Posted by: orcaweb | July 1, 2010

Tantalizing glimpses

This week, so far, has been full of tantalizing glimpses. On Sunday when sailing past Plymouth (on our way to Portsmouth), we encountered no less than five minke whales. These animals were so tricky to find, that a casual observer could blink and they would have missed them (some, in fact, did this). No splash, no visible blow, just the briefest sight of a back and dorsal fin, then they were gone. We were also lucky enough to have a good long viewing (if you had binoculars) of a basking shark heading towards Plymouth harbour.

On our return to Santander, the minke whales must have sent forward word of our forthcoming approach. An hour out from Santander, we encountered two beaked whales! It was like déjà vu: No splash, no blow, just the briefest sight of a beige back and dorsal fin. These were either Cuvier’s beaked whales or Northern bottlenose whales. The jury is still out on which.

On our return from Santander, I was finally lucky enough to photograph a common dolphin and a stripped dolphin. From the thousands that I have seen in the last month, these are the first, not to be developed as splashes! Enjoy!!

Richard – Wildlife Officer

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