Thursday, 22 December 2016


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Dolphin watching from the promenade

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2005 was a bumper year for those of us who love to see Dolphins in their natural habitat around Youghal.

The summer was warm and calm. With flat seas and plentiful fishing it bought dozens of dolphins right into the harbour area of Youghal, for us all to see. On occasion over 40 dolphins were in the bay, arrayed in up to 5 pods.

Some lucky observers went out in boats to meet them, but there really was no need. The dolphins were in plain sight from numerous vantage points along the promenade from the main strand beach, along past the lighthouse, and down into town.

Of course these are wild animals and not here for our entertainment, they had come to fish. It appeared that one or two pods would head upstream to the point beside the town quay where the estuary is the narrowest, here they leap from the water creating as much noise as possible - and spectacle for us as observers. The remaining pods patrolled the outer bay just beyond the lighthouse.

It would seem that the fish, had been coralled into Youghal bay, and were then trapped between the two groups. As the pods converged towards the lighthouse area (and conveniently right next to the large viewing gallery) the fish were caught in trap they couldnot escape from, and a feeding frenzy ensues.

This usually occurred over a period of an hour arounf the time of  full tide, but on some days some dolphins lingered here all day. Lets hope 2006 brings the Dolphins back again.

 PS: New dolphin and whale watching tour boats started in Youghal in 2005 - takings thrillseekers right out into the bay, usually for a great ride. Whales and dolphins live and migrate across the bay, when they are around the boat trips take guests out to see them.


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