In the Thick of the Action. Twice.

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Two consecutive days of full-on Dolphin action, including two large groups which may have qualified as superpods. It is very difficult to estimate the number of individuals in a confused mass of water, especially when one’s grey matter is on the verge of blowing a fuse with all the fizzing excitement.

This sort of stuff was way beyond my wildest dreams when I started offshore sea kayaking, but if you can be bothered to paddle miles and miles offshore for hours and hours, sooner or later you are going to come across some action.

Most likely a quiet little Porpoise puffing its way quietly along….

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Harbour porpoise

but every so often, especially in late summer, you are in for a bit of a treat.

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DAY 1: Berry Head, Brixham

My offshore paddle beyond Berry Head was initially halted by a bank of fog that rolled in when I was a mile off the headland. I had just seen a small pod of dolphins but they were suddenly consumed in the murk, and I had to navigate back to the headland using the GPS. Being out of sight of land is always a bit unsettling, but the greatest danger is being run over by some moron in a speedboat (or jetski).

 

 

The mist dispersed so I headed off again, directly out from Berry Head.

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Berry Head

The surface was initially a bit choppy, but smoothed off as the mist thinned, and I heard splashing behind me that came from a small pod of Common Dolphins. One had an unusually pale dorsal fin:

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pale-finned dolphin

Sights such as this ensure that you will be planning your next kayaking trip the minute you get home.

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Common Dolphin going for air

I was ‘checked out’ by four ‘Bonxie’ Great Skuas. Migrating seabirds always fly a bit closer to the coast during conditions of poor visibility, and these are on their way to spend the winter in the Atlantic after (probably) breeding in Scotland.

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Great Skua

Although the activity went quiet my aim was to paddle exactly five miles from Berry Head. When my GPS got precisely to 5.00 miles I stopped for a coffee and crunch cream. And heard a distant continuous splashy roar that was like surf breaking on a beach, coming from further out to sea. At the limit of vision I could just see a mass of dark shapes appearing at the surface.

Fifteen minutes of flat-out paddling later……..

 

 

I estimated 50-70 in the group and the general rule is that the actual number of dolphins is twice what you think. So probably 100+, and 100 qualifies as a superpod. Another first for thelonekayaker.

Two relaxed hours of paddling later, and another small pod of dolphins and a porpoise or two, I was back amongst (sort of) civilisation.

Tombstoners and a busy bank-holiday Brixham Breakwater beach.

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Brixham Tombstoners
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Breakwater beach and Brixham

DAY 2: Mount’s Bay, Penzance

I was meeting Henry’s friend Josh at Penzance at 7.30am. He was dead keen to see dolphins, so the pressure was on. I generally don’t go far offshore unless the wind forecast is less than 5mph. Any more and the kayak bounces around too much, you can’t hear blows and splashes above the sound of the breaking wavelets, and you can’t see a fin so well when the surface is not smooth.

I am also wary in taking anyone out far offshore in a kayak for a trip which could easily be twenty miles and seven to eight hours long. Not just because of safety, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you don’t see any dolphins, which is very possible because they are so wide-ranging.P1360811

Anyway, Josh seemed up for it, and we got off to a good start by seeing Eddie the resident Eider duck (in eclipse plumage), about a minute after getting on the water. The first one Josh had seen in UK.

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Eddie the Eider

Over the next two hours we swung three miles offshore past Mousehole and saw just one porpoise. The sea was choppy, with small whitecaps, and was steely grey under cloudy skies. Not great, especially as the wind was behind us which would make the long paddle back even longer.

But everything changed in an instant.

Half-a-mile ahead ten Gannets were circling and diving from a huge height. I knew that with such intense activity there would almost certainly be dolphins involved so we powered forward. Fins at the surface. Phew. Pressure off. Even better the sea suddenly smoothed off and the sun came out!

 

Josh was as enthralled and as excited I thought he would be. Listen to this clip carefully.

 

As the pod moved off we heard a persistent distant splashing a lot further out, so of course could not resist a bit of investigation…… it was a huge pod of dolphins spread over a large area, with hundreds of Manx Shearwaters zipping past and loafing about on the surface. Offshore kayak wildlife heaven. The shearwaters alone would have probably made the whole trip worthwhile.

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Manx Shearwaters

 

 

We spent a long time watching and enjoying, basically sat right in the middle of the action. It was a feast for the ears as much as the eyes, surrounded by a permanent sloshing and splashing and puffing. Common Dolphins are my favourite cetacean for that precise reason…they are so energetic and active.

And then we heard the blow of a whale. Loud and long and a blast that sounds like it is coming out of a very wide tube. It was not easy to work out precisely where the noise came from, so we stared in the general direction, and wished the dolphins would quieten down a bit (how amazing is that….not being able to hear a whale for the sound of splashing dolphins!). Nothing more for a long while, then another non-directional blast of breath and that was it….we never saw it, although Josh thinks he saw a long back in front of a curved fin for an instant.

But come on, Josh, it’s  a bit much to see a whale on your first ever offshore wildlife kayak trip.

So he had to settle for a dolphin superpod instead. Tough.

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I had been watching a very black-looking thunderstorm gathering in the south. We were ninety minutes paddling time from the shore and it is not a great idea to be stuck out in the middle of the sea holding a carbon-fibre paddle if there is lightning around.

We started to head in as the first drops of rain started to fall (so a bit late, probably), but the dolphins hadn’t finished with us.

The biggest dolphin of the pod swum right in between us….

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Josh and big dolphin
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King of the dolphins and thelonekayaker! (thanks for the pic, Josh)

 

and it then escorted us away by riding our bow wave for a few minutes as we sped towards the shore.

More distraction when we were a couple of miles from the security of Mousehole. An unusually large pod of Harbour Porpoises, probably in excess of twenty. Same routine, we just quietly approached and sat completely still and the action ( quiet and porpoisey, unlike the animated dolphins) happened around us…..often behind us!

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It’s behind you….three porpoises (if you look closely)

 

We rolled into Mousehole for lunch (sandwiches) on the harbour wall in the rain, and headed back to Penzance as it eased off, narrowly avoiding getting tombstoned.

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Mousehole
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Mousehole tombstoners

One more wildlife nugget awaited us as we arrived back at Penzance Harbour after our seventeen mile, seven hour trip. Tucked in amongst the Turnstones roosting at high tide was this cracking Knot, still with a wash of orange summer plumage. A migrant from the high arctic.

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Napping Knot and Turnstone
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Knot and Turnstone

So, two very large pods of dolphins on two consecutive days in two different counties, both probably exceeding the magical number of a hundred to make them superpods.

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Jump for joy.

 

 

 

Torbay Air Show

I thought Igor had it buttoned. His display in the Ukrainian Sukhoi Flanker at Fairford was my favourite of the year, and it was unlikely to be bettered.

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Sukhoi SU-27 at Fairford

But it has been. By a load of dolphins in Torbay this morning.

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Brixham Breakwater
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Common Dolphins, Berry Head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WOW.

Looking at these pics closely I think that this is an adolescent dolphin, so probably about six foot long (adults average seven foot). The colour and markings are a bit more wishy-washy and less well demarcated than the adult dolphin in the pic in front of Brixham breakwater. The individual breaking the surface in the pic off Berry Head is also juvenile with an ill-defined yellow patch and no black eyestripe or ‘beard’ that the adults have.

I think that it is probably the same exuberant youngster doing the jumping on each occasion. I think it topped out at well over ten foot of air. It did sequences of two or three jumps which was great for photography because I could get zoomed in and ready after the first leap. However the first jump was always higher than the next ones, so it could have been pushing fifteen foot.

Common Dolphins are always lively and splashy and full of energy, that is a large part of their charm. On a calm day I have been alerted to the presence of a pod purely by the sound of distant splashing, before I could actually see them.

But I have only seen jumps like this once or twice before, and never repeated so often. Here is a Gopro video from Penzance last year. The dolphin is only a speck so you’ll have to look closely, but it certainly gets some height:

It was great to see other wildlife enthusiasts enjoying the show off Berry Head today led by Nigel Smallbones.P1360446

Thanks for the pic Nigel. I seem to be looking in the wrong direction, which is not unusual.Thank you God

 

August Wildlife: Up the Creek to Open Sea

The encounter with the Humpback  (on 2nd Aug) is the most exciting wildlife spectacle I have witnessed from my kayak, by quite a long way.

Explosive drama.

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Humpback Whale

The scene is rather more serene at the upper tidal limit of the River Torridge. In fact not a lot could be more serene.

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Torridge Swans

The Swan family are thriving and drift about in the complete silence of a late summer morning.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the family with three cygnets on the River Tamar is not doing so well.

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Morwellham Swans

They are now down to one youngster as I passed the corpses of the other two cygnets yesterday floating at the surface, over a mile apart. ????

Most birds stopped singing at the end of June when their breeding season came to an end, but swallows are an exception and are not only still singing, there are still young in the nest. Some pairs will rear a third brood which may not fledge until early October.

The soundtrack  of the summer.

 

The top of the tidal estuaries are fresh water and are the home of Dippers who just can’t resist bobbing.

 

 

 

 

One of the bonuses of choosing Devon and Cornwall as a kayaking destination is the hundreds of miles of sheltered creek to explore when the exposed coast and open sea is lashed by wind, as it has been on and off for the last couple of weeks.

 

 

 

 

It’s great to see the pretty little Mandarin Ducks that seem to have made the Upper Torridge their home. They originate from escapes from collections and have only been in this area for a few years.

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Mandarin Duck

Heading down towards the sea Curlews demonstrate how to spruce oneself up despite an enormous bill, and Little Egrets spear little fish in the shallows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flock of Black-headed gulls is irresistible to a passing Peregrine that slices through the middle of them. You will see it cut through the flock from right to left. Unsuccessfully, on this occasion. It looks brownish so it is probably a this year’s youngster.

 

 

 

 

This next clip is a bit depressing. A Herring gull with a plastic bag wrapped round its leg. I don’t fancy its chances.

 

 

 

Seals sometimes venture far up the estuaries because there is the potential for good fishing. Even if salmon and sea trout are not as numerous as they used to be, there’s plenty of mullet that follow the tide in.

This is a Harbour Seal well up the Fowey estuary. It clearly wants to take a mid-morning nap  but is unfortunately spooked by the approach of a rowing scull.

 

 

I have sneaked out along the coast during the very few spells of lighter wind during the last few weeks. The Turnstones have returned to the barnacle encrusted rocks. Here one is still in full summer plumage (the smarter-looking bird) while the other is in the less smart winter plumage.

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Turnstones, Mevagissey

It was a bit of a surprise to see a Redshank out on the rocky coast…they usually prefer the mud of estuaries. On migration, no doubt.

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Torbay Redshank (looking a bit knock-kneed)

The problem with wearing Crocs for kayaking is that when you stop for a cup of coffee and a Crunch Cream and walk across a beach they have an almost magnetic attraction for the most painful and spiky stones and shells to get inside and poke the soles of your feet.

It’s a common occurrence, but this is the first one to have been alive.

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Hermit Crab in Croc

At Mevagissey this is the first Crystal jellyfish I have seen this year…didn’t they star in Avatar, by the Tree of Life?

 

 

Grey Seals always make me chuckle when they are ‘bottling’ i.e. sleeping vertically in the water. They can be really deep asleep and I have actually accidentally bumped into them before.

This one at Mevagissey was certainly fairly well gone and you can hear it snoring. Fortunately I didn’t disturb it at all and managed to depart the scene without it apparently waking.

 

 

I came across more seals in Torbay; a woolly-looking bull Grey Seal and a perky Harbour Seal. Harbour seals used to be rare in SW England but they seem to be slowly invading.

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Grey Seal bull, Thatcher Rock
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Harbour Seal, Thatcher Rock

There has been a single window of opportunity for an offshore paddle during the last couple of weeks, lasting only a few hours and early in the morning. The Cornish Riviera at Mevagissey was my destination and I was very pleased to see half-a-dozen Porpoises and a little pod of four Common Dolphins.

Way beyond my expectations on a choppy day.

As usual a couple of adults came over to assess the threat I posed to the juvenile that they were escorting. Fortunately I was quickly deemed to be safe and they carried on feeding close to the kayak. I sometimes half-wish that they would hesitate for a split second before making up their minds, as if they had mistaken me for an impressive creature such as an Orca or a Great white. But they don’t. One glimpse and they have got me pigeonholed alongside floating logs and marine detritus.

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Gorran Haven Common Dolphin

 

 

 

 

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Common Dolphin and Tectona (sail-training ship)

For the next week or so the dolphins wont have to worry whether I am a Killer Whale or piece of flotsam, because I will not be out there in the strong wind. The weather is currently so poor and all other paddling venues so chopped-up, or with unfavourable tides, that the only suitable location is the good-old Bude Canal.

 

Summer in Full Swing

Oh dear. The traditional style of English summer seems to have had a bit of a revival.

 

At least the sea’s nice and warm.

Here’s a selection of pics and clips of all the sea and beach lovers doing their stuff around the coast of Devon and Cornwall, defying the uninspiring August weather. Despite gloom overhead nearly everyone I meet during my paddling expeditions is smiling and enthusiastic….it’s the magic of the sea.

And it’s not just people on holiday.

Pete the Teignmouth lobster fisherman is just as cheerful.

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Pete with a decent brace of Lobster

The Teignmouth seals are not fussed about the coasteerers (or their rosy language):

 

 

Many fishermen at Mevagissey  now take tourists for a spin around the bay:

 

 

 

 

 

How excellent is this?….

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Morning Swim/float, Gorran Haven

 

What on earth is the matter with the children on this beach? Have they no souls? They should be staring at this stunning locomotive with their jaws hanging open in awe and wonderment ( and maybe noting the number). But instead they are wandering about like zombies. They should be taught trainspotting at school.

 

 

 

 

 

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Paul, Teignmouth
Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel, Torquay
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Dogs, dogs, dogs.
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Babbacombe
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lunchtime tipplers
Gorran Haven
Gorran Haven
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Paul again
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Daphne du Maurier
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Fabulous Fowey

Just one class of boat makes me grind my teeth…..

 

Oh no, they’re coming back.

 

…….but everyone is essentially happy and smiling.

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Humpback. Complete Fluke.

Apologies for the pun. Couldn’t resist it.

I’ve clearly been influenced by the tabloids:

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Daily Mail
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The Sun

I still can’t quite believe my luck with this staggering encounter. This was my seventh trip of the year around Mount’s Bay from Penzance. The inner bay (inside a line from St.Michaels Mount to Mousehole) is relatively sheltered and tidal flows are weak. Further along the coast towards Gwennap Head the tidal rate increases, with a potentially fizzy area off Tater Du lighthouse where currents converge and there is an underwater ridge.

Swirling currents mean fish which in turn mean dolphins (and whales) but if there is any wind at all it is not at all great for offshore kayaking because the sea chops up dramatically. So I am very wary off paddling miles out to sea in this particular location.

So it was incredibly fortunate that on this remarkable day there was no wind at all and the sea was essentially smooth…just a small swell rolling through.

The timing of my arrival was sheer luck as well. I had paddled fourteen miles out from Penzance in a big offshore loop and had been going for five hours. I heard the whale blowing about at least half an hour before I saw it and I think it had only just arrived in the area. I watched it for well over an hour and I left it working its way west towards Land’s End, where it was seen later in the day.

So it was only there for a couple of hours, just when I happened to roll up.

Extreme fluke.

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I’ve actually been focused on looking for whales from my kayak for over five years. This means heading far from the shore and I have clocked up about five hundred miles of offshore paddling (more than a mile from the coast) for each of the last four years.

I am very fortunate in having the time and living in a location to be able to do this, because days suitable for offshore kayaking (unless you are a hard-core type) are few and far between.

I only venture out if the wind is less than five mph all day. In SW England this is unusual. A wind any stronger than this makes the kayak bounce around and photography becomes even more challenging, and as soon as there are any splashy waves the chances of seeing a fin diminishes and the chances of hearing a cetacean breathing also goes down. And its just not so much fun.

Photography from a kayak with a camera that is not waterproof is tricky at the best of times. It lives in a dry bag behind my seat and is promoted to my lap when action is imminent.

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Camera stowed safely (in grey/black drybag)
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camera poised for action

The next few weeks are ‘out’ as far as offshore kayaking is concerned, because the wind is going to be too strong. Just look at the forecast for today, for instance:

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savage winds across S England

Before this big encounter I have had ten whale sightings in Devon and Cornwall. Mostly fleeting glimpses of a passing Minke Whale, frequently only one blow and it is gone. This video is fairly typical (including the slate grey sea)

 

Also a very dramatic sighting of a large whale, thought to be an incredibly rare Sei Whale, lunge fishing near the Eddystone lighthouse, three years ago.

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Probable Sei Whale, Eddystone

My only previous encounter with a Humpback was Horace (aka Doris) off South Devon in 2017. This photo looks great but when you consider that Horace was tangled up in a lobster pot line and so going nowhere, it’s not so good.

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Horace and thelonekayaker

Fortunately he/she was released successfully by the BDMLR team.

I have been so keen to improve my whale-from-kayak chances, I have ventured on trips to Greenland…..

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Greenland kayak-camping

and the world’s greatest ocean-aquarium, the Sea of Cortez in Mexico….

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Sea of Cortez

Fantastic experiences both, a few glimpses of distant whales, but the search for that magical encounter continued…..

until now. gulp 8

I still can’t quite believe that the sort of sight that I had specifically gone to both Greenland and Mexico to see, happened right here on my doorstep. It’s all the more personally satisfying for me that I came upon the Humpback completely unexpectedly, completely randomly, completely unguided, and powered only by my own grunt. I have always been a huge supporter of observing and celebrating the natural history on your home patch, even though it might be harder to find, and require more effort (and enduring some dubious weather) than hopping on a plane to where the wildlife might be handed to you on a plate (so to speak).

I’ve also always quite liked doing stuff where the end result is extremely unlikely to happen and only comes about by putting in huge amounts of hours of trying. I think I am the only individual daft enough to go looking for whales from a kayak in England.

So here we are….everybody’s favourite species of whale putting in a spectacular show of lunge-feeding, fin-slapping and raising the tail flukes (but no singing….as far as I could hear, above my pounding heart).

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Humpback, Gwennap Head behind

Played out on a calm blue sea under a cloudless blue sky with a backdrop of the stunning Cornish coast. How good is that?

Everybody loves a Humpback…this next video has had well over one million views. That’s more than Happy Talk (singalong version) by Captain Sensible on Youtube. Sorry, Capt.

 

 

Just seeing this next image is exciting enough for me. It was all I was ever hoping to see. Six views so far. All by myself.

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Humpback back

I might struggle to match the excitement of this astonishing sight in subsequent blog posts, but if I can convey the enjoyment of slicing through the water completely silently and unobtrusively, whether it is far offshore or miles inland up a creek, observing and enjoying the huge variety of wild creatures that inhabit the southwest of England, then all is good.

It is great to welcome a whole load of new readers on board.

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Humpback

It’s Seawatch National Whale and Dolphin Watch this week, and I was keen to match, or improve upon,  my last year’s total of 96 (80 Common Dolphins and 16 Porpoises).

Two days of windless conditions were forecast so I was well fired-up for a couple of big offshore trips. Early starts, of course, early is always better.

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Veryan Bay

On the first day I paddled 22 miles round Veryan and Gerrans bay to the east of the Roseland peninsular. Normally I would have been thrilled with the forty porpoises I saw, with a lot more heard puffing but not seen, but when I practically leapt out of my kayak seat as a whale surfaced and breathed behind me, but I never actually saw it, I was a little deflated.

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Veryan Bay Porpoises

At least I had the consolation of my first Ocean Sunfish of the year…..

 

 

 

 

 

and a reluctant to be photographed Red-necked Grebe in breeding plumage.

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Red-necked Grebe

I was absolutely focused on trying to see a whale on Day 2. I haven’t yet seen one for certain this year despite two close encounters. My plan was a trip to the Eddystone but when I checked the wind forecast before I left the house (at 4.30am) Mount’s Bay looked the best bet…more or less smooth all day. So off I went to Penzance.

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Dawn Patrol at Penzance

I was on the water just after sunrise and the sea was like a pond. No wind, no chop, no swell. Absolutely perfect. Any fin or disturbance at the surface for up to half-a-mile away I was going to see. Although the best guide were the Gannets. They only have to circle round once to make me paddle over to check for porpoises, or even better, dolphins.

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Roving Gannets

First up were a couple of porpoises, a mother and a calf. Always great to see as they go about their business in an unobtrusive manner, and a speciality to see from a kayak because their loud puff can be heard from quite a distance as you slide along in complete silence. Any sort of engine noise would drown them out (so to speak).

 

 

 

 

 

Fantastic….. there were slightly bigger fins ahead. A little pod of Common Dolphins, including a couple of youngsters. Then a couple more small groups of about half-a-dozen.My Seawatch survey was gathering pace.

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Common Dolphins in front of Mousehole

I kept two to three miles offshore after Mousehole as I was hoping for the big stuff, and sea conditions were exceptionally relaxing. It was still and sunny and I was beginning to regret wearing wetsuit trousers….humidity overload!

Just after Lamorna the sea was suddenly boiling with life. The surface was stippled with shoals of little fish which covered areas the size of tennis courts, all over the place. I found myself in the middle of several compact shoals and I could see through the crystal clear water that they looked like sandeels.

Manx Shearwaters hunted the eels by diving from the surface, and some little posses loafed about at the surface doing a bit of preening.

 

 

 

 

 

Just listening was extraordinary. There was the puff of porpoises everywhere, the thoomph of diving Gannets, and the splash of shearwaters. Then an almighty, powerful slashing, splash right in front of me that can only have been a Giant Tuna, although I never saw the fish. It must have been way bigger than a Common Dolphin. Blooming heck.

I was drifting past Tater Du lighthouse, two miles offshore. I knew that it was a very big Spring tide today and the current was up to two miles per hour dragging down towards Land’s End. I already had an eight mile paddle back to Penzance, and with my cruising speed of three miles per hour, it could be a long paddle back. Especially after yesterday’s twenty plus miles.

Any sort of wind would have chopped the surface up significantly and I would have turned back, and I would have missed what was coming next. It was however completely still….the perfect un-storm.

Then I heard what sounded like an extended breath, but far far away. Could have been a prolonged tuna splash, but I hoped it was a whales breath. I sat and had a cup of coffee and a think about what to do, and listened. There it was again. Then nothing more. I turned to head back to Penzance but just couldn’t drag myself away. I was just about to start paddling when I heard the breathy noise again, and then another in a different place. So can’t have been a whale…..unless there were two!

Total excitement overload, I couldn’t resist it. I was off in pursuit.

Half-a-mile ahead a great grey bulk emerged from the water and disappeared in a huge splash. What?!? Must have been a lunge-feeding Minke Whale…wow.

I powered on and I saw a whale’s blow! So no Minke because they don’t show a blow, so even more amazing.

By coincidence Duncan and Hannah Jones from Marine Discovery had just arrived in Shearwater II to watch the action, having also seen the whale’s splashes from afar.

I stopped and waited and the whale came a bit closer. This is my first decent sight and it is heading directly towards me. You can hear my shaky excitement breath…must get my heart checked out some time.

 

 

 

 

 

It was a blinking Humpback!

Then the REAL excitement started. It lunged at a patch of sandeels close by and I started the video. As I waited for it to surface a dark patch of sandeels came steadily closer , which was a bit (in retrospect, VERY) worrying. I could clearly see two large patches of sandeels at the surface, and I was sitting right in the middle of one of them.I knew the whale was about to engulf one of the shoals so when the sandeels started to leap out of the water all around me I peered down into the water to see if the whale was on the way up! You can see in the video I hang a leg over the side o the kayak to provide a bit more stability in case of a tidal wave, (and hear me catch my breath). Unfortunately the whale chose the other shoal.

 

 

 

 

 

How can this be happening just off the coast of Cornwall? I would have pinched myself if there had been a gap in the action.

Next up it lunged directly towards me.

 

 

 

 

 

Unbelievably a Minke Whale then appeared on the scene, right beside Shearwater II. My closest and best ever view of a Minke, and what I was really hoping to see today, but it was a sideshow compared to the Humpback. At one stage they both surfaced together in the same eyeball-bite.

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Minke Whale

 

 

 

 

 

It was then time for a bit of fin-slapping. Yes, that white thing is the Humpback’s pectoral fin.

 

 

 

 

 

Next a pod of about ten Common Dolphins appeared on the scene and shadowed the whale in search of an easy bite. The whale played up to the crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

The last time I saw a Humpback (a couple of years ago in South Devon) I was a bit disappointed not to capture the classic image of the tail flukes coming up when the whale does a deep dive. That was corrected today…big time:

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Flukes in front of Porthcurno
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Humpback flukes and Porthcurno

and how convenient, it dived with legendary St. Michael’s Mount as a backdrop.

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Humpback in front of St. Michael’s Mount

I was getting a bit twitchy as I had now drifted as far as Porthcurno, and the current was only going to get stronger in the build-up to Gwennap Head. Four hour paddle back, hope they havn’t run out of Raspberry Flake McFlurries at MacDonalds.

So the humpback put on its final display, Common Dolphins as a support act.

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of superlatives today. Not least that I saw four species of cetacean within half an hour (Humpback, Minke, Common Dolphin, Porpoise). Last year it was only three species. And a Giant Bluefin Tuna leapt clean out of the water right in front of me as I was just starting to paddle back.

And today’s total was 1 Humpback, 1 Minke, 36 Common Dolphins, 25 porpoise bringing my week’s total and contribution to National whale and dolphin watch to 105 individual cetaceans.

Phew. Wow, Blinking Heck.

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Blow

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gulp 6

gulp 8

P1350351

Oh, I forgot about the other stuff like scenery……P1350361