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Solent Gaffer Ben Collins brings us some thoughts on dolphin as he continues his reporting from the OGA50 Round Britain Challenge fleet. Is 2013 the year of the Dolphin? he asks.

Many gaffers on OGA50 Round Britain Challenge have reported large schools of dolphin. More than many remember spotting  in previous years. There seem to be two main types. First, a smaller animal of about three feet long whose members seemed to like playing around in the wake  of our boats, weaving and diving at high speed. Coming in very close and suprising one by brushing the hulls as they swim in and out of the bow wave. But there was also larger pink breasted species of about 5-6 feet long who when alone  lept about a lot too making quite a noise of their splashes. they tended to keep a safe distance from the hull but can hang about for many tens of minutes before disappearing as suddenly as they had arrived.

Edgar, skipper of ‘Windbreker’ catches a photo of dolphin under his bowsprit, Cornwall, 2013

On the west coast of Scotland, ‘Bonita’ sends us this video clip.

When sighted in large numbers these large porpoises often appeared to be hunting as a group  meandering about as if sweeping an area for any signs of a fish meal. We and others saw such schools off Lands End and across the Bristol Channel. All this suggest plenty of fish for the hunting and we wondered if the exceptional cold water had brought fish down from the colder North Atlantic with the dolphins following in their path. 

Any experts out there who may know the answer?