We steamed up the east coast of Scotland past Fraserburgh and Peterhead to an area known as the Southern Trench, where we started the calibration of the survey equipment, including testing the cameras and acoustic equipment. We had heard that killer whales had been spotted outside of Peterhead a few days previously, so we were keeping our eyes peeled for cetaceans. From the bow, we spotted a blow in the distance. Very excited, we scanned the horizon and saw the dorsal fin of a minke whale. It was moving fast in differing directions, and once even surfaced within a stone’s throw of the ship!
During the steam we also spotted puffins, gannets, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars and guillemots. We also had an unusual visit from a kestrel. We think it got lost in the fog, and it is now resting in a sheltered area of the ship.
|Puffin in the fog|
|Kestrel on the ship|
Overnight we continued the journey towards the Pobe Bank Reef cSAC, and we should arrive at the first survey area by lunchtime. The plan is to start by collecting multibeam and sidescan data, which will help us understand the composition of the seabed and help inform our groundtruthing strategy.