From our marine volunteer holiday with basking sharks, whales and dolphins (including orcas) in Scotland (

Here is the second update from the Scottish Hebrides expedition and I am writing this two hours after sailing northwest out of Tobermory. Yesterday the team settled into our living spaces onboard the Silurian. This morning was busy with some important briefings from Olivia on how the surveying is run on board.

Out of Tobermory
Out of Tobermory

Now we are on our way, if the team wanted time for this all to sink in, they were sorely disappointed! Within half an hour they were put to the test. Two harbour porpoises were spotted off the bow and 15 minutes later, a basking shark. “With whales” was called (stop surveying) so we could go and have a look. It turned out to be a group of eleven basking sharks! As we continued our survey effort, there were more baskers every kilometre or so, the count is now about 21. Apparently this is an unusual area to see them in!

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I am struggling to finish this diary. I have to keep popping up onto the deck to see these pesky sharks! A few minutes ago a minke whale briefly came up for air 100 m from our starboard side.

The team are making good use of our new optical equipment; a big thank you needs to go to Swarovski Optik for providing this for the expedition. It may not always be as hectic as this on board, we have had a very lucky first few hours. I will let you know in a few days how we are getting on. In the meantime, let’s hope the weather holds.

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From our marine volunteer holiday with basking sharks, whales and dolphins (including orcas) in Scotland (

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