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.
"My trips on Silurian have been inspirational. It's a privilege to encounter wildlife in such a beautiful marine environment but to feel that you, as a team member, are contributing to the understanding of the cetaceans in these waters is very special indeed. It's something that will stay with you for ever. Every day is different and every encounter significant." Jan Storie, Silurian Volunteer (on multiple occassions!)
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.
“Volunteering aboard the Silurian can be a holiday with a difference; it can be an educational opportunity; it can be the first fleeting step towards a fully-fledged career in conservation. First and foremost, it is a contribution. Come and do this…if you want to contribute in a small but lasting way to something that is real, concrete and tangible” Silurian Volunteer, Sept 2015
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, 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 our research couldn't be undertaken.
All berths aboard our 2016 Cetacean Research Surveys are fully booked. If you would like to receive details of our 2017 expedition dates, please sign-up to our free monthly e-newsletter.
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.
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...Fundraising Ideas