The first day of our 2012 season yesterday can only be described as a dream start, with very large numbers of basking sharks dotted right around the Blasket islands, from the moorings at the Great Blasket Island pier all the way back to Inisvickalaun. Usually we might hope for the odd individual basking shark this early in the season, with their numbers steadily increasing over the next few weeks, but the fine, settled weather over the last few weeks must have brought with it a sufficient increase in the growth of plankton to lure these large numbers to our shores. With any bit of luck we will now have these magnificient fish around the islands here for the next couple of months or so.
We can also confirm the return of the puffins to their breeding grounds at Inisnabró and Inisvickalaun where they are now staking out suitable burrows to lay their eggs and raise their young.
To top off the day our boat was accompanied back to Ventry pier by various small groups of common dolphins, bowriding the boat and following in our wake. And last but not least, the glassy condition of the water allowed us to watch a couple of porpoises, our smallest and shyest cetaceans, slowly wheeling through the water beside us.