Whale watch week off the Dingle Peninsula
Humpback whale and the 'Blasket Princess' (c)Nick Massett
Most whale watching enthusiasts in Ireland or abroad probably don't know that for the last four months there are two and occasionally three resident humpback whales north west of the Blasket Islands, on the north side of Dingle Bay, Co. Kerry - the most westerly part of Ireland.
Due to unseasonable weather which is probably due to climate change, and unsuitable sea conditions in this very exposed sea area which is also subject to strong tides and tidal overfalls and rips, Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours have been unable to bring passengers out to view these wonderful cetaceans except on a limited number of occasions when we had the privilege to view them at close quarters bubble netting, lunge feeding and tail fluking.
None of the N.G.O. or National conservation and protection authorities appear to be interested in recording the continued presence of this group of humpback whales just off our coast and whether they are using this part of the coastline as an intermittent phase of their life cycle between feeding grounds further north and mating grounds further south.
Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours hope to use the following week, where there appears to be a weather window, from Tuesday October 23rd to Tuesday October 30th to help Nick Masset, who to date has been running a one man continuous survey of these animals for the last four months, to definitely identify them by photo identification of fluke patterns [the individual fluke-print for identifying humpbacks] and we hope that you can join us for what is the last week of our season and possibly contribute to the research - by making the trips viable with your booking fee [you can book online] and possibly, if you are lucky, by a good tail fluke shot
As usual we cannot guarantee sightings as they are wild animals in a boundless ocean but we can guarantee if they stay feeding where they have been for the last four months and with the help of a local network of whale watchers from mainland vantage points at Clogher Head we might be lucky based on the data we have available.
If you want to join us on this Kerry whale watching week please book online for the "afternoon tour" leaving from Ventry Harbour, Co. Kerry at 1300hrs or phone Mick on 00353 (0)86 3353805
UPDATE 24.03 2014 Six "new" humpback whales identified off the Kerry coast, NW of Sybil Head and the Blaskets during the summer of 2013!
West Kerry and Ventry Harbour in particular is now recognised as the the premier spot in the Britiish Isles and Europe for dolphin and whale watching trips.