Friday, 5 August 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

... your office mate distracts you from your coffee with a phone call about the world's second largest fish blogging about in Kames Bay. Needless to say coffee was abandoned and I set off at a run along marine parade (totally disregarding my camera). Luckily it hung around for over an hour and thirty minutes, giving me plenty of time to not only nip back and get it, but to call everyone else and tell them about the beastie.

At around 3 meters in length he was only a tiddler, but this probably made him braver in the shallow water of the bay.
Feeding with his mouth wide open, he filtered out the zooplankton brought in on the tide.
Having the shark so close in let everyone get a really good look.
As the evening wore on and the tide ebbed he headed out past wee Cumbrae, following the food.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Back to Buisness

Well folks, its nice to be home and have settled back into the old routine of lab and reading, reading and lab. Shame that I'm not still enjoying the thrilling sights of Mull though. The second trip was a real beauty. fantastic weather on the boats (if a little harsh on the skin - I looked like a tomato). The second student group were really nice and made the practicals really easy to manage (particularly when the boss comes too so all I have to do is look after the students who are seasick and snap happily away!

The trips on board Sula Beag were also joined by three guys, Chirs Gommersall, Alex Mustard and Raymond Besant, from the 2020VISION project, aiming at capturing ecotourism in action. Check out the site, I know I felt the lens on me at some point, who knows, maybe I'll end up on there....

Note: the best way to motivate students is suspended chocolate....

One of my favourite sea birds, the gorgeous Kittiwakes were around all trip.
Gannets occasionally circled the boat, giving me clear enough shots with my 50mm lens, before heading off to feed
The Harbour Seals eyed us warily before they too slipped into the clear water
But if there was one star of the second trip, despite the rafts of Manx Shearwaters, the Bonxies, the solitary Storm Petrel and the unfortunately dead Risso's Dolphin, it was the gorgeous Arctic Terns.

Always to fast for a clear picture
But close enough to be properly admired
But now its back to work, the rain has set in, and I have dissections to do. Shame really.