We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

tailgating a whale

This could be the first humpback whale sighting of 2017

“I clicked just in time.”

MYLES CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHS whales for the South Coast Charter Angling – a coastal tour of the south-east, which is where he took this beautiful shot yesterday.

0X3A1646 Myles Carroll Myles Carroll

When out at lunchtime, Myles and the coastal boat tour skipper Martin Colfer spotted the whale, which Martin says is the first Irish humpback whale sighting of 2017.

“It can be very difficult to get close whales,” Myles explains to “They blow steam up first before they come up, so you can identify beforehand where to turn the boat towards them.”

This picture shows the 13-metre long and 25-tonne heavy whale flicking his tail 100 metres from the edge of the boat.

“I clicked just in time,” he says.

Myles says he’s always had an interest in nature, and has gone as far as Madagascar to photograph humpback whales.

“I’m nature mad. It gets into your blood more than any other type of photography.”

0X3A1970 Myles Carroll Myles Carroll

He’s is currently compiling a book of the sights he’s captured while photographing the southeast coast with Martin Colfer, the skipper of the coastal tour boat.

The tour begins at Duncannon, Co Wexford and goes around to pick passengers up from Passage East, Waterford, before passing Hook Head and catching glimpses of humpback whales, dolphins, minke whales and other wildlife sights.

The tour, which has been in operation since 2010 has noticed a slight increase in recent years of whales and dolphins in Irish waters, which is thought to be because of climate change creating warmer waters.

Martin says that on their first tour seven years ago, they were lucky to spot a humpback called Hooky, who flipped 11 times for 45 minutes. Another whale, named Boomerang because he kept returning to the area, was recognised because of his damaged fins.

When asked if people complain if they don’t see any whales or dolphins, Myles replied, “Nature is a surprise all the time.”

He said that they had a couple of tours planned for the Christmas/New Year’s Eve period that had to be cancelled because of the bad weather, but people are mostly understanding.

Martin, whose father and grandfather have both worked on the sea, says that people can be disappointed when a tour is cancelled, but that they’ve never disappointed anyone who was taken out on the tour.

“Watching whales gives you such a buzz, but every day there’s something new.”

Details of Martin Colfer’s coastal tour are available here.

Read: Orlando’s soccer club dedicates part of stadium to Pulse nightclub victims

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.