Saturday, 5 May 2018


There are two types of Whale watchers, those that chase after them and those that wait for them

                                 somewhere in the distance

The other day a pod of 6 Killer Whales made their way north from Sumburgh Head, a pack of Whale watchers chased them along the coast reporting to the others as they went.

I decided to head south to the next village, Levenwick where Killer Whales normally come into the bay. I was second arriving but soon the lay by was full of would be whale watchers.

                            Just south of Mousa

The Whales arrived and we got distant views as they came passed at speed but didn't bother coming into the bay. Word arrived they had moved up to Sandwick and i decided to move up the coast followed by another couple of cars.

We arrived and took up a viewing point looking south. By now more people had arrived, most of them locals but a good few visitors including a couple from Ireland who had never seen whales before

The Killer whales finally appeared to the south, the male showing well at a distance, its large dorsal fin (up to 6 feet tall) very evident. These males can grow up to 26 feet long with females up to 23 feet.

The pod split up as they moved up Mousa sound, mother and calf going slower than the others. By now several people started to cheer, they had a big smile and they said it had made their holiday.

We are very lucky to have possible three pods around Shetland in the summer months. I still haven't got as close as i want but for now these will do.

As the summer arrives so do the tourists, so if you join the chasers please be aware of fellow car drivers, don't leave you car in a dangerous position and make sure you look before driving off. An accident will happen soon with the large number of cars exceeding the speed limit in an effort to see the whales.

Another  problem has been with a number of boats trying to get too close, blocking the progress of the whales and several have been reported to the police

So enjoy your whale watching but be safe and think about others

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