Posted by: orcaweb | September 27, 2010

Fin-ished?

After a crossing with very little happening in the Bay, I was starting to think that my last two crossings may be a washout. A bracing north wind sent shivers down my spine on Friday, with no sightings to keep my spirits up in the English Channel. Saturday morning was looking up. At 07:00, I saw a large rorqual blow close to the horizon, behind the ship. At 07:20 three stripped dolphins fished right next to the boat as we passed through a shoal. The only other sighting we had in the morning was of another large rorqual blow, near the horizon, but in front of us this time. Unfortunately, the animal then dived and we never saw it resurface.

On our return trip, I was hopeful that we would come across the fin whales, which I suspected we had pass by, over night on our inward journey. At 16:00 we saw two fin whales about three miles off the starboard. I was just able to see the back and dorsal fin role through my binoculars. Mists ensued for about an hour and then cleared, leaving behind a grey and cloudy evening. At about 18:00 a passenger alerted me to a fin whale passing by on the port side. I reached just in time to watch it swim past the back of the boat about 800 meters away. As the sun started to set, several more blows were seen to the horizon. At least three more fin whales swam past whilst the sun set behind them; the light from the sun making it almost impossible to make out any features of the animals in the blackness of the water.

Richard – wildlife officer

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