Celtic Mist sailing from Fenit to Cork4th Sep 2018
5 September 2018
Since the exciting views of Bottlenose dolphins in Brandon bay the crew of the Celtic Mist had to work hard to spot cetaceans in big swells between spells of mist and rain. Nearby Bull rock we spotted Risso’s dolphins including a mother and calf in the white capped swells. The team was delighted to see this charismatic species, it seemed fitting to see this less frequently seen species in rough weather and several miles offshore. Photo identification images of the dorsal fins were frantically taken while being tossed about on the bow. Thankfully the Risso’s hung around long enough for us to see the white glow of their scarred skin though the water, their unusual rounded head and tall dorsal fins.
This exciting encounter wouldn’t be our last of the trip however as we finally came across feeding activity off the Cork coast. Gannets and Manx shearwater swarmed on fish driven to the surface by Common dolphins. Blow! Blow! Out with the camera, the crew were buzzing we finally found whales! Minke whales lunged through the shoal of fish again and again. It was amazing to see these whales throwing themselves through the surface of the water. We were left puzzled though as we were positive that we has seen a blow which must have been from a large whale species. Surprisingly the culprit of the occasional blow was one of the larger Minke whales which had a noticeable notch in its dorsal fin. None of the crew had ever seen a Minke whale blow before! It was an amazing whale encounter leaving the crew truly satisfied with the journey taken. Did I mention breathtaking coastal views, great people and even a little seasickness? Character building stuff or at least a top up the veterans among us agreed!
Blog by John Collins
27 August 2018
Celtic Mist set sail at lunchtime on a week trip from Fenit, Co Kerry to Crosshaven, Co Cork. Skipper Mick O'Meara and six crew waited till the winds dropped at lunchtime to depart Fenit marina where Celtic Mist has laid for the last week for the short passage to an anchorage off Brandon.
Top of the list was to find bottlenose dolphins, which are frequently found in Brandon Bay and which belong to the resident Shannon population. The dolphins in the Shannon have, as usual for August, been hard to find and we suspect they use Brandon Bay during this period to hunt salmon and mackeral. A group of 14-22 dolphins were observed in Brandon Bay near the anchorage and plenty of photographs were taken for photo-id. Even when Celtic Mist made anchor as the sunset, the dolphins were still around her before disappering. A good start to the week.
Celtic Mist observedc mlore bottlenose dolphins as it left its anchorage in Brandon but only saw common dolphins during its passage through the Blaskets. No humpbacks. Peter Lawless took some lovely pioctures of Celtic Mist in Dingle Bay on Wednesday from his yacht Waxwing. Thanks Peter
After leaving Dingle Celtic Mist travelled to Derrynane and then onto Castletownbere. It will make the passage to Baltimore on Friday and the longer passage to Cork on Saturday.
Photos:Derek J Mc Greevy