Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Whale Ahoy! Whale watching in Ireland

The sky & sea are incredibly beautiful- whales or no!
Did you know that Ireland is a good place to see whales? 

It is, and here in the sunny southeast some of the best months are Nov- Feb, when you can often see fin whales. They are a big whale, on average around 65 ft long. And we saw 11 of them! 

How did we do it? And what else did we see?

Rebecca C & Duncannon harbour

I got in contact with Martin Colfer, who runs Off The Hook Whalewatching, and arranged for myself & some friends to go out with him on his boat the Rebecca C. 

Martin needs a certain number to go out, but if you are an individual or small group you can get added in with others- do give him a ring & chat about it 353 (0)87 265 7177 or email him info@charterangling.ie  

We were out from 9am to 2pm, costing €40 per person, and it was worth every penny!

 Be sure to dress warmly, & waterproofly (Is that a word? It needs to be!) 
It ended up being quite choppy the day we were out, so another tip is to take some seasick pills before hand, just in case. I 'visited' the side of the boat few times myself...thankfully it didn't ruin my day.

Luckily I was upright for this pic! Looking for whales.
We all had our cameras, but the sea spray is lethal to them, so don't have them out- keep 'em in plastic bags & use only when boat is not kicking up spray.

 I found that looking through a camera made me feel ill- looking at the horizon is really the best thing for funny tummy. 

 Also, we all agreed: don't worry about photos if it's your 1st time seeing whales. They are so quick you'll miss seeing them properly if you're trying to snap pics. Enjoy the experience instead.
Look at us, not your camera! Curious seals watch us on the boat

As the boat took off from Duncannon Harbour, we passed the historic Duncannon Fort, and later Hook Head Lighthouse in the distance. First the dolphins came, jumping and playing in the water. There were guillemots and gulls flying and diving.
Then seals bobbing about, relaxed and curious. All the time we were also looking for the spouts of water or gatherings of seabirds that Martin had told us would alert us to the whales.

Suddenly- spouts! Whales! 
For at least an hour we were seeing loads of whales-- it was magical. Quite a few times they were close to the boat; magnificent. 

Mostly, we didn't take photos, we just marveled. But Suzanna did take some, and kindly shared with me for this post. I hope you enjoy them. I highly recommend taking a whale watching boat trip! 

PS we went to The Strand Tavern after, & had good food, hot drinks & warmed ourselves by the fire. The service was excellent, and they catered to the coeliac in our group with no problem. It was the perfect end to a wonderful outing. 
Fin whale by Suzanna Crampton
Whale watching with Martin Colfer, Off The Hook Whale Watching, Wexford, Ireland. FANTASTIC

 To find out more about whales and dolphins in Ireland, visit the website of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group


  1. Hi Susan,
    Looks a bit cold out there on the Wexford coast, nice images as always, and what a great way to spend a day.

    1. It wasn't a cold day, thankfully, Brian- but staying dry makes all the difference! :-) Also not as cold as the Arctic, where we are currently! Fun times!!

  2. The photos are fab, sounds like you had a great day - have to admit I get horribly seasick too!!

  3. Thank you, Lorna; the day before we went out the sea was as smooth as glass apparently.. Stilll, riding the waves was fun-until. .. :-)


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