Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Kids blogs
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
An orca named 'Hulk' off Caithness, Scotland

My amazing week watching orcas in Scotland

Orca Watch's 10th anniversary event in the far north of Scotland was exhilarating with a...

Faroes dolphin hunt review – disappointing is an understatement

I wasn't alone in hoping that substantial changes would be made as a result of...
Minke whale - V Mignon

We told them this would happen! Time to halt cruel whale experiments

An ill-conceived and so far ill-fated joint US/ Norwegian experiment to test minke whales' reaction...
Sponging dolphin in Shark Bay

Dolphins who catch fish with shells

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....

Small fish in a BIG pond?!

It’s been over a week now since I took the ‘plunge’ and decided to enter the Banff Bay swim on behalf of WDC (https://www.justgiving.com/ruthclark). Had I known quite how hard it was going to be to even get a wetsuit on let alone swim in it, I’m not sure I would have felt quite so reassured by the prospect of wearing one. I spent a good two hours trying on various sorts and sizes (in a very hot and stuffy changing room) and after much deliberation I came out super excited to go and try it out in the sea for real, but with a little less skin on the back of my hands! I quickly realized, however, that swimming in it is a different matter altogether! And it wasn’t long before I had a very uncomfortable neck too. It certainly kept me warm though; there is no doubt about that….so much so that I’m tempted to try a swim without it?!…..I will let you know how that goes next week!

 

I have managed to fit in a couple of swims so far, each with varying degrees of confidence. The first was more of a paddle than a swim; forgetting the influence of that giant thing in the sky we call a moon! With a little more planning, the second attempt was more successful; the initial anxiety of being eaten by a shark faded away and I settled into a good rhythm, enjoying the scenery of the sea bed. Yesterday however, I was reminded of the stark contrast of the underwater world with murky water and swell making it very difficult to see and keep a direct course. It really got me thinking about what it must be like for creatures living in the water and how sound is such an important adaptation to their very existence. Noise pollution is one of the biggest threats to cetaceans and marine mammals around the world, with seismic surveys for oil and gas, pile driving for offshore construction and military sonar, affecting their ability to navigate, hunt for food and communicate with each other. Not to mention the disturbance caused by busy shipping lanes and increased boat traffic, as highlighted in the recent incident in Cornwall last week. There is a way forward though, and WDC is working hard with other organizations to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in critical and breeding and feeding grounds around the world. It’s just one of many reasons that I feel passionate about supporting the work the WDC is carrying out to improve the chances of survival for these special creatures…

 

Despite the challenges I faced this week; there was something quite magical about being in the water, surrounded by the elegant pattern of raindrops and frantic diving Tern’s just metres from my path. It felt fantastic to be so close to nature and I can’t wait to see what the next swim will hold!! Stay ‘afloat’ for the next instalment!!

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.