Minke season

Hi everyone, what a terrible summer, windy virtually the entire season and even when it wasn’t windy, the forecasters did not predict it, hence it being an extremely difficult summer for us, in terms of boat time particularly. It has not been too bad in terms of number of sightings however, with the start of August having a very high frequency of reported sightings, particularly of Bottlenose dolphins, normally a winter speciality. There have been rumours of dolphin sightings as recently as yesterday, but this is just a rumour at the moment. If anyone knows or hears about dolphins being seen off Laxey yesterday, please let me know. Thanks.

          Anyway, autumn tends to be the time of year when Minke whale sightings become particularly prevalent and we have already had two sightings during September, despite the windy weather. The Minke’s are in Manx waters because of herring and therefore it follows that the whales will be seen wherever there are herring. The pair of Irish boats that trawl for Herring are on the east coast at the moment and therefore unsurprisingly, we had a sighting of two Minkes reported just off Douglas yesterday. Confusingly however, we also had a sighting reported from the west coast at Niarbyl at the start of the month. So wherever you are on island, do keep an eye out for these amazing creatures. We are incredibly lucky to be able to see them from land and it truly is a magical experience seeing such a massive animal (8 metres, 25 to 30 foot) from land. They are dark grey in colour with a white band on their flippers (hard to see from land) and their surfacing normally lasts around a second. Their dorsal fin is positioned about three quarters of the way along the back, unlike dolphins whose dorsal fin is centrally positioned. As the autumn progresses, the whales will move onto and then up the east coast, until the middle or end of November, when they will leave along with the herring. We will of course try and keep you informed if there are regular sightings in a particular area. Happy spotting!
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