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Steve Hartley is the founder of Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, New Quay. He now runs Dolphin Survey Boat Trips, however previously fished the waters of Cardigan Bay.

A member of our Living Seas Team sat down with Steve, to discuss his memories of life in the Bay. Here, he discusses the sighting of humpback whales off Ynys Lochtyn in 2005.

Recollection as follows:

"There were humpback whales off Ynys Lochtyn, many years ago. Paul Yates saw them, and there were photographs knocking around.

I’d gone down there in the morning, to do a two-hour trip, and there was nothing happening at Ynys Lochtyn …So we’d come back, and I’d picked up Peter Evans, and a couple of others; and we said “forget Ynys Lochtyn, it’s dead down there – let’s go out, straight out”. We were about half an hour into heading out, straight out to sea, when it was all over the radio! You know: “what’s that over there?!”, “oh gosh, it’s humpback whales!”. We’d missed them, I couldn’t believe it – I was so guttered!

We spent the next six hours then, on the roof of the Sulaire, going around. I can’t remember if I had other people…we weren’t doing trips; we were just looking essentially. But yeah, six hours – I got sun burn, sun stroke – on top of the roof, I was really rough at the end of it. We never saw a thing! We went scouting out towards Aberporth and out to sea.

So that was a humpback whale and its calf. Peter was saying that at that time of year they do tend to go wandering around a bit randomly and can turn up in random places."

To learn more about Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, please visit:

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