OUR current spell of good weather is creating a golden opportunity for whale and dolphin watchers. While the animals themselves are unaffected by the sunshine and drought, the calm waters make this an excellent time to go and see them.
Colin Barnes of Cork Whale Watch, who are based at Reen Pier near Union Hall in west Cork, said these are ideal conditions for a trip out on the water.
“Marine life in general is largely unaffected by the good weather,” Mr Barnes explained. “It doesn’t matter a darn to the whales if it is sunny or people are lapping up ice creams, but the fine weather and the calm seas make it easier for us to see them.
“The whales and dolphins are always out there at this time of year but we are seeing more because of the good weather. There hasn’t been stormy weather in over a month now and the sea is nice and calm.”
It is in sharp contrast to the summer of 2017. When most of us think of stormy weather last year, we remember Ophelia in October but for whale watchers that was just the crowning storm of a very difficult season.
“Last summer we were cancelling trips on almost 60% of days,” Mr Barnes said. “The wind blew incessantly, we didn’t have two consecutive days of sunshine.
“It was incredibly windy and there was stormy weather from late May all the way through to the hurricane that arrived in October.”
Met Éireann predicts the current weather will last at least until the end of this week so, if whale watching is on your summer day trip list, now is the time to do it.
“We have had to cancel almost no trips since late March, we have been doing record numbers of trips,” said Mr Barnes.
“Whale watching is all about the weather, if that is right everything else, including the whales, tends to fall nicely into place.”