Goodbye, So Long, Farewell!
And Then There Were None…
It is with great joy that was can report the eventual departure of the pilot whales from the Inner Moray Firth. After their travels out towards Cromarty last night, the pod didn’t hang around, leaving the Sutors as quickly as they’d arrived, heading back out to sea. There have been no confirmed sightings of them since, which tells us they are no longer within sight of the shoreline, and hopefully safe and happy back out in deeper waters. The old female who stranded yesterday seems to have been the catalyst for whole situation, as once she was gone, the pod went straight on without delay. That wasn’t the end of the drama all being said; as we still had a bit of a hiccup this morning. After an early and eager start to her day off (still concerned for the whales), guide Krystyna nipped over to South Kessock at 7am to check the coast for any sign of the pilots. Without a fin in sight, she turned to leave, relieved. It was then the message came through about a possible stranding of 4 further pilot whales back where the female was found yesterday. In a rush, Krystyna nipped onto the Dolphin Spirit to retrieve a set of binoculars to look. With no clear sign of the supposed victims, she hopped into the car and charged across the Kessock Bridge. As she ran up the single track road to Kilmuir, she was met by the Coastguard, who made their way further on to look as Krystyna scoured the bridge. Still nothing. On return to the RNLI Station, she met members of the BDMLR and SSPCA who were the first responders to the call. It was then the Coastguard radioed through to say that there was no sign of the whales, and it must have been a mistake. The running theory is that the poor worried soul who made the call mistook the large rocks, covered in seaweed, as being pilot whales. With a laugh, and another hefty sigh of relief, the group departed to get on with the day and contact others who had been mobilized.
Dolphin Spirit’s Day
It was back to normal for Dolphin Spirit though, with trips running the normal route and no planned cancellations. It was a good one for sightings too, as Kesslet and Charlie spent much of the day in the now-empty Kessock Channel and Harbour areas feeding on salmon. Not that the pilot whales hampered this much; Charlie was spotted nearly blindsiding one of the poor whales as he was too busy focusing on his fish yesterday! But the Channel came alive again, with seals and the dolphins making appearances and relaxed atmosphere all around as the sun shone down. It was nice to get back to the usual pace, and I’m sure after the start to the week, our crew will be itching for the weekend like nothing else! Hopefully we’ll get to enjoy some more time with our lovely locals in the next few days; I’m sure they were feeling a little left out, what with the cameras all pointing at the pilots!