September with the warmth of August

Well we are finally into September, but things are still warm and interesting!

We have had an amazing season of sightings – jellyfish, basking sharks, and 100′s of common dolphins. The large numbers usually slow down in September, but there is still plenty to see – and with the temperatures still good and the warm Gulf Stream coming up from Florida – we are looking forward to spotting a wide variety of sea life and birds.

We will be running our usual trips over the Autumn, or alternatively give Rory a call on 07971 540 280 and discuss what you’re looking for – and he’ll see what’s possible. Elemental Tours are still working closely with their partners at the Shark Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust to monitor sightings, behaviours and take part in rescues.

If you want to learn more about whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and ocean sunfish – why not join the Wildlife Trust for their Seaquest public sea watch at Hella Point near Porthgwarra on the 4th September. Don’t forget to take binoculars – both the wildlife and the view are amazing!

First Basking Shark of 2013

The first basking shark of the year has been spotted in West Cornwall waters.   Arriving a little later than usual the gentle giant was seen swimming off Porthcurno last week.

Believed to be a young shark, stretching just two metres compared to up to 12 metres for a fully grown animal, it was a welcome sight for spotters.  “It is very exciting, every year I can’t wait to see them,” said Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzance, who collates information on shark sightings.

“You see the same animals year after year and can tell them apart because each one has distinguishing marks.”   Mr Goodall said that thanks to the chilly winter it had taken a little longer than normal to see the tell tale fins appear in our waters. The first basking shark was seen in Cornwall on March 8 last year.   “The sea temperature has been down which has stopped the growth of plankton, the food they eat,” he said.   All basking shark sightings are added to a data base and handed over to the Shark Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.   “It is all to do with conservation,” he said.   “Globally basking sharks are threatened so we like to make a note of each one we have seen so we know what they are doing, how many there are and things like that.”

If you spot a basking shark the best advice is not to disturb it but view it from a safe distance.   For more information and to log a sighting, visit

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“Baskers” large and small

Enjoying some great, albeit changeable, weather here in West Cornwall: Overcast yesterday but absolutely sparkling today and generally warming up. The sea looks amazing! On the wildlife front we got some great news too! Just after hearing of another multiple sighting in the Newquay area, We spotted three Basking Sharks, ourselves, yesterday, from the cliffs on the North West coast when we were doing an overland walk for Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Fox Club. Kids and adults all very excited!  Although, there have been a few, isolated individuals, spotted over the last month or so, It’s encouraging to see them appearing now in more significant numbers. We were lucky have plenty of other wildlife sightings on our walk too, including a smaller but equally exciting and beautiful Cornish ‘basker’ -  several Common Lizards, we spotted warming themselves on paths and hedges.

We’ve had a ‘Whale’ of a time here in Cornwall over Easter.

Exciting news!

Image source: see 'northatlantic...' link below.

A friend in the area has reported seeing a whale on Easter Sunday, cruising just off the cornish south coast

The animal, spotted first by a group of young lads fishing, who then alerted other onlookers, was cruising

Image source: http://

fairly close to shore, about 50 feet from the cliffs , close enough to see what looked like callosites covering its head and that it didn’t apear to have a dorsal fin. When the animal sounded (dived)  those watching could see quite distinctly its forked tail, like the flights of an arrow. All these descriptions strongly suggest it may have been  a North Atlantic Right Whale, a very rare creature indeed! The rarest large whale in the world and unfortunately still critically endangered.

Our friend has been in touch with the SeaWatch Foundation who have asked him to liaise with the boys’ school to help them positively identify their sighting. Well done boys!! …and as we always say you just never know what will turn up in the waters around Cornwall. So get out there and keep your eyes peeled!