GMIT Student On The Trail Of Dolphins And Whales

A student from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) is currently participating in the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) Ship Surveys Programme.

Enda McKeogh, a mature student from Ballina in Co Tipperary, departed Killybegs, Co. Donegal on Sunday on the Marine Institute’s research vessel Celtic Explorer.

Enda and the vessel are currently located west of Scotland, where he’s already had his first sightings of minke whales and common dolphins.  The expedition is scheduled to last three weeks.

Images taken by Enda on board the Celtic Explorer

Images taken by Enda on board the Celtic Explorer

According to Enda in his latest diary entry, posted on iwdg.ie: “We set off on Sunday the 19th from Killybegs at 18.30 on the Celtic Explorer as part of the North West Herring acoustic survey. I was somewhat apprehensive about the trip as this was my first survey and also my first time at sea for an extended period. I expected to be sea sick most of the time and not to see many cetaceans but this has proven not to be the case so far.”

“The area that we are surveying at the moment is between the Hebrides and the Scottish mainland is quite sheltered and there is little wind and no swell making perfect conditions for spotting marine mammals even at a distance. It is now the end of my day 2 of surveying and already, up to 40 common dolphins, 3 minke whales and even a couple of seals have crossed our path.

“The common dolphins were very keen to put on a show for us, bowriding and breaching but the minke whales were more elusive and made it difficult to get a good photo but there is plenty of time to get one yet! Hopefully these conditions will continue allowing many more sightings and some good photos”, Enda added.

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