To celebrate National Marine Week (starting Saturday 26th July 2014), we caught up with Dave and Lizzie of Gower Coast Adventures to find out a bit more about the marine life you could spot along the Gower coast…
Look out across the Bristol Channel on a clear calm day and you might just catch the quickest glimpse of a small dark fin glistening in the distance. Or peer down from the Gower coast cliffs and you might spot the bobbing head of a seal dozing in the sea below. Well, why not take a boat trip with us at Gower Coast Adventures and enjoy a much closer wildlife experience?
We will welcome you aboard Sea Serpent, our 10.5m rigid hull inflatable boat, and show you Gower’s natural wonders. Setting off from Mumbles or Oxwich, and hugging the coastline on the way to Worm’s Head, you can easily see why the Gower Peninsula was designated Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whether you’re seeking sensational views, fantastic marine life or just want to feel the wind in your hair, we’ve got something for everyone.
The harbour porpoise, the smallest member of the whale and dolphin family (collectively Cetaceans), lives in UK waters all year round. Although they are notoriously shy creatures, we see porpoises on most of our boat trips. As we head round Oxwich and Port Eynon points keep your eyes peeled for the small triangular fins of these intriguing animals. If we turn off the engine and stay quiet then sometimes we are lucky enough to see them swim right past us. To help with their studies, we record all our sightings for the Seawatch Foundation. Fourteen pairs of eyes are better than two, so come and enjoy porpoise spotting with us and help an endangered species at the same time!
Fancy seeing a less shy and more playful Cetacean? We often see common dolphins off our coast as well. Sometimes bow-riding, sometimes breaching, sometimes tail-slapping, it’s always an incredible experience when the fun loving dolphins turn up!
Gower’s resident seal population love to bask in the sun on the rocks at Worm’s Head. Getting close to them is difficult from the land as they are (rightly!) quite wary of people and tend to shuffle back into the water. But from the sea it’s a different story; the seals are used to seeing Sea Serpent glide slowly past them with excited passengers on board.
Seen one seal, seen them all right?! Wrong. Look closely and you’ll soon notice that each seal has its own unique fur pattern. Here at Gower Coast Adventures we are starting to recognise individual seals by these patterns. Why not join us on a trip and help us name them?
Have you ever seen a gannet diving? It’s breath-taking! Britain’s largest seabird is seen regularly all along the coastline. Circling round in the air, when a fish is spotted they dive for it from a height, fold back their huge wings, and enter the water at high speed. They often helpfully give away the location of porpoises that push the fish towards the surface.
Smaller more comical types of seabird nest at Worm’s Head: the razorbills and guillemots. Part of the penguin family, these small birds have to flap frantically to stay airborne.
And not all gulls are of the steal-your-chips variety. Come on any of our three trips to see Kittiwakes nesting on Mumbles pier or at Worm’s Head; they may not be as cheeky as herring gulls but they are just as loud!
You might also see cormorants, fulmars, choughs and peregrine falcons. Our trips are great for bird enthusiasts.
If history is more your thing you won’t be disappointed! The Gower coast is rich in history; from Ice Age predators and ancient cave men, to the more recent smugglers and ship-wrecking pirates, we have plenty of tales to inspire your imagination. Explore the whole of the South Gower coast with us to see the coves, caves and cliffs which bring these stories to life.
If this sounds good to you and you’d like to book a trip with us, please call: 01792 348229 or 07866 250440.
For more information and photos you can also visit our website: www.gowercoastadventures.co.uk
To be in with a chance of winning a boat trip for two, head over to Facebook to find the details of our latest competition.