Thursday, 17 June 2010

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

We’ve had a very sharky day today. We had a day off and booked ourselves onto a 2 hour sea trek. The trip started off very drizzly, misty and windy and we couldn’t see an awful lot. A flock of herons was a rare sight and we saw some amazing secluded beaches and caves. We had heard rumours that quite a few basking sharks were in the area so had fingers crossed that we’d get to see one a bit closer up. What we got was about 10 basking sharks (the second biggest species of shark and these were about 8 or 9 metres long) swimming/surrounding/basking around our boat! It was pretty amazing and Murray our guide said he’d never seen anything like it (and he’s lived on Lewis all his life). We were on a boat that sat quite low in the water and the sharks were swimming right along side us meaning that they were only about ½ a metre away at their closest! Fortunately their meal of choice is slightly smaller than us (plankton). We spent a good half an hour with the sharks.

(this photo shows the whole length of the shark – tail fin on left, dorsal fin flopped over and nose on right – you can even vaguely see it’s open mouth under the water!)

On our return we saw seals, diving gannets and checked the lobster pots, unfortunately inhabited only by crabs.

We spent the afternoon exploring more of the fantastic beaches. As we were driving back to the house we realised we must be near where the cove was where we spotted all the sharks that morning so we went for a walk out onto the headland and found the cove and watched the sharks from above for a little while longer.

Yesterday was also a day off work for us (we’ve only worked one day so far, can’t be bad). We explored standing stones, surfing beaches and the black houses village – restored traditional buildings of the isle.

Back to work tomorrow, more peat related activities I think.


1 comment:

  1. I'm totally jealous of this! What an awesome experience to be so close to the basking sharks!