The second Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch Show took place on 6th and 7th August 2022 in the Villa Marina’s Promenade Suite. Andy Peters of the Whale Workshop, returned to the Island with his incredible collection of hand-made, life-size and realistic marine creatures. All species are ones that are regularly seen in Manx waters and occasionally seen, like the leatherback turtle.
These huge models lined the room, either sitting on the floor and tables or suspended from the ceiling. The smallest was a 1.5m porpoise and the largest an 8m minke whale with ‘small’ calf by her side.
A paper quiz was handed out to each family upon entry, designed to educate and challenge all ages. Quiz-hunters had to go around each of the displays, reading the information and looking for clues.
A collection of marine mammal bones was on display including our recently put together harbour porpoise skeleton, with a video explaining the different bones and how they all fit together. The centre of the room hosted large displays packed full of information on each species, the work of MWDW, and the importance of monitoring and conserving these top-level predators.
Our friends at Manx Wildlife Trust had their own fascinating stall where they talked about seal studies and Manx Marine Nature Reserves.
An area was dedicated to showcasing our recent sightings of whale, dolphin, porpoise and basking shark, how to report sightings and get involved. The interactive young scientist’s area proved popular, here you were able to listen to dolphins clicking and whistling, whales singing, take a quiz, and follow the story of Moonlight and Starlight our resident mother and daughter bottlenose dolphins. A threats and conservation area highlighted the issues surrounding the marine environment.
Binoculars, which were provided by the doors to a secure area on Douglas promenade, allowed people to have a look out across the bay.
Two kids craft tables offered colouring in and origami whale making, both of which proved extremely popular.
After all of this you could grab a cuppa and cake, sit down and read a BBC Wildlife magazine.
We had a turnout of almost 400 people over the weekend, which was super fantastic considering how many other summer events we were competing with that weekend.
This event would not have happened if not for our amazing, dedicated team of local volunteers who ran the Welcome desk, merchandise stall, interactive sightings area and refreshments table. They welcomed people with open arms, overcame new challenges (like working the card readers!), made new friends and did a brilliant job at serving our customers and making the show a success. A special thanks goes out to everyone who baked cakes and biscuits!
A huge thanks also goes of course to Mr Andy Peters for bringing his creatures over to Manx-land once again. MWDW has now purchased a life-size Risso’s dolphin from Andy, to go alongside Perkyn the porpoise. Robbie the Risso’s will be coming to the Manx primary schools this autumn.
Thank you to the Isle of Man Steam-Packet Company for supporting Andy’s travel costs- a massive help to us. Also, to Tesco Groundwork Bags of Help for their grant of £1,000 to cover rental costs of the venue. Lastly, thanks to the Villa Marina and all their staff for their fabulous venue and for hosting our show once again.