Update on humpback whale activity in Dingle Bay

The difference between the worst trip of the season and the best trip of the season can sometimes be ten minutes or half a mile.

There is no doubt that one of our best trips of the season was on July 13 when we had a humpback beside 'Blasket Princess' a couple of miles north of Sybil Head on a flat calm day with the backdrop of Mount Brandon, The Three Sisters, Sybil Head and all the Blasket Islands, including Tearaght - the Western Island - spread out toward the western horizon.

It now appears from various shore sightings that our humpback friend - HBIRL15 - has taken up temporary residence north of the Blaskets and Sybil head, and in sloppy weather last week we tried to find him on our 13:00 hrs. Afternoon Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tour from Ventry Harbour. There was a north west rolling swell and conditions were a little choppy but well within our operational guidelines. We figured that if we tracked from Inis Tuascairt towards Sybil Head we had a good chance of a sighting but we had no success and made our way homeward with a couple of our guests a little green around the gills!

Next day I met a friend in Dingle who commented that we must have had a great trip as she was watching us through her telescope and we had a humpback beside us. ( from a few miles away on the land distances can be deceptive). I bit my tongue and tried not to think how close we had come to changing one of our worst trips of the season into one of our best by a close encounter with a humpback whale.

Over the next couple of days until about September 1st the weather looks settled and we are definitely going looking for HBIR15 again and hopefully with more success this time as whale and dolphin watching is so much easier in calm settled conditions - only the wide open Atlantic doesn't always comply with our wishes.

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Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry

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