By Andy Hargreaves

Photo by Fay Page

Photo by Fay Page

A St Martin’s sealife expert says that seeing a whale in Scilly this weekend was “an incredible, once in a lifetime experience.”

Anna Cawthray of St Martin’s Dive school was walking along Par Beach with fellow islander Fay Page when she spotted it.

Anna, who leads the popular seal snorkelling sessions, swam out into the bay for a closer look.

Anna tells Radio Scilly that after about 15 minutes of watching the whale, it swam off, which was a relief as they were concerned that it might get stranded.

She says it’s highly unusual to see a whale only 5 to 10 metres from the shore.

Whale sightings are very rare in waters around Scilly, although they have been spotted by locals previously.

Steve Walder saw a whale off the back of St Martin’s some years ago and Keith Low has spotted them off White Island, but that was in the 1970’s, Anna says.

The general consensus of opinion is that it was a juvenile sperm whale, given the shape of its head and the shape of its back and dorsal fin.

Anna will contact the Seawatch Foundation to report the sighting.