A successful week of dolphin watching on our RIB!
Well, the week didn’t get off to the best start, we had to cancel both our morning RIB trips on Monday due to the windy weather whipping up some large waves in the Inverness Firth.
With much calmer weather on Tuesday, we headed off on the 10:30 trips. With the incoming tide there were lots of dolphins feeding in at Chanonry point including Bonnie and her calf. As we made our way past the point, we spotted Spirtle and Scoopy crossing from fort George towards the point clearly hoping to get in on the salmon action. We left them to it so they could enjoy their brunch and were heading up towards Whiteness, hoping to spot some seals on the sand bank, when a couple of dolphins popped up right next to the boat! We are still not sure who the duo were but they spent 15 minutes swimming alongside us before peeling off and making their way towards Chanonry point. We then went up to find the seals at Whiteness sands and pushed up towards the top of riff bank. Nothing out in the open sea so we headed back in towards the narrows and watched a couple of dolphins feeding off in the distance before heading back home.
It was a different story on the afternoon trip – no dolphins feeding right in at the point but two separate groups of breaching dolphins out past fort George! Perhaps they were burning off some of the energy they’d gotten from their salmon heavy lunch. Lots of seals in the water as we headed up along the coast before we began to make our way back. We picked more dolphins up that were clearly on a mission and not interested in our boat including Rainbow and her calf. The calf must have been watching the two earlier groups and decided it too wanted to develop its breaching technique after watching the experts at it an hour or so before.
On Wednesday we headed out for an adventure in quite choppy conditions in the Moray Firth making dolphin spotting exceedingly difficult for us. Thankfully, the dolphins don’t have any problems in these conditions, and they spotted us! Rainbow and her calf came over to join us surfing down the waves on our way out to Chanonry. The young one decided to show us its belly and performed a reverse belly flop before following mum off into the surf. By the afternoon, the weather had worsened and so we had to cancel the 14:30 trip.
By Thursday morning the wind had died down and we had spotted a dolphin before we even reached Chanonry point! Charlie was hunting in Munlochy bay. We then passed through the Chanonry point narrows and out towards our favourite seal colony with another mystery pair of dolphins on the opposite side of the boat to the seals. By the afternoon trip Charlie had moved from Munlochy bay down into the river Ness and so that our other boat Spirit could get a good look at him. By the time we reached Chanonry narrows there were three dolphins in feeding as we passed through and then once out the other side, we spotted a mother and calf pairing hunting by Riff bank.
On Friday Charlie was back in the Inverness firth hanging around by the safe water marker and immediately swam straight over to the RIB for a nosey and a catchup. After he was no longer interested in us we pushed on a were joined by lots of dolphins out around the top end of riff bank travelling towards Chanonry point.
A successful week with dolphins spotted on every trip!!