board Silurian at breakfast, as Frazer spotted what was at first thought to be a small seal. However as it got closer to us he soon realised that it was an otter, which is the first one spotted from Silurian this year and wa a real treat for us all the crew to see. The otter swam right past the vessel only a few metrs away, diving occassionally then reapering close by, and we even managed to snap a few photos.

After breakfast we left our anchorage at Arinacrinachd Bay in Loch Torridon and headed across the North Minch towards the Isle of Lewis. As w past by the Shaint islands we had an large increase in the amoount of puffins sighted as they nest on the islands, we must have observed well over one hundred puffins during the survey.

During the servey we had thirty one harbour porpoise clicks and even poptential dolphin whistles detections by the hydrophone. However we unfortuately did not have any visual sightings of cetaceans today, but we did have a lovely Scottish-Mexican dish for dinner of haggis nachos tonight.

Tomorrow we'll be leaving our anchorage in Loch Grimshader, and will be heading furthe north along the Lewis coaster and around Tiumpan Head and into Loch a Tuath where we will be dropping anchor in a shelted bay within the loch.

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Friday 16th June 2017

Published: 22/06/2017

Latitude: 57°20.387N
Longitude: 005°38.585W

Anchorage: Plockton Harbour

Naitical miles travelled today 28.7
Total on effort 98,239Km

Today marked the beginning of our survey, our new group of citizenscientists all the way from Sweeden joined us yesterday evening at Kyle of Lochalsh. We started the survey heading into Loch Alsh, which was a good taster course for the group to get used to the surevy protocal on board and we even had some encouter with harbour porpoises, common seals and plenty of sightings of creel buoys.

After turning around we bgan to head out of the relitively calm Loch Alsh and into the Linne Crowlin, where the sea state really picked up. However despite the rough sea we were still managed to spot several grey and common seals and even two! Harbour porpoises which in a sea state four is a great achivement.

At aroung 5pm we arrived at our mooring sight for the night in Plockton harbour, and after a lovely dinner cooked by our new team, a introduction into British sea birds we'll be turning in for the night. I'm very much looking forward our second day at sea in the Scotish Hebrides with fingers crossed a bit calmer weather!

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Monday 12th June 2017

Published: 12/06/2017


Anchorage: Kyle of Lochalsh.

Nautical miles travelled today 24.9.

Total on effort 98189Km.

In my experience the last day of a Silurian trip is a bittersweet mixture of wanting to stay surveying for many more days and longing for dry land and a luxurious bath. Our rather quiet survey sightings-wise was duly rewarded today as less than half an hour out into the Sound of Raasay from Portree Tibor spotted distant splashes about 1km away, which turned out to be a pod of we estimate upwards of 60 Common Dolphins!

We spent around 20 minutes watching them from a respectful distance as they were busy displaying feeding behaviour - a fast chasing burst in one direction in a large group with a few doing violent sideslaps of the water, and a few slower swimming individuals on the edges, then some slower milling around possibly feeding. We were pleased to see a number of small juvenile dolphins closely mirroring their mums. This sighting was very impressive and created a great buzz after some quiet days of unfavourable conditions.

We carried on down the Sound with several Common Seal sightings before picking up a favourable wind and sailing for real right to the Skye bridge.
It was Izzie's Birthday so an almond sponge was baked and decorated with a dolphin shaped dessicated coconut topping to celebrate in style!

Murders today included Tibor at the mast with a fruit bowl, with some plans afoot to dispatch Rod in the RIB with a teaspoon - tricky when you're on the fine Kyle of Lochalsh pontoons.
A team effort got the boat spick and span before photos were collated and shared on our snazzy HWDT USB sticks. The evening meal out is planned and currently folks are enjoying the new community showers. Everyone is in full agreement that this was a great experience, with fun people and some stunning scenery - sighting wise we're very glad to have contributed some data too.

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Saturday 10th June

Published: 12/06/2017

Anchorage Latitude:57°32'.829N

Anchorage: Aros Bay, Loch Snizort, Skye

Nautical miles traveled today 48.5

Total on effort 98,069

A rather wet and windy morning greeted us in the atmospheric Loch Pooltiel so skipper decided to take us down a couple of more sheltered sea Lochs, creating a rather symmetrical double diamond transect shape in Loch Dunvegan and Loch Bay. This resulted in a couple of Gray Seal sightings and many creels. As we reached Waternish point, the weather improved a lot so we headed out into the Little Minch, often a cetacean hotspot. Unfortunately nothing seemed to be out to play.

On our way to our anchorage in Aros Bay, we stopped and went ashore at the Ascrib Islands and enjoyed some stunning views around a sunny Loch Snizort, bluebells and group selfies.

Dinner was a Mexican feast by Frazer and Tibor, with Haggis Tacos and veggie fajitas. Murder game victims included Bob (in the fore heads with a bowl of nuts) and Matt (with a Lemon at the dinner table - easy!)
The evening concluded with a talk by Frazer about acoustic detection, digressing to many topics including cetacean distribution and the Trusts fascinating historical data - although this was interrupted several times by the sight of a Whitetailed Eagle overhead and topups of red wine...

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Sunday 11th June

Published: 12/06/2017

Anchorage Latitude:57°24'.64N

Anchorage: Portree Harbour, Skye

Nautical miles traveled today 44.5

Total on effort 98148

The fair morning at breakfast deteriorated quickly into a very wet and windy exit of Loch Snizort. At the mouth of the Loch we had a small pod of 5 Common Dolphins in sight and on the hydrophone which raised our wet spirits. A long transect up to the Northern tip of Skye brought us into the choppy water, high winds and dramatically converging currents off Rubha Hunish. This is usually a real hotspot for Minke whales due to the turbulent deep waters but despite much birdlife they were either feeding elsewhere or lost in the waves. A couple of porpoise bursting through a wave close-by and two Grey seals sheltering off the headland were the only sightings here, before we were warmed by Rod's fine mushroom risotto.

A long and windy transect down the NE coast of Skye past Kilt Rock, Staffin Bay and the Old Man of Storr still proved elusive for animals until halfway to Rona in the Sound of Raasay our paths crossed with another pod of about 15 Common Dolphins, including a small juvenile, heading North-east.

As we came into Portree Harbour a huge Golden Eagle flew low across the bow, a magnificent change to our usual seabirds!

Murders today included Sheena at the chart table with a clothespeg, Izzie at the mast with a metal spatula (ingenious) and Edd in the galley with a fruitbowl (a surprising outcome for a veteran). Currently the smells of a beef stew are wafting through the boat and the sight of a pub... yes we are in actual civilization today... are sure to tempt some tonight!

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Friday 9th June 2017

Published: 10/06/2017

Anchorage Latitude:57°27'.131N

Anchorage: Loch Pooltiel, Skye

Nautical miles traveled today 48.

Total on effort 97,990.

Today saw us leaving Witches Pool and aim to sail back across the Minch to Skye, via the Shiants Islands. With favourable winds we were able to leave the Isle of Lewis on windpower!

With lots of sun and a few seal and porpoise sightings we arrived at the Shiant Islands and were greeted by whole rafts of puffin, guillemots, tysties and numerous other bird species. On rounding the Shiants we not only spotted birds but also Beluga II, Greenpeace's research vessel which is up here to conduct sea surface sampling to try to quantify marine micro plastics in the Hebrides.

Just after leaving the Shiants behind a solatry common dolphin was spotted and some intresting whisltes and clicks where heard from the hydrophone.

There were a few more grey seal sightings before reaching our anchorage for the night at which point Sheena,Rod and Bob took advantage of the sun evening by trying some fishing. After a delicous Tai Green curry dinner the plankton part began with baby crabs, compass jellyfish and iridescent sea gooseburrys all making an apperance.

Today was a fabulous day with lots of porpoise clicks and other intresting acoustic data even if we only had a few visual sightings. Hopefully pretty more of Both for the rest of the trip.

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Thursday 8th June 2017

Published: 09/06/2017


Anchorage: Loch Mariveg, Witches Pool, Isle of Lewis

Nautical miles traveled today 46.5.

Total on effort 97903Km

We awoke all much refreshed to a calmer day and enjoyed our breakfast surrounded by the beautiful Summer Isles. There was a slight delay which I promised our always diligent and never forgetful First Mate I wouldn't share, so I won't...

Our plan was to cross the Minch in a single straight line transect, taking advantage of a change in wind direction. there was still a fair swell remaining but it was far more manageable. We had a few Grey seals watching us as we started our crossing to overcast skies and generally good spotting conditions. Sheena sighted our first cetacean, an unidentified dolphin which we couldn't relocate. Spirits were high as we were heading to Tiumpan head on Lewis, where shorewatchers and wildlife boats had recently seen Humpback whales. Midway through the Minch both Matt and Izzie spotted two Minke whales, which proved elusive despite a decent search. As we neared the head Frazer and Tibor spotted lots of bird activity, and shortly afterwards Matt called a Minke whale sighting which we managed to keep track of and all enjoyed some very close views of a small Minke whale, including its white pectoral armbands showing through the waves.

Having returned to our transect, it wasn't long before Izzie noticed some large splashes behind a trawler and we saw some distant large dolphins breaching enthusiastically. We headed towards them with Frazer having tentatively identified them as likely White-beaked Dolphins from some zoomed photos. As we neared Matt and Tibor noticed some closer large dorsal fins and within seconds two large White-beaked dolphins appeared at the bow, their gorgeous black and white markings showing clearly under the water. They didn't stay long and promptly disappeared into the distance joining their friends for some more leaping.

As we neared our destination on Lewis, we had another elusive Minke whale and several Harbour Porpoise sightings. Tibor celebrated seeing a new species by baking a chocolate sponge cake, which Edd particularly enjoyed after another narrow passage to our beautiful anchorage of Witches Pool. A few explorers took the zodiac and bonded over some unexpected teamwork navigating back up some shallow rapids using ingenuity to resolve a self inflicted problem. This involved all getting wet. Especially Rod.

A fine hearty meal of bangers and mash was accompanied by some fleeting glimpses of a pair of Golden Eagles soaring over the hillside next to us. The Hebrides certainly didn't disappoint today!! A great day, which will be hard to beat - but I hope we do!

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Tuesday 6th June

Published: 07/06/2017


Anchorage: Fladday harbour, Raasay

Nautical miles traveled today 35.1.

Total on effort 97751Km

Greetings Silurian fans and welcome to the account of the first June survey of the year. Aboard for the next few days are the following people: Edd - unable to tear himself away from the boat and returning as occasional skipper, Frazer - who does science apparently, Rod - once a volunteer and now a relief First Mate and Matt - plucky seasonal HWDT volunteer. The citizen scientists are three Scottish Silurian first timers Izzie, Sheena and Bob and the lone soft Southerner but third year returnee Tibor.

On monday night we enjoyed a lovely Pasta Putanesca (sp?) cooked by Rod, had a meet and greet and started our Marine Mammal Observer training with Frazer. We learnt about the grand work of the trust, identification of Cetaceans and how we will be surveying. The light Northern nights allowed us to stay up and enjoy a beautiful evening but, rooms chosen with diplomatic tact, we eventually retired ready for our first day.

In the morning we listened diligently to Edd's safety talk then practised our distance estimating and shouting practice sightings much to the bemusement of the cat and dog in the next boat. We left a dark and drizzly Kyle mid-morning and headed under the bridge. Not too far out into the Sound of Raasay Bob called the first and only sighting of the day, a lone elusive dolphin which we lost sight of in choppy waters before ID could take place.

As we passed the open channel the waves and swell increased and as we zigged and zagged, even our hardy scientist had to recalibrate his sea-legs. A short respite from the waves came in a diversion down Loch Ainort, a first for Silurian. Sadly all we found were fish farms with loud ADDs (underwater prey deterrent alarms).

After a stellar veg soup, the final few transects saw a decrease in the weather conditions with high winds and large oceanic waves. The Scots coped admirably, proving to be a sturdy crew, surveying to the end - although the same could not be said for the Southern Silurian return volunteer who gave in to muttering "are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet..."

Edd found us a sheltered anchorage to the lee of Fladday and all enjoyed the warm relief of tea. Sheena and a small team prepared a fab Quorn chilli with potato wedges. Whilst dining, Bob innocently asked "is that small boat supposed to be drifting past?" Cue the HWDT volunteer boat rescue service aka Frazer and Edd who leapt from their chilli and launched the tender in record time to rescue our neighbouring small boat that had come loose of its mooring. HWDT: more than just a wildlife charity *cue Local Hero theme tune*

The evening closed with a few drams, the trademarked Silurian evening drawing game, pretty skies and some crossed fingers for more clement, sighting friendly weather tomorrow. Stay tuned folks!

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Monday 5th June 2017

Published: 05/06/2017


Anchorage: Kyle of Lochalsh, Skye

Nautical miles traveled today 0.

Total on effort 97689Km

Today was a useful day to get up together with some maintaince of Silurian as well as stocking up on some last minute provisions and some give the boat one final clean before greeting on board our citizenscientists. At least 4 different species of jellyfish were seen floating past the boat as well as one grey seal swiming past in time to interupt one of the presentations. Off to bed weith all on board looking forward to the surveying trip ahead.

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Sunday 4th June 2017

Published: 05/06/2017

Latitude: 57°16'.758N
Longitude: 005°43'.038W

Anchorage: Kyle of Lochalsh, Skye

Nautical miles traveled today 33.

Total on effort 97689km

This morning started lesuirely with Silurian setting sail from Loch Scresort at 9:30am. With some favourable wind today we were able to raise the main sail as soon as we had left the safety of the Loch as well as to deploy the hydrophone. Once this had been done it wasn't long before it was second breakfast time and we were rounding the Point of Sleat,Skye and heading up the Sound of Sleat. When motoring through Kyle Rhea some intresting tides and upwellings saw our first mammals of the day in the form of grey seals. having finished navigating the passage we had seen 11 in total. At just after 3pm we arrived in Kyle. Tonight just sorting out Silurian ready for our citezenscientists tomorrow.

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Saturday 3rd June 2017

Published: 05/06/2017

Latitude: 57°00'.749N
Longitude: 006°16'.016W

Anchoragre: Loch Scresort, Rhum

Nautical miles travelled today 33.3

Total on effort 97645 Km

Today we embarked on the first stint of our journey which will see us reach Kyle of Lochaslsh to greet our citizenscientists onboard Silurian on the 5th June. Today we left from Tobermory at midday with our aim to anchor at Canna. As we were leaving Mull behind, with the sun beaming down, a white tailed sea eagle flew over head to wave us off. On our way to the Small Isles the good weather didn't hold and with Cana, Eigg, Muck and Rhum in our sites we were chased toward them all the time the black clouds amassing behind. As the bad weather came, in the form of rain and worsening visibility the decsion was made to change anchorage to be in Rhum. Nearing Rhum not only did the weather revert back to sunshine but we were fortunate enough to see a minke whale and harbour porpoise. Tomorrow heading off to Kyle of Lochaslsh.

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Saturday 13th May

Published: 16/05/2017

Anchorage: Vatersay Bay
Latitude: 56°55'.4N
Longitude: 007°31'.7W
Distance travelled: 44 nm
Running effort total: 96,746 km

Brian, Simon and Lauren and the volunteer crew of Sandy, Deb, Alicia, Ross, Lucy and John have all gelled really well. we had a great day sailing yesterday from Tobermory to Coll where we saw some minke whales, common dolphins and lots of grey seals. Today we surpassed yesterdays sightings by a nautical mile! Sightings included a great interaction with a two basking sharks, three minke whales which were so close we could see their white minke mittens and their pale, almost luminescent underbelly.

Lauren had instructed us on bird idenfitication the previous evening and it was really useful when we had to record the sightings, which included fulmars, kittiwakes, hundreds of guillemots and razorbills, and we also saw lonesome puffin! Sea conditions were better than forecast.

In the evening some of the group went ashore the beautiful sandy beaches of Vatersay whilst John and Ross cooked up a storm and we had a 3 course meal, a Silurian first for Lauren and Simon! Deb was even brave enough to take a dip in the turqouise waters in the bay whilst the rest of the team did a beach clean. We are looking forward to tommorows adventure!


P.S. we now know why they are called stinky minkes!

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Friday 12th May 2017

Published: 13/05/2017

Anchorage: Loch Breachacha, Coll
Latitude: 56°35'.0N
Longitude: 006°37'.6W
Distance travelled: 33 nm
Running effort total: 96,234 km

After setting of from Tobermory into some light drizzle things improved as the day went on. Grey seals and harbour porpoise were sighted leaving the Sound of Mull which along with lots of creels helped the new team of volunteers get into the swing of things.

The weather soon dried up and we headed past the Cairns of Coll and then down the West coast of Coll where we saw some common dolphins followed by a rather elusive group of probably three minke whales. In the last 2 hours surveying we had 27 grey seal sightings to finish a great first day at sea.

Views from the crows nest and a trip ashore as dinner is cooking to finish the day.


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Saturday 6th May, 2017

Published: 07/05/2017

Anchorage: Pean Meanach, Mainland Scotland
Latitude: 56°51'.374N
Longitude: 005°45'.739W
Distance travelled: 53 nm
Running on effort total: 96,527 km

What a great day for a sail, light winds and calm seas saw us across the Minch as we headed for the small Isles.  The sea was flat enough so that several of  crew and staff made it up the crows nest to witness the spectacular view across Rum with the Cullins of Skye in the back ground.  We even got another pod of common dolphins who came to bow ride along side us and several hurries of birds as we passed Hyskeir.


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Friday 5th May, 2017

Published: 07/05/2017

Anchorage: Acarsaid Mhor, Erisay
Latitude: 56°27'.255N
Longitude: 006°57'.626W
Distance travelled: 45.6 nm
Running on effort total: 96,429 km

Grey seals love wagon wheels


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Thursday 4th May, 2017

Published: 05/05/2017

Anchorage: Balephuil Bay, Tiree
Latitude: 56°27'.235N
Longitude: 007°57'.626W
Distance travelled: 85 nm
Running on effort total: 96,347 km

What an epic day! Given the conditions and the positive attitude of all the crew on board we planned to head outto Stanton banks. The banks are a large shallow rocky area about 35 nm south of Mingulay and 35 nm south west of Tiree. The last time we visited these banks was in 2009 and lets say it was well worth the harwork and the long day.

We started very early, hoisting the anchor at 5am in the morning under a beautiful sky. Shortly after we had our first sightings of minke whales, harbour porpoises, basking sharks and common dolphins all before breakfast. 

Around 7 o'clock the rest of the crew were woken up and enjoyed first breakfast with bowriding common dolphins before heading on effort. As the day progressed more and more common dolphins were spotted on our way to the banks. On arriving at the 50 m contour I had a worrying moment when i thought i had got everyone up early and dragged them out to the middle of the sea for nothing but my worries were soon dismissed as a whale was soon spotted. This whale was then joined by another 3, hundreds of dolphins, gannets, shearwaters, kittiwakes and fulmars as a massive feeding frenzy unfolded in front of us. A true wildlife spectacle.

It didn't stop there and the sightings continued through out the day. By the time we dropped anchor at 8 pm we had travelled 85 nm, seen 12 minke whales, 400 plus common dolphins, 2 basking sharks, 14 seals and 2 harbour porpoise.

What a great day


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Wednesday 3rd May

Published: 05/05/2017

Anchorage: Balephuil Bay, Tiree
Latitude: 56°27'.152N
Longitude: 006°57'.742W
Distance travelled: 42 nm
Running effort total: 96,201 km

What a great start to the survey, after a good days travel we have had three minke while sightings with two identifiable by the photos taken. On top of this we also sighted several seals and harbour porpoises in glorious sunshine and light winds. Now we are settling down for dinner and an early night in anticipation for and early start and a potentially long day tomorrow.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Published: 15/04/2017

Loch Scresort, Rum
Lat. 57°00'.7N
Long. 006°16'.1W

Woke up at 5.30am again, but that meant I got a look into the engine room on the check before first breakfast, to which our beautiful "Farley Bridge" calls us. People seem to talk less and less at breakfast the longer the trip goes on.
Waking up to seastate 0, all our hopes were up for a beautiful day, and we were not disappointed; turning off the engine and letting the wind do all work under sunny skies, that is the life we all came here for. Through second breakfast and another lovely soup at the mast, we kept vigilance, made easy by the beauty and serenity around us. We did see some grey seals, bottling along, enjoying the day as much as we were. We then went for an extra loop in the Sound of Rum before tucking ourselves in this quaint loch, still not having gotten the sightings we were hoping for. Despite that, we all agree that the day was more than outstanding as it was (and Frazer kept adding that it is still valuable date we've collected). Another fun fact for the data people is the 96071km total on effort survey the Silurian has done so far, what a number!
Sun, sea, sailing and searching had made us all tired - Ed actually almost slept through dinner, and most everone else turned in soon after washing up, happily dreaming of all the animals we had passed unseeingly and will hopefully see tomorrow.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Published: 15/04/2017

Loch Scresort, Rum
Lat. 57°00'.7N
Long. 006°16'.1W

Woke up at 5.30am again, but that meant I got a look into the engine room on the check before first breakfast, to which our beautiful "Farley Bridge" calls us. People seem to talk less and less at breakfast the longer the trip goes on.
Waking up to seastate 0, all our hopes were up for a beautiful day, and we were not disappointed; turning off the engine and letting the wind do all work under sunny skies, that is the life we all came here for. Through second breakfast and another lovely soup at the mast, we kept vigilance, made easy by the beauty and serenity around us. We did see some grey seals, bottling along, enjoying the day as much as we were. We then went for an extra loop in the Sound of Rum before tucking ourselves in this quaint loch, still not having gotten the sightings we were hoping for. Despite that, we all agree that the day was more than outstanding as it was (and Frazer kept adding that it is still valuable date we've collected). Another fun fact for the data people is the 96071km total on effort survey the Silurian has done so far, what a number!
Sun, sea, sailing and searching had made us all tired - Ed actually almost slept through dinner, and most everone else turned in soon after washing up, happily dreaming of all the animals we had passed unseeingly and will hopefully see tomorrow.

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Thirsday 13th April 2017

Published: 13/04/2017

Bunessen, Mull
Position:  56°19'.2 N
                006°16'.0 W
Miles travelled: 50 nm

The forecast for today was promising with a NW 4-5 dropping to 3 later.
After we came out of our stunning anchorage, we headed towards Colonsay. The swell had died down since yesterday so we decided to go around the west side of Colonsay. Coming around the south side of the island, we had to beat into wind with the sea getting a little rough. Once we turned North the wind gained strenght allowing us to put all sails up. That moment when you turn off the engine is bliss. You hear nothing but the water splashing past the bow. (and the occasional "Creel on left 200 meters.")
Once we got into the Sound of Iona the sea settled and the sun came out. The views got even better as we came around the Ross of Mull with the rocky shore on one side and steep cliffs on the other.
Now we are anchored, we can look forward to a traditional Scottish meal: Haggis!

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Wednesday 12th April

Published: 13/04/2017

West Loch Tarbet, Jura
95,888km (Silurian's on survey effort running total)
63.2nm (todays total distance travelled)

Today we left Loch Spelve at 0830 with a full bag of local mussels for tonight's dinner which is being cooked as i write. After leaving the calm waters of Loch Spelve we were soon greeted with the forcasted strong winds and the rough seas that they stirred up! Despite this spirits wern't dampened as everyone onboard enjoyed a thrilling sail down the east coast of Jura and through the Sound of Islay.


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