Posted by: orcaweb | August 30, 2010

Finally – even if they were a long way off!

Friday, in the English Channel was the usual affair of not really seeing much. The minke whale that I had come to rely on seeing has moved on. The pod of bottlenose dolphins that I sometimes see, was not around the Channel Islands, where I usually see them. No, in fact I saw them as we went past Plymouth – Seven dolphins travelling in a close pod. The rest of the journey to Santander proved to be just as uneventful, well for the passengers at least, as they missed the fin whale go past, 500 metres from the boat, at 06:10 in the predawn gloom!

The return journey was proving to be just as uneventful, when in the middle of my presentation (I sense a theme occurring here), one of the passengers cried out, ‘I see a blow close to the horizon’. Grabbing my binoculars I could clearly see a low blow going off at a 45 degree angle! A few seconds later, I could have sworn I saw what looked like a tail fluke, and then the blow disappear. The animal must have been a good 10 miles away, so I tried to convince myself that I had imagined the tail fluke and may not have seen my first sperm whale! A few minutes later, another passenger called out, ‘there’s another one!’ Sure enough, a sperm whale shaped blow about 8 miles to the horizon. Everything calmed down and I finished the presentation, happy that the ca 100 adults and children had at least seen something on this crossing. I went up to deck 10 where I met a returning passenger who had already seen my talk. He instantly told me that the sperm whales had gone right next to the boat and he clearly saw them logging on the surface! Kicking myself that I missed a close up viewing opportunity, I was still please to have finally seen the amazing and majestic sperm whale!

Richard – Wildlife Officer


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