We were just getting ready to take Bert's sister Imelda and her friend Sonja out for a tour of the Ring of Kerry when Bert ran up the stairs, huffin' and puffin' : " Come downstairs there are 2 dolphins near the house ! " (in the water obviously).
We expect to see seals every now and then but dolphins don't usually come this far up. Oh the excitement we felt !
It struck me that what they were doing was not normal. It was soon clear to us that the mother was in distress and the calf (probably from last year) just followed her into shallow water.
Bert and Wen had already taken off their shoes and where in the water in no time, trying to guide them away and into deeper water. To no avail.
Phoned a friend who knew a thing or two about what to do. He arrived not long after, wetsuit, kayaks, more helpers and family and friends.
Mama dolphin was hurt and she was bleeding. A phone call to Vincent Hyland from Wild Derrynane had him here in no time. In the half hour it took for Vincent to arrive the lads tried to keep the dolphins afloat and wet at the top.
Trying to get the pair out into deeper water and out of the bay was impossible. After a stint with dinghy, kayak and a swimming Vinnie, they decided to leave them in the next little inlet where the water is somewhat deeper. There is a neap tide at the moment and that should make things easier. Tomorrow, they'll need checking up on. That is all we can do for now.
It was 9.30 this morning when we first noticed them and 13.30 when the 'rescue team' finally left.
Photo by Wen Chin Ter
Bert trying to get them into deeper water before all the help arrived
Unfortunately, the only thing we could do at the time was keep them afloat with belly down
Our friend, Etienne arrived, all dressed up in wetsuit.
Again, keeping the mama upright.
The arrival of Vincent Hyland, who is a walking wildlife encyclopedia.
Whenever the dolphins were guided into deeper water they would make it straight back to the water's edge.
Taking 'swimming with dolphins' to a new level
Bert and Michael getting ready for deeper waters
The others, the supporting team
Sometimes the only thing one can do is observe. And pet the cat.
Wen, our present volunteer.
"So, what's happening here ? " Xena, the cat who wants to be involved in all the action.
And what have I been doing ? Running to and fro the house for drinking water, coffee, towels to keep the dolphins' backs wet, running to get flippers out of cars. Making coffees, teas and sandwiches, because after 4 hours of rescue, the A-Team could do with a bite to eat.
According to Vinnie, the bleeding on mama dolphin had stopped. Why did they come this far up the inlet will be a mistery. Maybe the mama is sick, maybe they got excluded and chased out of the pod.
Maybe they thought this was a safe place for them, because there is talk that orcas/killer whales have been spotted in the bay.
We keep fingers and toes crossed that they will be ok for now, in a deeper water inlet a 100 meters from where we first discovered. them. Because, like Vinnie said, if the mama dies, the calf won't survive on its own.
I will keep you up to date if and when I have more news.
Thanks to Michael, Etienne, Vincent, Bert - the A-team
To Steffie, Wen, Pam, Ann, Diane & friend, Imelda & Sonja - the supporting team.
Let's add to it and say, this was and international rescue team. Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Ireland, Germany & Belgium.
Update Monday, 24th August 2015
Unfortunately, they didn't make it. At 1.15pm Bert went out in the boat to check up on them and he found they both had passed away in the same spot where they had been harboured. It is sad beyond believe..