Sail The Hebrides
HWDT conducts cetacean surveys throughout our field season (May - October) from aboard our research yacht Silurian.
Every year we welcome aboard enthusiastic volunteers who are willing to contribute directly to our research work. Volunteers, in effect, become marine mammal scientists for the duration of the survey; living and working aboard Silurian, assisting with day-to-day running, as well as working together as a team to carry out visual and acoustic surveys. To find out more about the research onboard please click here.
"The team was very knowledgeable and committed to conservation in the Hebrides and left us with the conviction that the data that we gathered was contributing to establishing an important base-line picture.” Graham Dock
Volunteers will assist fully in the collection of data, with mega-fauna and sea bird identification training provided. Acoustic and visual methods are combined to produce comprehensive data sets. During encounters photographs are taken of dorsal fins to try and identify the individual, gaining a better understanding of species movements and interactions with each other. The data collected, and subsequent information produced is essential when monitoring the distribution, relative abundance and habitat preference of cetacean species in the Hebrides. Only with coherent data can effective conservation and management strategies be designed to enable long-term protection of the amazing species found in our waters.
"Those 12 days sailing around the Hebrides changed my life. I do not regret anything about this trip. If I could, I would dedicate my whole life to the aid of nature." Lars Rumpel
As a volunteer onboard Silurian, you will have the opportunity to see first hand the amazing variety of marine wildlife the UK has to offer including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sharks and seabirds. You will explore some of the remotest, wildest parts of the British Isles, anchoring each night in a different secluded bay off one of the many Hebridean islands, venturing ashore to explore. The opportunity to gain sailing experience is also available, although no certificates are issued.
Rendezvous location is either in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, where HWDT is based, or Kyle of Lochalsh, where the bridge to Skye is, or Ullapool in the far north. More information on specific surveys will be provided on request. There is a monetary value attached to participating, costs vary between £895 - £1,395 - this includes accommodation (aboard) and food throughout the duration. The income generated allows HWDT to continue this well established research programme, you can be assured that without your contribution the research couldn't be undertaken.
2016 Survey Dates:
- 1st - 7th May; Tobermory Rendezvous; £895
- 11th - 19th May; Tobermory Rendezvous; £1,075 (Limited Availability)
- 7th - 15th June; Kyle of Lochalsh Rendezvous; £1,175
- 16th - 27th June; Kyle of Lochalsh Rendezvous; £1,395
- 11th - 22nd July; Tobermory Rendezvous; £1,395
- 5th - 13th August; Tobermory Rendezvous; £1,175
- 17th - 28th August; Tobermory Rendezvous; £1,395
- 2nd - 10th Sept; Ullapool Rendezvous; £1,075
- 18th - 29th Sept; Ullapool Rendezvous; £1,295
- 3rd - 11th April; £895
- 4th - 12th October; £895
1st - 7th July
26th July - 1st Aug
Please contact the volunteer coordinator if you have any questions about the survey. Moreover, if you would like to participate in an expedition please complete and online form and you will recieve a more detailed survey brief.
Fundraising Ideas for Volunteers
As proceeds go directly into funding our charity's vital research, you can also fundraise to raise money for your place on Silurian.
Here are a few ideas to get you started...