An unforgettable adventure onboard Celtic Mists on our latest survey

Killybegs to Rossaveal

Crew members : Skipper Paul, First mate Cecily, marine biologist Hélène, Helena, Julia, Mary and Rea.

Embarking on our sixth week aboard the Celtic Mist we welcomed a new crew, ready to delve into the rich marine life off the coast of Ireland. Each week brings fresh excitement and unique encounters, and this week was no different. From sightings of playful dolphins to glimpses of a Minke whale, our journey was filled with thrilling moments. With strong camaraderie and a shared love for marine conservation, we navigated the challenges of the sea and embraced the beauty of Ireland’s rugged coastline. Join us as we recount the adventures and unforgettable experiences of this remarkable week.

Day 1:  Arrival and Introductions

As the new crew arrived aboard the Celtic Mist, excitement filled the air. We kicked off with a comprehensive orientation, exploring the boat and stocking up on provisions for the journey ahead. Our delightful neighbour, Pete, a friendly Scotsman sailing around Ireland, added a touch of camaraderie. We shared stories, discussed the week’s itinerary, and ended the day with a delicious meal at a local restaurant. Back on board, we reviewed marine mammal identification protocols, setting the stage for an exciting week of exploration.

Day 2: Dolphins and Bird life

We woke up bright and early, eager for our first day at sea. The weather was good, and we were thrilled to spot several pods of common dolphins, including a playful calf swimming at the bow. As the day progressed, sightings decreased, but the bird life didn’t disappoint. We observed puffins, razorbills, gannets, gulls, and more, painting the sky with their graceful flights. The wind picked up later in the day, making cetacean spotting more challenging. We anchored in Broadhaven Bay for the night, enjoying a delectable satay dinner and lively discussions about the day’s sightings. The rhythmic motion of the boat took some getting used to, but spirits remained high despite forecasts of strong winds.

Day 3: A Day in the Bay

With strong winds keeping us sheltered in Broadhaven Bay, we indulged in a much-needed sleep-in. The day unfolded with engaging discussions on marine mammals, reading, and games (animal snap!) that sparked laughter and camaraderie. We spotted terns and gannets, and a grey seal treated us to a close-up feeding spectacle. Despite the afternoon rain, our spirits remained bright aboard the Celtic Mist, enjoying the cozy atmosphere and shared enthusiasm for the adventure.

Day 4: Whale Watching Success

Another early start greeted but this time with perfect conditions—calm seas and no wind. Just as we left the bay, pods of common dolphins greeted us, followed by the exhilarating sight of a minke whale! The crew was ecstatic, witnessing this creature twice, making it a highlight of the trip. We also spotted a harbour porpoise very briefly along the coast. As we navigated south, we passed participants in the Round Ireland race. Anchoring at Inishbofin, we enjoyed a peaceful dinner in the bay, joined by our friend Pete for tea and shared stories. The day was capped off with a stunning sunset over the ruins.

Day 5: Challenging Conditions

We set out early to reach Inis Mor ahead of strong winds. The sea was already choppy, challenging our observational skills. Teamwork was crucial as we navigated past lobster pot buoys, ensuring our boat remained safe. Despite the rough conditions, playful common dolphins accompanied us, lifting our spirits. The rhythm of the waves lulled us into relaxation, with crew members taking turns napping and keeping watch. Arriving at Inis Mor in the afternoon, we relaxed with books and a lively game of Qwirkle. Dinner was followed by another round of games, and we anticipated another well-deserved sleep-in the following morning.

 Day 6: Exploring Inis Mor

After a leisurely breakfast of French crêpes, we decided to explore the charming island of Inis Mor. While some crew members stayed aboard, the rest ventured ashore, enjoying sightseeing, shopping, and indulging in local treats. A highlight was “adopting” a new crew member, a small brown sheep named Raymond, adding a fun twist to our adventure. After a stop at a local glamping site for a refreshing hot shower (the first of the week!) we returned to the boat. Our skipper prepared a delicious dinner, and we spent the evening playing board games, laughter echoing across the deck.

Day 7: Final Journey to Rossaveal

With improving weather, we prepared to sail back to Rossaveal. Before departure, some of the crew explored the impressive Dun Aonghasa fort, perched dramatically on the cliffs. By noon, we set sail, enjoying a smooth two-hour journey to our final destination. As we arrived, we gathered for one last tea and biscuit session, reflecting on the week’s adventures. The crew worked together to clean the Celtic Mist, ensuring it was ready for the next group of explorers.

Overall Stats

We sailed for more than 33h, representing 326km. We spent 22h30 minutes on effort (223km) and had 33 sightings in total, 28 of which were common dolphins.

Big thanks to this amazing crew for all the hard work and the team spirit and all the Qwirkle contests. This week aboard the Celtic Mist was filled with breath-taking wildlife, new friendships, and shared laughter. From playful dolphins and a shy minke whale to the stunning landscapes of Inis Mor, each day brought unforgettable experiences. As we bid farewell to the boat and each other, we carried home memories of a week well spent, eager for the next adventure on the Irish seas.

Hélène Quevreux

Celtic Mist Biologist

𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 s𝑢𝑟𝑣𝑒𝑦𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑟𝑢𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ  Fair Seas. 𝐷𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛, 𝐶𝑒𝑙𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑀𝑖𝑠𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑣𝑒𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝐼𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑, 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑛𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠.