July 05, 2012

Aboard the Sirius

Heavy thunderstorms were roaring the country, though in the harbour of Stellendam it still seemed very quiet. A soft silence... With a group of about 30 people we left the harbour at 19.30h while dark clouds packed up close behind us. The wind force swelled from a shallow breeze to rough winds. The waves clashed and the song ‘rock the boat’ from Aaliyah came to mind. My legs started to hurt from the rain and the cold, leaving me with cramps in my right leg. Never said it would be easy. Observing harbour porpoises was no option anymore because every wave seemed like a fin. A curious harbour seal took a sneak peak at the Sirius and left again.

Dark thunder clouds follow the ship the Sirius

The owner of Delta Safari and his wife told me that they spotted harbour porpoises chasing fish into the shallows on the previous trip. This behaviour is known from bottlenose dolphins working together from the deep into the shallow waters of estuaries. However, harbour porpoises are solitary most of their lives. Only during the mating season or when with calf, you may find harbour porpoises in company. Or maybe they weren’t working together but they found the same food source and followed each other into the commotion. Where there is plenty... Well not this time, maybe the next.

The sunset like ribbons in the sky
During the stormy trip common terns took good use of the wind and waves to catch fish, while herring gulls followed the boat. A small group of about 10 seals defied the wind on the mudflats, rubbing their coats with sand. Finally at the end of the trip, the sky cleared only just a bit to show the colours of the sunset, like ribbons of light.

More information about the trips of Delta Safari, visit this link (in Dutch).

A stormy sunset at the end of the trip