Took a notion to take a trip with Micheal, as we were staying near Baltimore this week.
We decided to do so after checking the BSS website, and judging by the photos and informative blog we knew we would not be disappointed. €50 brought the two of us out to sea. At €25 pp I can highly recommend this to anyone considering a BSS excursion.
The excursions are listed as being 2 hours in duration, and I was hesitant that it would be a 30 min out to sea, an hour idling, and 30 min back type of trip.
This was not the case.
From the moment Micheal took off we were whisked out in double quick time.
We stopped for a moment at a lone island seal colony. A full run down of the types of seals and bird life led me to believe Micheal really knew his stuff and it set the scene for the rest of the trip.
It is evident that Micheal takes his job seriously, as he has 100% passion for his work. This in
itself was the highlight of the tour. There was a 10 15 minute talk at most of the points where we stopped. We learned about the Islands, the seal colonies, the wildlife. We were introduced to the historical background of the islands, and picked up some quite fascinating information. We were on our way to see whales, and were expecting to see minke whales.
After a stop at a mussel harvester, and a drift through the mussel farms, we headed way out to sea. The fastnet lighthouse was a mere miniature in the distance, but from the detailed description we were given, we felt like we were right there.
We followed a flock of manx shearwater and gannets who led us to a mother and calf minke. The sheer size of these creatures was astounding. They breached, lunged and took breaths right in front of our noses. We kept our distance, but turned 3 or 4 times to keep up.
We were well into the 2 hours, yet Micheal waited until we had seen as much as we could possibly see.
I can give 100% credit to Micheal, I thoroughly enjoyed his talks, his clear optimism, his time and effort. It made the journey, the whales were a bonus.
Points to note:
BSS provide you with windcheaters and waterproof jackets. (there are leggings also available)
They also provide you with life jackets.
Micheal gave us a detailed talk about the craft, the safety procedures, and pretty much put us at ease from the moment we stepped aboard.
Bring sunglasses and do apply sun cream. Even though it may be cloudy the sea reflects the rays, and like me you might end up with a little sunburn.
You might like to bring binoculars, as you will have plenty of time to observe the islands, the porpoises, the whales and the seals.
I give this trip top marks. I will definitely go again.
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