Yes folks! This is our 20th year taking passengers out into the Mouth of the Shannon to look for and experience Ireland’s resident group of wild bottlenose dolphins. It’s hard to believe maybe…but we still get excited every single time a dolphin is sighted, or comes alongside the Draíocht, or a new calf is spotted, or we see an old friend like “Notch” – a venerable granddaddy…the list goes on and on. It is such a privilege to do what we do, we feel like it’s the best job in the world. On a good day. Possibly not so much on a day that is rock ‘n roll, when the sea swell makes the boat a bit more roll-y than our passengers would like, when we are searching for something grey against grey against grey. And then a gannet soars by, or a seal pops up for a look, or a Guillemot dives down as we cross its path, and we feel the reward of watching nature – and remember that patience is a virtue and rewarded a thousand fold by just taking it all in. Thank goodness the good days outweigh the bad, and we often bask in the sunshine on deck, surrounded by a well sourced gang of mega-fauna! Wait, mega-fauna?? Just heard this term used in the criteria for an eco-tourism credential – which we are in the process of going for. Mega-fauna is the new Euro speak term for Cetaceans – Whales, Dolphins & Porpoise. I love it. And we love it and look forward to a new season which is starting shortly, our 20th Anniversary Season. Keep in touch on our website http://www.dolphinwatch.ie for current sailing schedule & Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/DolpinwatchCarrigaholt – and we’ll keep in touch with you. See you soon! Susanne & Geoff
Another dolphin watching season has begun in beautiful bright weather. This is our 18th year! We have started with great enthusiasm this year. The Draíocht is looking well, all polished up and raring to go! We’ve had a few trips already, and the Mouth of the Shannon never ceases to amaze… gannets diving on large shoals of fish( sprat & possibly mackerel), nesting fulmars, manx shearwaters and guillemots flying low, skimming the water, the goat herd on Rehy Hill and, of course, the dolphins, themselves, are all sights that we have seen during our trips so far this year.
The last few days, the dolphins have been feeding at Loop Head, which is a spectacular backdrop for watching them. The group was comprised of about 6 adults, 4 juveniles, and at least 1 calf. One of the adults was our old friend “Notch” or CN1 (Photo ID name). Always with calves and obviously very old, judging by the large gnarly dorsal fin, we always thought of Notch as the Grand Dam of the Dolphins… but after a DNA sample was taken, it turns out Notch is male! So, he is the Granddaddy of them all, instead. The juveniles were playful and curious, zipping around the boat and riding the bow waves. It is wonderful to see new calves and we ope to be seeing plenty more.
We’d like to remind you of our Sunset Trips around Loop Head. These are very special 4 hour trips to see the nesting bird colonies on the spectacular cliff ledges at the Loop. We only do a few each year, so if you are interested, please email me to put you on our contact list. We run these trips in May, June and July, departing around 5 pm and returning around 10pm, in calm sea conditions.
If you are on Facebook, we would like to invite you to become a fan of ours. The link is on our website or you can click http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dolphinwatch-Carrigaholt/113185132041868?ref=mf .
Our plan is to keep everyone as informed as possible through our website, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress (links are all on our website: http://www.dolphinwatch.ie). We welcome your own contributions of your experiences, photos and videos, so please share with us.
We hope you have a great summer and that we will see you at some stage out on the Draíocht!
Well, once again we are on the water. Our first trip is set for Friday, April 16th. The weather is so wonderful and the dolphins have been seen quite a lot by the local fishermen. The sea birds are nesting and it will all be fantastic. Get out into that nature, my friends, it’ll do you the power of good!!
Hey there! Dolphinwatch is now blogging…not sure where this will go, but i am learning social networking for business, and making an attempt into the 21st C.
The joys of Spring! The Loop Head Peninsula is buzzing with life. Raven chicks in huge stick nests on the cliffs, shags also sitting on eggs, hares gallumping up and down fields, sea pinks (thrift) beginning to appear.
I guess I want this blog to be about the nature we see here, in this very special nature-rich piece of the world.