THE IRISH Whale and Dolphin Group's new marine research vessel Celtic Mist has arrived in County Wexford.
The 56ft steel hulled ketch was donated to IWDG in 2011 by the Haughey family in recognition of their work over the last 21 years.
The yacht was officially relaunched in August 2012 and set sail offshore from Dingle in September with a team of IWDG members onboard in search of Cetaceans.
The maiden voyage proved very successful as the team encountered twelve species of cetaceans from harbour porpoise to blue whales off the continental shelf edge.
IWDG intend to use the Celtic Mist to train and teach IWDG members how to survey and record whales and dolphins, including using acoustic survey techniques. It will also be used for dedicated research projects and professional training and development. They intend to encourage schools and young people to visit the yacht to learn about cetaceans and the rich marine life in Ireland and to promote marine conservation.
IWDG volunteer skippers and crew will be providing all IWDG members with the opportunity to go whale and dolphin watching off the South Wexford and East Waterford Coast during this period.
For the month of January, the vessel will sail on day trips from Ballyhack in search of cetaceans.
In recent years a wide range of whales, dolphins and porpoise have visited the Wexford coastline. Each winter from November to February humpback and fin whales can be seen off Hook Head, common dolphins and harbour porpoise are also frequent visitors all year round. Whales and dolphins have recently been seen in the area.
Celtic Mist will also visit New Ross and scenic day trips of the River Barrow will also be available.
In February, RV Celtic Mist will sail to Kilmore Quay, where common and rissos dolphins and harbour porpoise have been sighted recently in this area.
To sail onboard Celtic Mist you must be a member of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. To sign up log onto www.iwdg.ie Celtic Mist Gift Certificates are available at €50 each and can also be purchased on the website.
Please email email@example.com for further details or call 086 2358771 to book your place now.