Friday, June 23, 2006

Boat trip no. 3

Another fantastic boat trip -8km out from Lagos on a rather lumpy sea! Amazingly, the prize for the most seasick boat-tripper was not awarded (largely because certain people wisely decided to stay on dry land!). The award for most enthusiastic family had to go to Sara's long-suffering parents and boyfriend, who added 3 hours on a rocking boat to their earlier night under a soggy tarpaulin.

A large box of old fish was rapidly turned into fish soup courtesy of Rob's feet [please remind him to take a shower -Ed.], and before long the first stormies appeared beside the boat.

Here is a European stormie photographed by Mark Bolton on boat trip 2.

Photo copyright Mark Bolton

The new "frisbee net" (mark V -modelled on a net described in the ornithological literature) was deployed but not used, owing to the stormies keeping well out from the boat. This was perhaps due to the rougher conditions drifting the fish lure rapidly away from the stern. However, the usual trawls with the zooplankton and phytoplankton nets were quite productive.

Along with about 4 European stormies, we had great views of another Wilson's petrel from the southern hemisphere, along with 3 cracking adult Sabine's gulls, 3 roseate terns, 2 common terns, Cory's shearwater, gannets, great skua, pomarine skua and a probable arctic skua chasing a definite Mediterranean shearwater! Not a bad day's birding!

At the end of another classic trip, we turned and raced the storm clouds back in to harbour. The inevitable ice-creams and chicken piri-piri were an important part of the post-trip medication/celebrations.

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