On July 24th, 1998, the Center for Coastal Studies 'Rapid Response' whale rescue team successfully freed a severely entangled right whale in Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts, USA. That morning, the local Harbourmaster received calls from local residents about two whales spotted near the entrance to Sesuit Harbour. He notified the Coast Guard that both were right whales and one was entangled. The Coast Guard alerted the CCS rescue team and, within hours, the team was bobbing beside the whale, in their inflatable.
Adapted from 'A Song of Exile' (a Celtic verse):
I sit on a knoll,
All sorrowful and sad,
And I look on the grey sea,
In mistiness clad,
And I brood on strange chances
That drifted me here,
Where Marijke and Holly and Liz and Rachel and Kelly and Justine and Kirsti and Chris and Martin and the crew,
[The original concluding lines read 'Where Scarba and Jura and Islay lie near']
Saturday 15th August
Thursday 13th August.
Mexico - August11, 1998
The National Fisheries Institute (INP), together with the USNational Marine Fisheries Service, are investigating whether purse seining nets used for fishing yellowfin tuna are affecting dolphin populations in the Pacific Ocean.
On 31 July, the US Senate lifted the tuna embargo on Mexico and other Latin American countries, but will still not allow yellowfin tuna which is caught with purse seining nets to be marketed with the "Dolphin Safe" label.
The recent rupture of the Ecuadorian oil pipeline has affected the ecological sanctuary of the Colombian island of Gorgon, where hundreds of humpback whales gather every year to mate.
More than 500 whales arrive in the area between July and December and it is feared that the oil spill may block the whales' breathing system.
A confused whale which thwarted an attempt to rescue it by returning to the banks of the River Mersey has now been towed out to sea.
Harnesses were attached to the 20ft long minke whale, christened 'Widnes Willy'.
Divers used a boat to tow the giant eight miles up the river into the Irish Sea.
The operation got under way just after midnight at high tide on Saturday night.
Police, RSPCA officers and firefighters had already spent 12 hours at the previous high tide trying to free Widnes Willy from Hale Bank in Widnes, Cheshire.
Saturday 8th August
Lord of the Wings
A small part of the team starts the day rather naughtily doing Mr Len (the engineer) impressions over its breakfast. Len has travelled widely, served in the Royal Navy and has strong opinions on a variety of matters. These include, for example the lack of any real necessity to take "film star showers" in the mornings and how his old Quarter
Thursday 6th of August.
In the Hands of the Gods 5 - Escape from Scalloway.
We saw sunshine today and were actually able to modestly peel off a couple of layers of clothing. At this point, as I start to write, the forecast is for two clear days of good weather at least. So we will be chugging northwards again, back into survey block three, the "Great Northern Block".
Are you good at solving puzzles? How good? WDCS is looking for the best puzzle-inventors, the most confusing riddle-writers and the most lateral-thinking clue compilers. We are planning to bury some treasure and we need volunteers with twisted minds to help us cover our tracks. Interested? If you would like to take part in the biggest puzzle since Masquerade send a riddle (and the solution) with a whale and dolphin connection to email@example.com
We make a pilgrimage.
Rather that sitting on the boat and twiddling our thumbs - doing such things as debating who should be eaten first if we get marooned somewhere (the kind of debate which can so easy turn nasty) - we hire a mini-bus and go to explore mainland Shetland. There are good whale and porpoise viewing points and it would be nice to see if any of our new seabird friends can be tracked to their nests. However, a call to the local Scottish Natural Heritage office confirms that most of the breeding birds have now gone back to sea, fledglings in tow.