Seal Pup Basil Fawlty ..Released

Basil looks out to sea

Basil the recued seal pup has now been nursed back to health by the dedicated Animal Care Team Staff at the Gweek National Seal Sanctuary.and has over tripled his weight.  Alongside the staff and other BDMLR Marine Mammal Medics…we watch  the exciting moment of the seal’s  release back into the wild to try their chances again to survive against the odds. Basil’s big moment is about to begin…..the seals dash down to the sea but Basil is unsure and hides under the National Seal Sanctuary Jeep.Unsure what to do Basil breaks away from the rest of the seals and hides under the Seal Sanctuary JeepWe can still see you Basil!Basil spots something interesting in the shallows.Basil has spotted another sealAnother released seal pup waits in the shallows and looks back at Basil….enticing him to join her.Another released seal pup looks back at BasilThe other seal is eventually enough to lure him out to seaLaughingBasil tries the water 

Who could blame the little seal pup with icicles hanging from the cliffs on the beach…but the draw of the beautiful shimmering blue water of North Cornwall’s Atlantic Ocean eventually attracts Basil to take the final plunge.icicles hang form cliffs at the beachBasil finally swims out to sea

Basil finally heads out to sea!…

Science Cruise

Annabelle crewed up  aboard The Spirit of Plymouth to join the Marine Biological Association Scientists who brought Marine Science to local children ,learning  whist enjoying the fun of a cruise. Plankton samples were taken and observed, marinelife includng: Gannets, Oyster Catchers, Cormorants, Shags and numerous Gulls were recorded by the young stundents in their new role as marinelife surveyors. Water salinity tests were taken using high tech equipment loaned by the MBA. The Crew gave us a steady jaunt around Plymouth Sound so we could deploy our equipment…lucky us ..it was a perfect day for a cruise. The young minds were stimulated through play and a great day was had by all. Many thanks to all of the staff at the MBA for organising a superb learning experience and the crew of Spirit of Plymouth for looking after us so well.  

Spirit of Plymouth hosts Science Cruise

Scientific Marine Crew gather at Plymouth Sound

Plankton Boat Trip

Jason Birt inspects Plankton sample

Newquay Marine Group Plankton day participants aboard Atlantic Diver

Plankton Net

Rebecca Allen from Cornwall College

“Atlantic Diver” was out Trolling for plankton today with Newquay Marine Group. The group enjoyed sunshine and blue skies today and examed the samples at Cornwall Marine College labs. 

Dave and John from Par Beach

Plankton

Cornwall College plankton lecture with Newquay Marine Group

There were multiple samples of Copepods, the Basking Sharks favourite’s Zoo plankton, Jellyfish, Crab Larvae, Arrow Worms, Barnacle Moults, Sea Squirt, multiple Phytoplankton. 

The Basking Sharks are on their way.

Examing Plankton under Microscope

Risso’s Dolphins off Newquay

Beautiful Risso's Dolphins swim past Atlantic Diver

Atlantic Diver was treated to a rare sighting of a pod of about 30 beautiful Risso’s Dolphins today. They swam in pairs which is typical of this species of Cetacean and although not interested in playing with the boat…lucky anglers out on a Newquay Sea Safari and Fishing trip off Newquay were able to view them from a short distance away from the boat. It is the first time skipper Chris lowe has seen this species of Dolphin so close to Newquay. He identified them with a little help from wildlife guide  Annabelle when he at first thought they were Bottlenose Dolphins but was puzzled by their distance from the coastline and rounded shaped heads and short beaks….similar to Pilot Whales. Some were very dark in colour like Pilot Whales whist others were very pale , almost white like Belugas. Several were also scarred….this scarring is thought to be from fighting or teeth contact ( rake marks) from other Risso’s Dolphins and maybe even from Squid injuries which makes up part of their diet. Their very Falcate fin was another identifying point. All of these identifying marks can be seen in the following pictures taken by Chris. ….Wow the passengers and skipper were blown away….”Fintastic!!!” It will be interesting to see what marine Wildlife we spot this winter as Atlantic Diver will remain in the water to continue trips throughout the winter period..please call the skipper to arrange any trips.

 

Risso's Dolphin with short rounded beak and bulging forehead

 

Risso's Dolphin typically swim in pairs

pale falcate fin of Risso's Dolphin

Rare and Beautiful Risso’s Dolphins!!!

 

Risso's Dolphin

One of the most amazing life time experiences began  Saturday 27th of August which was the start of the National Whale and Dolphin week where our crew  at Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing were recording all of the huge variety of our fantastic Marine Wildlife we were seeing here during our sea safaris and diving trips off the Newquay Coast  and sending them in ,to add to a huge uk data base. Dave Jarvis..Area Manager for British Divers Marine Life Rescue contacted us to say there were approximately 100 Dolphins moving up from St Ives in a Newquay direction. It was thought they may be a superpod of Bottlenose Dolphins which would have been incredible as we only have a Celtic inshore population of 30 on the fin photo ID Database. We as a Master WISE ( wildlife safe) dedicated boat and Marine Mammal Medics were tasked to establish the identity of the pod. Atlantic Diver our 10m catamaran had gone aground after a busy day’s wildlife watching, so we called Dan Murphy who was conducting a Seawatch at St Agnes Head for “Seaquest Southwest” ..a project run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust whereby volunteers record an effort based survey of Marine Wildlife from dedicated cliff top points on certain Sundays throughout the year, in an effort to establish wildlife hotspots which could aid conservation measures in the near future. Dan said he could see at least 100 Common Dolphins and also about 11 Bottlenose dolphins from their position and they were heading toward us…..eagerly as the boat floated we stealtherly made our way out of Newquay Harbour with a few friends and family on board. Carefully we made our way out passed the Headland and began spotting for that iconic sight of a fin breaking the water’s surface. The light was fading and the sea looked flat and dark against the heavy skyline, then suddenly there was a splash to our port side followed by a dolphin porpoising out of the water and leaping head first back down, followed by another surfacing with a hugely tall eerily pale Fin…oh my God….Risso’s Dolphins.!!!!

Very Pale Risso's Dolphin scarred across Dorsal Fin

ghostly white body showing through the clear sea

 

WHuge Dorsal Fin of Risso's Dolphinatchers on board were ecstatic, this is indeed a rare sighting for us off Newquay and I have only ever seen one before at a stranding  on Perranporth beach that we successfully rescued in May2012. Chris Lowe my hubbie and skipper cut the engines and we floated quietly on the sea and feasted our eyes in a hushed silence in awe of the spectacular hunting and feeding of at least 7 Risso’s Dolphins which surface about every 5-6 minutes with their beakless heads turning on the side on the odd occasion to glance a look back up at us. Usually a boat shy Dolphin they came ever closer as they worked their way through a planktonic slick. Their colours varried throughout the pod from three smaller ,ghostly pale, white coloured younger dolphins which we could see through the incredibly clear water as they swam beneath the waves to larger very dark grey , almost black larger dolphins with deep white scars through their dorsel fins and bulbous heads. Goosebumps prickled up on my arms as we enjoyed the rare spectacle and pronounced ourselves the luckiest ***** ever!!!! As the night drew in darker we made back for port  feeling full of uplifting joy and leaving this rare and beautiful pod to continue its nightime feeding .

Bulbous Head of Risso's Dolphin with no Beak

Darker Risso's Dolphins spotted from on board Atlantic Diver

We are sharing the data of these sightings with other  Marine Wildlife Boats via a new group that has been set up this year called “Cornwall Marine Life Boat Operators” which at present is a collaboration of five founder members of Cornish Wildlife Boats spread around the beautiful Coastline…Marine Discovery, Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing , Orca Sea Safaris, Padstow Sealife Safaris and Charles Hood and also other active Marinelife Group leaders. The aim is as “Marine Champions” to premote watching wildlife without causing disturbance and to share our data for the benefit of future conservation and research accessibility for other academics , whilst educating members of the public about these wonderful creatures in the hope that as a collective we lead by example and ulitimately encourage others to safeguard our oceans and protect the habitat that the Flora and Fauna need to survive. By  watching our wildlife safely we are ensuring that they  are there for future generations to enjoy.

 Our Sea Safaris will be running daily throughout the next few months, to book please call 07582 466122.

….what a wonderful place Newquay is!!

 

 

 

Risso’s Dolphin Live Stranding!!!! Rescue

Risso's Dolphin Stranded live on Perranporth Beach

A Beautiful male Risso's Dolphin Stranded today on Perranporth Beach…kind members of the public called British Divers Marine Life Rescue hotline..01825 765 546 and were adviseed how to care for it whilst they waited for Marine Mammal Medics to arrive!

Medics arrived fast and furious until a crack team were supporting the Dolphin and administering Cetacean First Aid whilst staff from the Watering Hole ( especially Chris who was amazing at providing digger buckets of water to keep the dolphins skin wet) also chipped in.

medics begin arriving

 Vets arrived and administered antibiotics and took blood samples then gave the all clear to refloat..happy medics formed 2 teams and began the awesome task of carrrying the 1/2 tonne dolphin back to the sea!All hope is that the Dolphin will begin to respond

 Spotlight TV turn up to repot story.

 

 

Motley Crew of Marine Mammal Medics Elated after Sucessful Dolphin Refloat

 

 

Rum for Mum

Ships Rum Barrel

Ever wondered what a Skipper buys his wife for her birthday!!!! Chris found this rum cask in need of renovation and fixed it up ,adding some original Rum Tub Brass Letters ….Hic…rum was lovely!

"Up Spirits" was between 11am and midday when 70mls of rum ration were given to the crew onboard the old ships….wonder if skipper will be dishing out the rum to leyla and I this summer???

 

Practical Rescue Boat Exercise

British Divers marine Life Rescue Crew Practise Rescuing casualty from sea alongside Atlantic DiverLifting techniques make it easier to bring casualty on board "Atlantic Diver"Team plan the management of the RescueAnnabelle and Zoe bring casualty on boardResuscitation begins once on board Atlantic DiverLift aids recovery aboard Atlantic DiverDivers take it in turn to be the Rescue DiverRescue diver returns Casualty to Atlantic DiverJan administers Oxygen TherapyBritish Divers Marine Life Rescue Rhib "Josh" alongside "Atlantic Diver"Using Rescue Aids for agitated Diver


What a fantastic way to spend a Sunday…sunny Newquay on Atlantic Diver…completing a Practical Rescue Boat Management exercise with very kind thanks to John Adams ( Seaways Diving), Jay O'Donnell (Chief Petty officer, Chief Aircrewman.."The Flying Tigers"..and top hero) ,Faye Archell ( and all the BDMLR Medics), Bruce..the distressed actor of the year and co , Abby Crosby ( Cornwall Wildlife Trust) , Chris Lowe … cause he'll kill me if I don't mention the SKIPPER and all of the Motley Dive and Helm Crew that turned out to practise being thrown in and rescued on Sunday. We had Great fun whilst learning practical skills of how to return a Diver/Snorkeller in distress back into the boat safetly and commence Basic Life Support…reassuring passengers of their safety aboard "Atlantic Diver" and "Bounty!"
Jay O'Donnell Royal Navy Chief Aircrewman briefing Dive and helm crew on resuscitation techniquesChris Lowe skipper of Atlantic Diver completing a Practical Rescue Boat Exercise
 

 

Rock Fishing Safety Advice

Fishing Safely

Here are a few safety tips to consider  when fishing off the rocks around our rugged Cornish Coast:

  • Always tell someone reliable where you are going and keep in touch if you change the plan.
  • Never fish alone, a group of three is best, because if one falls in the sea, one can go for help , while the other stays with the casualty .
  • Inform your shore contact of time of your planned return.
  • Wear a Life Jacket or Floatation Aid if fishing from a hazardous position.
  • Wear suitable non-slip shoes and be aware of slippery or crumbling rocks ( avoid walking across seaweed).
  • Check out the weather forecast before you go BUT keep a close eye on the weather as it can change quickly.
  • Check the tide times to ensure you don't become cut off as tide comes in.
  • NEVER enter the water to land a fish or retrieve lost/snagged tackle.
  • NEVER enter the water to rescue someone, instead throw something bouyant in or a rope and call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
  • Choose a safe place to fish, well above the swell .
  • Arrive early to watch the wave swell through a full cycle before deciding if its a safe spot.
  • Plan an escape back to shore incase you do get washed off the rocks , into the sea.
  • Choose somewhere where your mobile phone has a signal
  • Don't panic if you are washed in…swim out safetly and choose a safe place to get back ashore…
  • Don't drink alcohol…save it until you're safely home.

 Enjoy Rock Fishing but always respect the power of the sea…here is a link to a useful youtube video , " Don't Put Your Life on the Line" please click below:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src=" http://www.youtube.com/embed/4O-yKhyZJrw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Rare Leatherback Turtles

Rare Leatherback Turtle spotted off Atlantic Diver whilst Blue Shark Cage Diving!Leatherback Turtle takes a breath at surface and then swims back down under the sea

Shark Enthusiasts aboard Atlanticc Diver were treated to a rare sighting of a  2m  Leatherback Turtle, which swam alongside us for some 4 minutes, so we had a really good look. Its Carapace has long ridges down its back which helps identify it as a LBT which feed along the southwest coastline along warm fronts brought about by the Gulf Stream. We could see Blue Jellyfish and Comb Jellies floating passed the Shark Cage so we imagined the Turtle was feeding lower down in the water column on jellyfish, its usual diet. It resurfaced several times for breaths before returning again to activities down below the boat…we were SOOO lucky!!!

All sightings should be sent to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust on the following link;

http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/NR/exeres/3A054313-937D-4C20-BD9B-EF7176B7676B

To learn more about LBT please click on the link below:

http://www.mcsuk.org/conservation_in_action/Marine%20turtles/Turtles%20in%20the%20UK/Turtles%20in%20the%20UK