Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 4 September 2021
MARINElife/Lundy WLO: Megan Strachan
It was a lovely bright morning as I arrived in Ilfracombe. I met Kate at the shore office and collected my ticket and introduced myself to some passengers whilst waiting to board. As we headed out of the harbour, I made my way around the decks to introduce myself and hand out some MARINElife leaflets. I drew attention to the images and pointed out the wildlife we were likely to see on the crossing. I spent some time talking with a group of climbers who were making their way to Lundy for a week and was speaking with another couple who had visited Lundy previously when I had a shout from the other side of the boat telling me they had just seen a pair of fins. The fins appeared again close to the vessel but moving away from us, but I could confirm they were Common Dolphin. The passengers were very interested, and I spoke at length about how to identify them should more appear. I spent the remainder of the journey walking around the outer decks and talking to passengers and also witnessed a small group of diving Gannets close to the horizon.
We arrived at Landing Bay on a low tide, with views of Grey seals hauled out on the rocks of Rat Island. I departed the vessel after thanking the crew for a pleasant journey across and after taking some photos of the seals, made my way down to the beach to have lunch. I brought my snorkelling gear after witnessing the crystal, calm waters on my last visit however this time there was more swell. Instead, I went for a swim and then relaxed on the beach. A large grey seal appeared in the swell and hauled itself out on to the beach along from where I was sitting. I got some more photos from where I was sitting and spoke to some other visitors to ensure they kept their distance.
As the time for boarding got closer, I headed back to the Oldenburg and took some more photos of the seals, now swimming around the rocks of Rat Island with the high tide. The return journey was pleasant, with sporadic sightings of Gannet, Shags, and Fulmar as we neared Ilfracombe. I spent time speaking with passengers about their time on Lundy and practiced some more photography of the passing gulls. Everyone was in good spirits as we pulled into the harbour. I thanked the captain and the crew as I departed, then made my way home.
Summary of sightings:
Marine mammals Common Dolphin
Grey Seal Seabirds
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull