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Moray Firth Dolphins and Marine Life - Recent Sightings

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2011 Sightings

Friday 2nd September
First day on our normal trips since last week due to bad weather and being away on survey.

Just got along as far as the Horses Head (East side of Finechtie) when the shout went up "dolphin", and heading straight to the boat was 3 of 4 of them. They paid us the briefest of visits, and before the skipper got the boat turned round, they were away beyond the caravan site heading west very, very fast.

We continued the trip and saw Gannets overhead and a few diving. On the return leg of the trip we saw a couple of Harbour Porpoise.

This was the last day of holidays for a few of the passengers, as the  children at the English schools are due to go back next week. We trust you all enjoyed this part of  Scotland.

Sunday 4th September
A lovely sunny afternoon, as we left Buckie harbour, just as we were passing Findochty, one of the passengers thought he'd seen a fin. A quick glance up to the skipper and he nodded in agreement and eased in the boat, then the sea beside us was just alive with dolphins rushing and breaching between us and the shore as they swam east. They started to come closer to the boat and before long we had 8 beautiful dolphins on the bow, as well as others breaching and swimming alongside.

We reckon there was at least 28+ dolphins with 3 calves seen amongst them, the ones on the bow left us just beside the Bow Fiddle Rock. On our way back we met up with some of the group off Findochty, and watched a few alongside a yacht who then paid us a fleeting visit as they headed east. As we turned to come into the harbour, we could still see splashes well west into the bay.

Thursday 25th August
A lovely sail along the coast, just as we were admiring the ruins of Findlater Castle, one juvenile dolphin breached close to the starboard bow, then went on to the bow for a little swim, and then disappeared to resurface a little way nearer the shore. It played around for about 10 mins, then with a tail slap turned away and swam off westward.

As we were crossing Cullen Bay on the way back to Buckie a harbour porpoise popped up a few times as it travelled east. We enjoyed the sunshine as we sailed back to port, arriving 10 minutes before the rain came.

Monday 22nd August
After a lovely sail along the coast and just as we were turning for home the shout went up "Dolphins" and there on the bow were two large adults.

The skipper kept the course and for a few minutes nothing was seen, then a little way to the inside of us close to the shore 3 fins appeared in the water, then 5 before they dived again and  stayed under the water for quite a while. But patience paid off as they came up again and this time a little closer to the boat and everyone on board got a good view of them.

As we crossed Cullen Bay we saw a few more, but today they weren't interested in the boat and that small group went back towards the ones we had left, so in all they may have been approx 12 of those graceful creatures just going along enjoying their swim.

Tuesday 16th August

Another lovely clear day out on the Moray Firth, and what a difference a day makes.

Yesterday we saw dolphins whenever we left the harbour and today we had just about given up on seeing them, when the skipper spotted splashes off Portgordon, as we were about to turn for the harbour, and yes they were travelling east towards us.

So we sailed to just past Buckpool, and as we turned and slowed down they came towards the boat in groups of  3 & 5's with a couple calves in the groups others staying a little way off , rushing around and one doing a few leaps to the great enjoyment of the passengers. In all 20+ travelled in the vicinity of the boat by the time we left them at  the middle mucks and came back into Buckie. 

Monday15th August
Just out of the harbour and dolphins were spotted travelling east. 12+ came to the boat and we left them at the Craigenroan where we saw Kev and the CRRU crew then continued our trip.

On the return leg we saw a couple of Harbour Porpoise just off Cullen Bay, and then as we approached Findochty we encountered the dolphins again. A few came to the boat, others just quite happy milling around.

On speaking to Kev once we had came ashore he said they had identified 42 dolphins before he went offshore a little where they were watching a young Minke. (Some folk have all the luck). 

Saturday13th August
A lovely sunny afternoon after the terrible week just past and as we approached Loggie Head, here were dolphins coming towards us.

The Skipper turned the boat round and we slowly travelled west with 25+ dolphins putting on a great show. They eventually left us at Findochty, where they stopped to feed.

Saturday 6th August
A lovely calm sea today after the northerly wind yesterday. A nice sail along the coast, and as we got a little bit of drizzle just as we came to sunny side  beach all but 2 of the passengers decided to go into the lounge for a cuppa and something to eat.

When the boat was slowed down, there a little way in front of us was a splash. Once all the passengers got out on to the deck they were delighted to see 6 or 8 dolphins having a good time at playing "now you see us now you don't", and then seeing them just by the boat, with one or two having a little leap. They weren't travelling in any special way, just going back and forth between the shore and the boat.

Thursday 4th August
Quite a humid day, but nice for a sail. After we turned to come back to Buckie the rain came on, then just as we were coming up to Finechtie the boat slowed down and yes there were dolphins travelling east. Davey turned the boat and we sailed slowly back as far as the Bow Fiddle, with 12+ dolphins putting on a great show..

Passengers were a little wet, but very happy as we came back home and the rain had stopped by the time we were moored in the harbour.

Friday 29th July
What a nice change to the weather, no need for jackets today and the swell on the sea had gone down. A beautiful trip along the coast and as we were off the Middle Mucks on our way back to Buckie, the skipper got a call from our friends of the CRRU out on their rib.

They were just off Portgordon and had dolphins beside them travelling east, so we slowed down as we reached the Buckpool area and got a great display 10+ dolphins with 3 calves in the group and also a pregnant female. So we await the news of a newborn. Thanks Kev! We would have missed them!

Thursday 21st July
First time out on the water since Saturday due to the wind. There was still a bit of a swell and it was a little rocky as we travelled east.

Half way across Cullen Bay the skipper slowed  the boat down and yes, dolphins were coming towards us travelling west.

Davey gently turned the boat and before long we saw a tiny dolphin having a high old time to itself leaping time abd again out of the water as it crossed the bay to an adult. More appeared and in time they came to the boat swimming back and forth under us then disappeariing for a little while, just to pop up again a little way ahead.

We travelled slowly with perhaps 10 dolphins back as far as the Horses Head (near Finechtie), where we left them feeding. By then the sun had come out and it was a pleasant sail back to Buckie.

Tuesday 12th July
A lovely sunny day with a slight East wind left Buckie at 1pm and had just gone as far Portknockie when the skipper eased in the boat and there coming towards us were dolphins.

The skipper turned the boat round to face west, and before long we had 18+ dolphins around the boat, some on the bow others rushing alongside. We drifted along west back to Finechtie, where we left them and turned eastwards to continue the trip along the coast, with gannets flying overhead and guillemots resting on the water.

On the way back to Buckie we saw a lifeboat going through it's paces as it had come off the slipway after having a refit, a nice sight, but sadly likely to be the last, as the local shipyard will not be doing this type of work any longer due to cutbacks in the RLNI.

Friday 8th July
What a fantastic day 12.35 hrs, just out of the harbour and we encountered dolphins at the Mucks.

4 came to the boat then disappeared, then the skipper took  the boat slowly west and there they were breaching a little way nearer the shore. A few came out to join us and before long there were 18+ all around. After about 15mins we turned back to the east and left them. We saw seals on the Craigenroan and others in the water.

 Then "A Minke ", the shout went up as a young lad with a keen eye saw it as we crossed Cullen Bay! So once again the skipper slowed the boat down and there it was again and again, and again on the off side of us. It was quite a small one then it disappeared, just to resurface a few minutes later just along the front of the boat for a couple of times, then it headed inshore, & then YES! another one so we had two surfacing slowly between us and the shore for 10 minutes.

Then it was time for us to head for home and just off Portknockie, again our sharp-eyed lad spotted a Porpoise, and as we watched there was another one.

A perfect end to our trip, it's a long time since we've had the hat trick, all 3 species in one trip!

Tuesday 5th July
We were not long out of the harbour when one of the passengers thought she'd seen a fin. Nothing came of it, then 5 minutes later at the East Mucks, 4 dolphins appeared at the front the boat.

The Skipper slowed down and we waited, and sure enough more dolphins came from the west, swimming and breaching along side the boat and giving the passengers a little bit of a shower as they splashed back into the water.

15+ animals travelled east with us and left us as we approached the Finechtie caravan site. There were 2 very small calves in the group.

The trip was a bit choppy after that, so we turned west again and saw Gannets soaring overhead with an odd one diving. Then we caught a glimpse of a few dolphins playing beside a couple of other boats as we made our way back to Buckie.

Monday 4th July
A little bit of a swell today, but it was still nice in the sun if you were sitting on the bins, those who decided to go on the bow area got a little bit of sea spray occasionally.

Just as the boat turned for the home leg of the trip, a keen eyed passenger spotted a fin in the water and once the boat was turned west, it stopped and yes!! there were dolphins close to the shore!

Then they came to the boat, and approx. 15 of these lovely creatures travelled west with us then disappeared as quickly as they had come. A great start to the passengers holidays.:)

Thursday 30th June
We had just left the harbour when the skipper called over the tannoy that we had company! There were dolphins just west of The Mucks travelling west.

Once the boat was round The Mucks we stopped and dolphins came to the boat; six or seven on the bow, others rushing along either side of the boat putting on a great display of breaching right next to the boat.

Some stopped to fish for a little while at the East Mucks then they caught up with us again. As we approached Finechtie they left us, and we carried on the rest of the trip very happy people having seen 20+ dolphins.

Very few birds about today, although we did see a few Gannets.

Wednesday 29th June
A few seals at the Craigenroan and lots of rafts of birds all along the route, with lots of Guillemot chicks bobbing in the water.

Just as we were giving up hope of seeing anything (and it was raining so we were all at the stern of the boat), when the cry went up "Dolphins!" - they were travelling east.

Davey stopped the boat, but as we turned 6 came alongside and then just turned away, so we just watched them disappear very quickly away east.

Friday14th June
Off Loggie Head at 13.25hrs we encountered Bottlenose Dolphins travelling west.

They were moving very slowly and it was a little while before the passengers were rewarded for their patience. As they started to move towards the boat they were quite difficult to see below the water (even on the bow), as the sea was very murky due to the rain through the night bringing sand out of the rivers.

That didn't put the dolphins off however and they were rushing in the water off both sides of the boat with some of them propelling themselves out of the water corkscrewing before they entered again. There were possibly 15+ from adults to a calf and they stayed with us as we gathered speed until we finally left them feeding off Portknockie.

There were lots of birds on the water and soaring around us, with Gannets diving and rafts of Guillemots quite happily bobbing in the sea as the dolphins breached beside them. A great end to their holiday for a couple from Brechin. :-)

Monday 20th June
An early trip today. We left Buckie at and as we passed the Middle Mucks dolphins appeared. We slowed down and some came to the boat, the others just enjoyed rushing in the water.

There were 10+ as we moved away east, and they travelled with us as far as the Horses Head (east of Finechtie). A few seals were hauled out on the Craigenroan, others were bobbing in the water.

There was plenty of bird activity along the route, and we enjoyed watching a Skua trying to get a Kittiwake to give up its food.

As we were travelling back to Buckie again we saw a few dolphins breaching at the East Mucks and as we approached the harbour, we could see others over to the west by Portgordon.

A little bit of a head wind as we made our way back, but an enjoyable trip all the same!

Wednesday 15th June
With a full boat and the weather fine we set off on our trip. Just past the Horses Head at Finechtie (Findochty), the skipper informed us over the loud speaker that there was a Great Skua having it's lunch (it had drowned a Kittiwake and there were lovely white feathers floating on the surface) - well, we are on a wildlife trip!

Then just as we approached Loggie Head, a sharp eyed passenger saw a fin and at the same time the boat slowed down as the skipper had also seen it - a "MINKE WHALE !!" The first for this season!!! With the boat stopped everyone saw this graceful mammal surface. It came up 5 to 6 times as it slowly made its way into Cullen Bay.

Off we went again and just as we were turning to make our way back to Buckie, yes! The dolphins appeared, in sub groups travelling west, in all 25+ putting on a great show bow riding and breaching.

I'm sure our jet lagged passengers found it worth while, and hope the family looking into their ancestry had some good results on that side before they went home.

Tuesday 14th June
There was a little bit of wind as we left the harbour at 12.30 but once we got around The Mucks and headed east the wind was behind us.

Plenty rafts of birds as we went on our trip and just as we approached Sandend, waiting for the village to come into view, the skipper slowed the boat and we could see Gannets circling overhead and then the fins appeared, heading towards us at 13.45hrs.

The skipper turned the boat round to the west and let the boat move with the tide. We had a great show of dolphins, with some coming on the bow and others rushing in the water off our starboard side.

A couple of the passengers saw a dolphin toss a jelly fish (WOW !), and then they were on both sides of us with others still coming from the east and catching up with us.

In all there must have been 30+ dolphins in the area and the same amount of Gannets if not more flying overhead, diving into the water feeding along with the dolphins. A Skua was also there hoping for a free bite from the gannets.

The dolphins stayed with us until Cullen Bay, even though we had got under way to continue our trip back to Buckie.

Another good trip with happy passengers, all seeing Bottlenosed Dolphins for the first time in their own habitat, although the little lad on board was hoping to see an Orca!

Saturday 11th June
We were just getting ready to view the Bow Fiddle rock from the sea when the vessel slowed down and a quick glance at the wheel house saw the skipper pointing over our heads at the front of the boat; there were fins cutting through the water towards us.

As the dolphins were travelling west the skipper eased the boat around slowly and kept the vessel at as slow as speed as possible and then some of the dolphins came to the boat while others breached along side.

There were a couple of calves in the group of 20 to 25 graceful mammals. We left them at Sunny Craig (east side of Findochty), and turned and continued our trip along the coast.

We saw a few seals on the Craigenroan Rock and lots of birds on the water and flying around; such a difference from yesterday when there was very little wildlife seen.

Thursday 9th June
12.15 just as the passengers arrived boy did it rain and the radar showed it was all around for 4 miles.

Left the harbour with the passengers sheltering at the back of the boat and we were out round the West Mucks heading east, the rain had gone off and the hand rails etc dried, and the passengers were invited to the front of the vessel.

All at once there was a couple of dolphins on the bow. We let the skipper know and within a few minutes we had 25+ dolphins around the boat, having a great time leaping out of the water and crashing down with such a force that we could feel the spray. There were 2 new born calves in the group and one came very close to the boat swimming with an adult.

The boat just drifted with the tide for 15mins from the East Mucks where we first saw them, and as we gathered speed they stayed with us, enjoying the rush of the water on the bow. As we turned into Cullen Bay, the last two dolphins disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

As we turned for home the skies darkened again, so it was time for a cuppa in the warmth of the lounge, and once again the rain came down, but at least it stopped before we got back into the harbour.

A good number of seals were hauled out on the rocks at Craigenroan.

Wednesday 1st June
The weather was a bit aah!! but once we got round The Mucks the wind was behind us, and then at the East Mucks at 12.45 we were rewarded with one dolphin travelling towards us and leaping out of the water 3-4 times enjoying the waves and continuing on its way.

Then another group came along, coming to the boat and travelling on the bow, rushing from side to side. They left us at 13.00 hrs just before Findochty at the mile marker, with lovely Gannets soaring over head.

Then just as we were coming into the harbour two dolphins went rushing past.

Then into the stillness of the harbour and a seal popped up for a the brave passengers and the canny dog that was with us (who would really liked to have gone for a swim!) Well done to you all, windswept but happy =))

Tuesday 31st May

Out on survey with a team, a great start to their day at 5.30am they saw a Minke Whale right by the boat. They had a couple more during the trip as well as a few Porpoise, then well into the afternoon, they spotted a Long Tailed Skua, and there were also Great Arctic ones seen, lots of Gannets, Guillemots and Fulmars. A long, long day but a good survey. Great work team.

Monday 30th May
A lovely afternoon for a trip, left Buckie at 12 noon and we were just out the harbour when a sharp eyed passenger spotted a splash at the West Mucks. Sure enough it was dolphins, 10 to 12 of them came to give us a look and traveled with us until the East Mucks where they stayed to feed. After that we saw 10 seals bobbing around by the Craigenroan.

Saturday 21st May
Not such a nice day, a little blustery. Seals seen bobbing in the water off Craigenroan, and then we saw dolphins as we were on our way back to Buckie. They were just off the Bow Fiddle heading east, so the skipper slowed the boat and turned it around, and 6-8 dolphins came to the boat and let everyone have a good view of them. We left them at the east side of Cullen Bay.

As we continued west for Buckie we met more sub groups traveling east, some came to the boat to play on the bow, others breached as they passed, a few calves with them, 25+ in total.

Everyone on board agreed it was worth getting a little cold and windswept for, and we got off the boat before the rain came!

Tuesday 17th May
Another amazing trip out on the coast. Just got as far as Portknockie when one of the passengers drew our attention to splashes a little way ahead. At first we thought it was gannets diving, but no, it was dolphins traveling west.

Davey slowed the boat down and yes there they were - 3 coming right for the boat! He turned the boat slowly round and we sailed slowly west, but as they seemed to be more interested in going west, he turned the boat round just by the mile marker at Findochty and we continued our trip east. More dolphins were passing us, we reckoned there were around 30 in the area at that point.

On the return leg of the trip we saw 3 fins off Cullen Bay, not sure whether Dolphin or Porpoise.

Then as we approached Igles Bay (near Findochty), Davey informed us that there were dolphins between us and the shore. We held our speed and then the dolphins came rushing towards the boat, breaching as they were alongside us and others on the bow, enjoying the rush of the water as we sailed along.

They escorted us right back to the point where we turned to come into the harbour, and as the boat slowed they moved away and we watched them swimming around off the West Mucks as we entered the harbour.

Nice to have 4 passengers on who had sailed with us before, and those who were on their first trip. Glad we were able to help you enjoy your holiday in this lovely part of Scotland and great to have two "locals" on board. Thanks for the comments in the visitors book!

Thursday 12th May
Out with a survey team 31 to 36 miles north north east of Buckie between the hours of  8am and 2pm they saw many of the usual birds i.e. Gannets, Fulmars, Seagulls Guillemots, Auks etc. Also 3 species of Skua- the Great, the Arctic and the Pomarine, also Manx Sherwater and Great Northern Diver.

Minkie Whale, Harbour Porpoise, dolphin and a couple of seals. Everyone went home happy but tired !!

Wednesday 11th May
Nice trip along the coast saw 20+seals  hauled out on the rocks at Craigenroan. One of the passengers brought our attention to 3 harbour Porpoise 3/4 mile off Cullen bay, then another sharp eyed person spotted a couple of dolphins close to the shore at Findochty travelling east as we were making back to the harbour.

Saturday 7th May
Left Buckie at 12.45hrs, and we were just at the middle mucks, travelling east when one of the passengers saw a couple of fins appear on our starboard side, and then there were 3 large bottlenose dolphins beside us.

The skipper slowed the boat, and they came and swam on the bow, then as we approached Craigenroan, where 10 seals could be seen bobbing in the water, Davey called over the speaker to say there were more dolphins coming towards us from the east.

Before long we had 6 dolphins and then there was a rush and more appeared travelling west. They came and joined the others and gave us a great display of breaching and having great fun on either side of the boat, as well as on the bow.

By the time we had reached The Tronachs (the east side of Findochty), there were 20 + dolphins! Then they just disappeared as quickly as they had joined us.

We continued on our way east and enjoyed the scenery and the fulmars coming close over head, gannets skimming the water and a nice warm breeze as we returned to the harbour, only to have to wait for 15mins before we could enter, as the cargo vessel Scot Ranger was leaving with some very large objects on deck. They had come from Forsyth's fabrication yard in Buckie, so that was something different and interesting to watch.

Wednesday 4th May
Second day of the survey. Left Wick at 5.30am and spotted a Minkie Whale around 6am as we steamed to the survey site. Good day on the survey tract and as we were making our way back to Buckie, we saw 3 big blows 600 meters north west of the boat, but no physical ID of any mammal.

Tuesday 3rd May
Out with a survey team and at 5.30am, 4 miles north of Buckie a Minkie Whale and 4 Porpoise were spotted by one of the team and the skipper. Once the survey started at 8am they had sightings of Seals, Porpoise, Minkies and lots of  the usual birds. Over 100 (yes 100) Skuas, a mix of Great & Arctic -  the most the team has seen on a survey in this area, and even 2 crows!

Wednesday 27th April
Another glorious day weatherise, Alan Airey one of the best spotters in our area (well I think so), was sailing with us. We had just cleared the pier head when the shout went out "Dolphins at 1 o'clock" - he had seen a splash just North West of Buckie.

So with the skipper and Alan now on watch in the wheelhouse, all eyes of those on the deck were looking out to sea, YES!! there was a splash, and another, so as we sailed on it became clear that there was a large pod of Bottlenose Dolphins three quarters of a mile off shore.

The boat slowed down and some of those graceful creatures came on the bow and others put on a great display of breaching and rushing back and forth off both sides of the boat.

In all there were 25 to 30 dolphins which we enjoyed watching for 15minutes, then the skipper turned the boat Eastwards so we could  carry on with the rest of the trip.

We saw a few seals hauled out on the Craigenroan Rock basking in the sunshine... and had Gannets and other birds soaring in the sky and diving into the sea looking for something to eat.

Monday 25th April
A fantastic Easter Monday not long out of the harbour, just as I'd said "We never say never till we're back in the harbour" (meaning there is no special place or time to see the dolphins), and a dolphin came rushing alongside the boat, then there was another two on the bow..

The skipper eased the boat in and turned it round and before we knew it there were dolphins everywhere, with some spectacular breaching going on, two and three dolphins at  times leaping high out of the water together, others swimming back and forth on the bow, the others just rushing around having a whale of a time.

We travelled slowly west with them for about 15 minutes then we turned eastwards again for the rest of the trip leaving them travelling west. We were all agreed that there must have been 45 to 50  dolphins with 3 calves seen in the group. On the homeward stretch of the trip we saw 2 harbour porpoise off Cullen Bay and a single seal sunning itself on the Craigenroan Rock... what a great trip!!

Sunday 24th April
Another lovely sail along the coast with no mist today. At 12.45hrs we spotted 10 seals bobbing in the water off the Craigenroan, watching for what was being rejected by the creel boat skipper as he lifted his pots.

Then at 14.30 hrs just as we were at the Craigenroan heading for Buckie we spotted dolphins heading our way, in all around 20 Bottlenose Dolphins travelling east. Lots of them came to the boat , a couple of calves were spotted, and the skipper saw one of the deformed dolphins (it must be 3 or 4 years old now). Good to know it is still on the go. A nice way to end the trip!

Sunday 17th April
Out on a trip this afternoon with beautiful calm seas and Gannets diving off Sandend, so graceful to watch.

As we headed for home, the skipper spotted a couple of Harbour Porpoise, then as we approached Loggie Head, the engines slowed and there all around us were dolphins. A few came to the boat to have fun in the bow wave, we spotted one calf close to the boat, the others just kept heading east (most likely to where the gannets were feeding).

Just off Findochty, 3 came to the bow, then went off the join the others. In all there must have been between 30 to 40 of those lovely Bottlenose Dolphins pass us! Awesome!

Saturday 9th / Sunday 10th / Monday 11th April
While on survey out at the Beatrice oil platform at the weekend we encountered all the usual sea birds, also 5 Great Skuas and a couple of birds not common in the area. Sunday 10th April @ 14.16 hrs we saw a Marsh Harrier and on Monday @ 09.43hrs a Peregrine Falcon.

Saturday 2nd April
En route from Macduff to Buckie at 15.40hrs we saw 3 Bottlenose Dolphins just off Portknockie. Two came on the bow and stayed with us for about 5 mins, and one looked as though it was carrying a calf (very rounded on the stomach).
What a great start to 2011!


2010 Sightings

Friday 15th August

What a day! Sailed at 09.15 hrs almost back to the harbour when fins spotted at the East Mucks at 11.35 hrs 5 BND's and a very young calf came close to the boat. A couple swam under the bow, dived then reappeared. Four fins in a row appeared and some breached. Left them 11.45 hrs as we made our way in.

Sailed again 13.00hrs, just reached Findochty when the rain started and by the time we were at the Tronachs, the heavens had really opened with water coming straight down.

We all made our way to the back of the boat for shelter then after we passed the Bow Fiddle yes a flash but not from a camera, then came the rumble and more flashes as the lightning lit up the then very dull sky (we all wanted to hide).

Sandend came into sight and just as we were turning round to leave the rain etc behind, a rush just off our port side, then the sun came out and yes - the rush was the dolphins coming towards us 14.08hrs.

Again there were 5 BND's and a calf. They came on the bow then breached along side then seemed to disappear. Then up they popped again with a couple of tail slaps and a little more breaching, then as we approached Cullen Bay we left them at 14.45 hrs as we sailed for Buckie with very happy passengers.

14.15hrs (by then our jackets had dried out), and we were once again leaving the harbour. Just by the Middle Mucks the skipper gave a shout "dolphins a little ahead on the port side", and yes there was the same group we had left at Cullen Bay coming west, so we slowed down and they came to visit us and the little calf leaped straight out of the water.

Then they surfaced slowly then dived again and the next we saw they were traveling quite fast, away towards the west. 14.40hrs we turned and continued our trip east.

Almost back to Buckie when yes - there again dark skies and lovely flashes of lightening ahead of us at Buckie. We heard great cracks of thunder and once again the rain came and boy didn't it come down, but everyone left happy, though a little wet.


Tuesday 12th August
15.10 to 15.20 hrs from Iglis Bay to Craigenroan 12+ BND's putting on a good show leaping and some on the bow. 2 calves with the group.


Monday 11th August
13.15hrs BND's at middle mucks 12+ spread out around the boat with a couple leaping just a short distance from the bow with others breaching alongside. Left them feeding at East Mucks and we saw a couple toss a fish. 14.50hrs 6 BND's seen in Cullen Bay as we traveled west, then 5 appeared on the bow as we sailed past the Bow Fiddle.

Last seen at 15.10hrs of the stern when they left as quickly as they had arrived. 20+ seals seen on Craigenroan on both trips.


Saturday 9th August
8+ BND's at West Mucks at 15.25 hrs just as we were returning to Buckie breaching alongside the boat and milling around; we watched them for 10mins. 17.10hrs 1 Harbour Porpoise half a mile from the Caple Rock at Cullen, surfaced 4 or 5 times off our starboard as we traveled west.

At 18.35hrs 1 lone juvenile BND at the West Msucks turned north and we watched it surface slowly 6 or 7 times. It did a couple of long dives then we turned and made our way into the harbour 18.50hrs.


Wednesday 6th August
While traveling east we encountered BND's 13.40 hrs at the Bow Fiddle. A well spread out group of 18+ breaching, rushing and on the bow as well as leaping. Sea state 3 and a bit of a swell. We left them at Logie Head as we turned at 14.10 hrs to make our way back to Buckie.


Tuesday 5th August
18.25hrs 8+BND's just west of the Mucks traveling east , breaching beside the boat and a couple leaping. At least 1 calf in the group. We left them traveling east as we entered the harbour at 18 35 hrs.


Monday 4th August
13.15hrs BND's off Buckpool Harbour traveled east with them as far as Findochy caravan site where they left the boat at 13.45hrs. 18+ spread out along the way, 5 on the bow at one time with plenty activity among them breaching, tail slapping, leaping out of the water and twisting around as they splashed back into the sea.

14.50hrs encountered BND's at Tronach Head as we traveled west, some came on the bow others breaching off the port side the group 15+ was spread out as far as Longhead where we had a great view of then tossing fish around as we carried on our way to Buckie. Sea state 3 with at least half a metre swell.


Friday 1st August
13.45hrs 20+ BND's at Iglis Bay (Findochty). Big swell running, but they put on a good show with 4 or 5 calves with the group. It was great to see the little ones breaching. Left them at 14.10hrs off Portknockie where most kept going east and a few turned and headed west .

15.OOhrs - 4 large BND's appeared out of nowhere, came straight to the bow, dived and they were gone. 17.05hrs we spotted a Great Skua drowning a Kittiwake. Lots of other Kittiwakes tried to scare it off but no luck.

17.45 at Tronach Head 4 or 5 BND's off the port side, came to the boat then dived for 4 to 5 min's then reappeared behind us, dived, surfaced a couple of more times in the wake of the boat, then went off east at 17.55hrs. A few seals on Craigenroan.


Thursday 31st July
13 .45 hrs 8 + BND's at the Whales Moo, watched them till they reached the Bow Fiddle left them at 13.55 as they traveled slowly west. 18.15 hrs 8+ BND's traveling east.

Met them at Iglis Bay (Findochty) and traveled with them till Longhead where we left them still traveling east as we turned to come back to Buckie.

Seals seen on Craigenroan as we returned to Buckie on both trips.


Sunday 27th July
11.30 hrs just as we were about to approach the harbour a fin spotted. 1 dolphin traveling slowly in not the usual bottlenose style, then the young lad on the boat said as it surfaced again "it's got a rounded head."

Watched it for approx. 5 min's and we came to the conclusion that it was a lone Risso Dolphin!! It kept going east as we returned to the harbour.


Saturday 26th July
13.20hrs just west of the of the harbour splashes seen, so we sailed west and encountered 15+ BND's breaching, jumping and playing around the boat from side to side. A couple of calves in the group.

We left them west of Buckpool at 13.45hrs, where we turned round to carry on our trip. Could still see them from the stern leaping in the distance as we sailed eastwards. Loads of seals on Craigenroan basking in the sunshine.


Friday 25th July
9.10hrs met BND's at Middle Mucks traveling east; two groups 12+ in total with a couple of calves, nice breaches, tail slaps, at times dolphins on both sides of the vessel., jumping so close that we got a nice sea spray from them.

Left them east side of the Craigenroan. On the return leg of the trip as we traveled west we saw the same group off the port side close to shore at Logie Head at 11.05 hrs traveling pretty fast eastwards.


Thursday 24th July
14.55hrs 12+ BND's including 2 calves just off Findochty caravan site. Great show, a couple on the bow and others breaching and surfacing slowly by the side of the boat. Left them at 15.10 hrs traveling east as we continued on route to Buckie, 15.30hrs 3 BND's at Middle Mucks - leaping high as we traveled into the harbour.


Wednesday 23rd July
12+ BND's at least 2 calves with the group by the East Mucks at 13.25hrs they stayed with the boat, breaching and a few jumps, we left them at 13.40hrs at Craigenroan as we carried on with our trip east. As we turned at Sandend at 14.40hrs saw 1 Harbour Pprpoise. Sea state 3 on this trip.

15.00hrs off Sunnyside, one of our passengers announced that he had something to say. We waited to hear what it was and he produced an engagement ring and asked his very surprised partner Lorraine if she would like to make him a very happy person and agree to marry him. Well done Steven and congratulations to you both from us all. A lovely end to a very nice trip!

16.45 hrs as we sailed past on the outer side of the middle mucks 3 BND's came towards the boat from between the mucks and the harbour. They breached alongside the boat and then a couple did a little spy hopping just off the bow before going inshore again. Left them at 17.05hrs near Craigenroan.

17.50 hrs 1 BND off Findlater Castle. 18.00hrs as we turned at Sandend 1 Miinkie Whale surfaced a couple of times. 18.45 hrs as we made for the harbour on the inside tract, looking out to the north we saw 3 BND's just outside the Middle Mucks leaping out of the water. Watched them until the boat passed inside the harbour wall.


Tuesday 22nd July
Another good day, 13.45hrs 3 BND's at Cullen feeding. Left them at 13.55hrs as they started traveling slowly west. On return leg of trip met 3 BND's at 15.25hrs near Craigenroan. They came to boat bow riding and breaching, and traveled with us to the west mucks where we left them as we entered Buckie.

16.25hrs setting off on another trip, just out of the harbour and 3BND's just to the west of us, we turned east at 16.35hrs they came with us traveling a little off our port side leaping out of the water, then coming towards us were 2 others and a calf and they came bow riding. We left them all at 16.55hrs at Craigenroan feeding.

18.30hrs 1 lone dolphin East of Findochty then 3 BNDS joined us at Craigenroan had a time on the bow and then put on a show breaching and leaping as far as the East Mucks where we left them at 18.45hrs to return to the harbour.


Friday 18th July
1 Minkie Whale surfaced 10 times in Sandend Bay a couple of times very close inshore from10.10 hrs 10.30hrs. 13.15hrs just east of Craigenroan 8+ BND's with a very young calf - we traveled West with them for 10 min's.


Thursday 17th July
Great day BND's, Porpoise and Minkie Whale!!

09.15 hrs just off Buckpool as we left harbour 12+ BND's breaching , bow riding and leaping. Left them at 09.30hrs traveling west, and as we continued east spotted another 6+ off our port side traveling west.

10.45hrs 2 Harbour Porpoise off Findlater Bay as we were traveling west. 14.05hrs 20+ BND's spread out in 4 groups off Sandend traveling east, some breaching, others milling around and some great leaps.

Left them in Portsoy Bay at 14.20 hrs still heading east. Just turning to head west when 1 Minkie Whale surfaced off Sandend, and came up 6/8 times.

What a way to end the day!!


Wednesday 9th July
1 Minke Whale at 14:35 1.5 Miles North of Logie Head off Cullen. Surfaced 6 times.


Tuesday 8th July
1 Minke whale off Logie Head at 14.25hrs seen from Gemini Explorer. 1 Minkie Whale 3 miles N. E. Buckie at 15.30hrs seen from Gemini Endeavour.


Monday 30th June
3 groups of BND's in Cullen Bay at 13.45hrs.
One group on the bow and alongside the boat, a group feeding a little further in the bay and then the 3rd group came past us traveling very fast. They were heading west - 30+ in all, a mixture of mature, juveniles and a couple of calves, some breaching and plenty of surfacing.


Sunday 29th June
What a trip !!!! Left the harbour 13.00hrs just as we came to the West Mucks 1 BND heading straight for the boat, watched it surface 4/5 times we slowed to see which way it was going then it headed away west.

We continued east, then at 13.10hrs between the Middle East Mucks 1BND traveling west. App. 15 seals hauled out on the Craigenroan. 1 BND feeding between the Cullen Salmon Bothy at Logie Head at 14.00hrs.

As we turned at Sandend at 14.25hrs heading north loads (!!) of feeding birds (could see the fish on the surface off the water), then 1 Minkie Whale on our port side. At one point we had a1 Minkie on either side of the boat, one surfacing fully out of the water.

15.20hrs as we traveled west 3 BND's off the horses head (Findochty) then at 15.35hrs 8+ BND's putting on a great show breaching and tail slapping at the East Mucks. Just kept watching them until we got into harbour.


Friday 27th June
Minkie Whale feeding half a mile off Lossie Harbour at 13.00hrs. 15.00hrs 1 Minkie Whale feeding 1 mile north of Findlater Castle. Lots of birds in the vicinity of both sightings.


Tuesday 24th June
As we were turning at Sandend Bay at 15.15 hrs up popped first 2 then in no time at all we had 20 + BND's well spread out, with at least 2 calves in the groups. Some on the bow others breaching, tail slapping and nice slow surfacing by the boat. Traveled west with them and left them at Logie Head at 15.45 hrs and made our way back to Buckie.


Saturday 21st June
15.10hrs BND's leaping out of the water in front of the boat at Sandend, we turned west and they came with us well spread out, with some on the bow others rushing up
alongside us, sometimes on the Port side then on the starboard with at least 3 calves in the group. Left them 15.30 hrs at Logie Head as we returned to Buckie.


Wednesday 18th June
13.15hrs BNDS at Craigenroan with at times 5 on the bow. Others breaching well in front off the starboard as we traveled east - reckon 18+ we left them feeding at Findochty.

1 Harbour Porpoise off Cullen Bay at 14.30hrs when we were traveling west.

BND's at 14.35hrs a little off the Bow Fiddle. 3 leaping out of the water.

15.05hrs large group of BND's seen of Findochty, the Monogirl 2 (out on trials) was on our port side and the group split. 10+ made a rush to meet the Monogirl 2 and it was a great sight to see them bow riding and leaping along side of it. At the same time we had 4 on the bow and 6/8 surfacing beside our boat.

As the Monogirl 2 headed out to turn east the BND's that went to her turned and came back towards the Gemini Explorer. Left them behind at the Craigenroan as we made for
Buckie.15.15hrs .--- A great trip all round.

PS. The Monogirl 2 is a small tender built at Macduff. John Smith the former owner of the Puffin was out with it up to the measured mile putting it through its paces.


Friday 6th June
1 Minke Whale a mile off Findochty at 13.20 hrs.
1 Minke Whale 1.5 miles off Portknockie at 13.35 hrs.


Thursday 25th May
10 mile North of Lossie 5+ Common Dolphin at 07.00hrs breaching, then 2 on the bow a 07.15hrs. 1 Minke Whale 15 miles north east off Lossie at 07.35 hrs then again at 12.15hrs. Seals and Harbour Porpoises also seen.


Tuesday 27th May
From Gemini Explorer - 12/14 Seals seen on the shingle beach of Craigenroan at 13.20hrs as we went east.

Then as we came west 10+ BND's with 2 calves seen in the group off Craigenroan at 15.05hrs.

We left them at the Middle Mucks at 15.30hrs as we went into Buckie. We had a good time with them and they came to the bow were rushing towards the boat, tail slapping, leaping, breaching and keeping everyone alert by coming up on either side of the boat.


Friday 23rd May
From Gemini Explorer 20+ BND's first encountered at 14.30hrs*at Loggie Head. They traveled west with the boat until Tronach Head where we left them at 15.15hrs milling around. A great trip - at one point we had 9 dolphins around the bow with 2 calves in the group. Other times they were breaching, jumping and tossing fish in the air all around the boat.

Then at 15.45 just inside the East Mucks we had 2 BND's on the bow, they left us as we altered course to enter the Buckie Harbour. Also saw seals hauled out on the shingle part of Craigenroan.


Thursday 22nd May
8+ BND's seen off Spey Bay by Angela (from her house) between 20.30 hrs and 21.20hrs.


Wednesday 21st May
1 Harbour Porpoise at Igles Bay seen by Davy and Peter Hizzett, out with the *Gemini Endeavour* (*Storm *) at 19.50hrs.

Friday 16th May
5 miles off Buckie 1 Minkie Whale seen off the port side as the boat was traveling west.  Seals and Porpoise also seen.


Wednesday 14th May
14.50hrs 1 Harbour Porpoise.
Half a mile off Portknockie 15.15 hrs 5+ dolphins three quarters mile off Buckpool, on the bow and surfacing.


Tuesday 13th May
10+ BDN's off Findochty at 13.35hrs as we traveled East - 2 calves in the groups bow riding and breaching


Sunday 4th May
1 Bottlenose Dolphin off Findochty at 13.20hrs on the bow then surfaced 4/5 times traveling east off portside, seen again in same area at 15.05hrs on return leg of trip.
25 seals on Craigenroan at 15.20hrs


Saturday 3rd May
30 seals hauled out on the Craigenroan 14.14 hrs and again as we made our way back to Buckie at 16.20hrs15+ Bottlenose Dolphins at 16.05 hrs from Longhead to Tronnach head. 3 on bow including a young calf, others milling around and they made a couple of great breaches as we left them.


Sunday 27th April
3 Moray Firth Dolphins on the bow and 15+ Moray Firth Bottlenose Dolphins dispersed outside the harbour (Aberdeen).
3 calves and juveniles in the groups 05.10 hrs 1mile east of the Ythan. 1 Harbour Porpoise at 08.40hrs.

Quarter mile east of the Ythan H.P at 08.50hrs
2 miles off Colliston we say a Harbour Porpoise at 10.10 hrs

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Moray Firth Bird Life



Moray Firth Bird Life




Moray Firth Dolphins



Moray Firth Bird Life




Moray Firth Dolphins


Moray Firth Bird Life