Friday, 24 February 2012

Day 1: Departure from Cork city to Labadie Bank

We are well underway now :) The Celtic Explorer disembarked from Horgan's Quay at 16:00 hours and made the trip down to Cork Harbour. Once in Cobh the crew launched the IWDG rib for a test run. We are now steaming SW to Labadie Bank where we will be deploying 2 C-Pods for acoustic detections of bottlenose dolphins. 

The first mammal sighting of the day was of a few curious grey seals just coming into Cork Harbour. The journey to Cobh kept the Bird Team quite occupied with sightings of kestrels, black guillemots, gannets, kittiwakes, 2 Mediterranean gulls, 27 great crested grebes, black and bar tailed godwits. There was even a unusual sighting of a first winter ringed-billed gull spotted on a rooftop in Cobh village. These birds breed in North America and a rare sight this time of year. 

We have also had a couple cetacean sightings with the first being 5 bottlenose dolphins - one of which was a juvenile, who came and enjoyed a brief bow ride just before dinner. These dolphins are most likely part of the resident pod here in Cork. A single common dolphin was spotted just after sunset and enjoyed some quality time with the wake being created by the stern propellers a few kilometers off the coast. 

Of of the last cetacean sightings tonight were 3 common dolphins chasing the aft light of the ship surfing the waves on a clear starry night. Our location at 22:30 hours is + 20 nautical miles offshore. 

Here are some of the highlights to date:

Figure 1: The IWDG rib being loaded onto the Celtic Explorer Thursday evening. (Picture by Conor Ryan)

Figure 2: Students, Scientists and Crew undertaking an emergency action plan drill.
(Picture by Conor Ryan)

Figure 3: The R.V. Celtic Explorer as seen from the rib during it's test run in Cork Harbour.
(Picture by Conor Ryan)

Figure 4: The R.V. Celtic Voyager on it's journey into Cork Harbour for another expedition starting tomorrow. (Picture by Conor Ryan)

Figure 5: The Celtic Explorer in dock at Cork Harbour pre-departure. (Picture by Teresa Martin)

Figure 6: Some of the Students and Scientists on board the Celtic Explorer. (Picture by Teresa Martin)

Figure 7: Cobh village on our way out to the Atlantic Ocean. (Picture by Teresa Martin)

** Check back tomorrow for position updates and expedition highlights. **

Blog done by Teresa Martin. 

1 comment:

  1. Sitting here in Macclesfield UK with only a few gulls to remind me of the sea, 50 miles away! Your blog and pictures bring a fresh exciting atmosphere. Thank you for blogging. Best wishes for interesting science and good fun. Signed enviously Paddy O'Dwyer's mother's fella Mark!