Tuesday, 29 May 2012

First Trawl of the Year

Okay, I know I don't usually post things from work here, but I had such a lovely day yesterday I really had no option. The boss, John Curry (QML master's student) and I were out on the RV Actinia collecting flatfish and Langoustine (doubling up on boat use to minimise sea bed damage FTW). In beautiful weather we left Millport pier at about half 10, heading for the main channel and Skelmorlie. Hardly a breathe of wind, so low on birds unfortunately, but never the less Phil and I had cameras to hand. 

The start of the morning past slowly, and the lack of birds was a bit of a disappointment. The first tow was taking an age to haul in, and our skipper, Campbell, told us there was probably a lot of mud in the trawl. I wasn't prepared for quite how much...

Oh dear...
Well, we couldn't do anything about it, so out came the gloves and in we dove. John was sans wellies and the boss was without his overalls so it was up to me to dive in with the muddy catch.

Luckily something had warned me to pull on my overalls that morning...
Kenny was my hero, sluicing of the mud as we worked. Between the four of us we soon had the deck cleared and the mud washed and swept back into the sea.

"You hose, I'll pick..."

"Look, there ARE fish in here!"
Afterwards Kenny got even further into my good books, providing caffeine and biscuits all round. Excellent! We then steamed up to Skelmorlie and deployed the net again.

John fuels up in the sun after out first bout with the mud
The amount of wildlife around picked up as we moved up the Clyde and our discarded catch caused a lot more interest in our boat. Finally we could get some shots in, although unfortunately none of the gannets today.

This unfortunate Greater Black Back has rope tangled around one leg, luckily this was only a small piece.

Remarkably brave Guillemots, the closest I've seen these birds without them having a major freak out

A large male Grey seal which followed the boat looking for scraps
As we returned to Kepple Pier with our catch the Eiders were waiting with their ridiculously adorable ducklings, giving us the chance of a last few snaps before we stepped back onto terra firma.

Eiders congregate around the pier were they dive for molluscs and other foods

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