Challenging Habitat Blog

Stunning evening light to end a weekend of beautiful blue skies and sunshine warm enough for t-shirts and shorts.

I feel blessed to experience days like these in the Cornish countryside.

Some more rain today, mizzle changing into light rain with the occasional heavy shower…

… what’s happening to me?

So very British, going on about the weather!

Walking the dog remains an essential and welcome part of my day, whatever the weather.

And if it gets a little too wet in my face, I’ll look to the ground and focus on the signs of spring – looking forward to the daffodils blossoming soon all around me!

Spring is on its way, even if the cold, damp, grey weather doesn’t make it feel like spring.

This is Cornwall!

The first crocus emerging in my garden

On this sunny and showery December morning, Dartmoor presents itself in dramatic light.

Tucked up in my waterproof clothing, I enjoy the expansive vistas from the top of tors as much as the differences in small details: lichen and mosses here, funghi on a rotting stump, the rocks, spongy bog, puddles or tussock grass underfoot.

It’s so good to be able to come here for a long walk with my dog and enjoy nature!

We are waking up to a beautiful morning, 25 knots of wind, a following sea and just an hour of foul tide before approaching Pentland Firth.

Perfect timing by an excellent captain and crew!

Pelican is rolling gently, 260 tonnes of ship just powered by the staysail and doing six knots.

I’m loving this, but sadly, it’s too much to stomach for some, so science has to wait until the green drains out of the last faces and the sea state goes down to moderate.

11:30, rounding Duncansby Head with the staysail and topsail and a freshening wind, and with calmer seas now the tide is with us.

The dedicated cetacean survey finished without a single sighting, but still provides valuable ‘absence’ data to the Seawatch Foundation.

After lunch, Mizzen Watch is on and I rotate from port lookout to a challenging stint at the helm in confined waters and then to starboard lookout.

The sun brings warmth between strong gusts and I enjoy watching the fulmars wheeling around the ship.

Fulmars have been wheeling around the ship all day and I enjoy watching their play with the wind and waves.

I read up about their history and discover that they share the common name ‘Mollymawk’ with another bird, the great albatross of the South.

Another beautiful sunset leading into a night under a lot of sail as the winds weaken …

Another beautiful morning aboard the Pelican of London.

We’ve set sail to head North through the Minch, where we’ll watch out for the blue men of the sea calling… the stories of the Selkie.

The plan is to sail around the northern coast of Scotland and reach the more sheltered waters of the east coast before the next Atlantic lows roll through bringing strong winds.

For now, we’re setting more sail!

Cetacean surveys will be our main focus on the science side, while all hands on deck are required for sailing the ship safely.

Looking out for cetaceans I’m the driving rain of the early evening requires dedication!

%d bloggers like this: