Venturing into the Gloom.
Not much sign of the snow-tipped mountains on the far side of the
We proceed on through the gloom towards the beginning of the first transect line that the Gemini Explorer (our survey vessel) will follow out into the deep waters of the
The Gemini takes us out to again close to the Beatrice oil platform and we turn towards it and zig zag around its exclusion zone before turning off onto another transect line. Today the more distant waters seem quiet. There are few seabirds.
Later in the day the boat becomes the focus of seabird attention and a group of gulls (presumably thinking we might be a fishing boat) follow us and are joined from time to time by several juvenile gannets (the ‘chocolate’ ones that are part of this year’s offspring, trying their wings for the first time over a wintery sea).
Along the survey lines a few porpoises pop up to be counted and at least one seal believes he should be added to the data set too.
The sun shows sign of setting at around 3pm and by the this time much of the cloud cover has lifted … eventually we are treated to a magnificent sun set looking south back towards port and a sliver of crescent moon adds to the atmosphere. It might be November, it might be cold, and it might have been raining but this is truly beautiful.
Night falls. The lights of Buckie and the foul smell resulting from the recent dredging of the harbour welcome us back to land.