The 17th and 18th of August marked another training weekend at the Seawatch Foundation in New Quay. Nine enthusiastic trainees arrived to a generous helping of biscuits and tea before settling down to a morning of lectures from experts Daphna Feingold and Danielle Gibas. After the theory came the practical and candidates left New Quay Football Club to try their hand at a land survey from New Quay pier. After two hours of sea air and a couple of happy sightings, the busy first day was seen off with a meal at the local Indian Brasserie (which by all accounts was delicious). Day 2 commenced with another helping of biscuits and tea followed by ID training and an ID quiz. After everyone was able to tell a bottlenose from a common and a porpoise from a minke whale, lectures on cetacean conservation and management completed the morning’s schedule. The afternoon started with an experiment in time management as the lunch/land watch hybrid commenced on the pier. Complete with sandwiches, pasties and dolphins the merry affair was both scientifically fruitful and an effective use of time. Time had to be saved for the final activity… A boat survey aboard the Dunbar Castle II, with skipper Graham taking to the waves, on a queasy sea state 5. After an hour and a half of nothing but sea, waves, splashes to the face and a few crew members green faced in the throes of sea sickness, two dolphins popped up to save the day and instill relief in the hearts of the weary. Chris and her calf Tigger gracefully swam close to the boat and gave a fitting photo opportunity as the weekend drew to a close. Back ashore the certificates were presented and the final farewells exchanged as another class of budding observers were reintroduced to the world.
Many thanks to all our participants!