|The offshore waters off Pembrokeshire are our destination on this early evening wildlife experience. Local Welsh professional photographer and lecturer Andy Davies is your guide in discovering this little known area.
A truely pelagic experience, we are exploring a new frontier where a host of amazing creatures can be found. Encounters with common dolphins are likely to be frequent and other cetaceans such as porpoise and whales may be seen. Species such as minke, pilot, orca and humpback have been recorded here as well as thresher and porbeagle sharks in the Celtic Deep, some 20 miles offshore. Seabirds abound with gannets, Manx shearwaters, storm petrels, fulmars, puffins, razorbills and guillemots feeding in the rich waters.
Many trips will visit Grassholm Island, situated 11 km due west of Skomer Island, It is home to more than 78,000 breeding gannets, together with a number of "club birds" who have yet to reach maturity, bringing the total to nearly 100,000. It is the third most important site for northern gannets in the world, after St. Kilda and Bass Rock in Scotland and is managed by the RSPB.
This is a rare chance to capture this world-class site during photography's Golden Hour, when the evening sun bathes the island in rich light. Razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes and shags together with Atlantic Grey seals are also found on and around the island.
The return journey is timed to coincide with witnessing the tens of thousands of shearwaters that congregate at sea before they return to their burrows on Skomer and Skokholm Islands under the cover of darkness.
Our vessel is a Nelson 38 which has plenty of space to move around from the stern to the bow as well as a comfortable cabin. The boat trip lasts around 5 hours giving us plenty of time to cover all the subjects we may encounter. News and images can be found on Andy's Facebook page here.