Posted by: orcaweb | June 20, 2011

Whales in the Mist!

Hello once again!

Well I have returned to the United Kingdom after another great shift on board the Cap Finistere. This week the crew, the passengers and I have been battling against a fair amount of mist. At times closing in to within 50-100m of the ship visibility was not at it’s best for whale and dolphin spotting. Nevertheless we all persevered and we were duly rewarded.

On Monday evening after staring into white sheets of mist for most of the day, finally they cleared just in time for the lucky few passengers and I to spot a Minke whale surface and swim alongside at around 20-30 metres out. Staying in the surface waters this 10 tonne animal gave us a display of its incredible speed as we passed, staying along side for a short time before veering away from the ship.

Another real highlight of the week was spotted retuning from Bilbao on Tuesday when a Cuvier’s Beaked whale surfaced just in front of the ship. This individual male not only passed close enough to view its pale and sloping head but also the array of long line scarring probably caused by competitions with other males. My best Cuvier’s sighting yet!

Mike and I have also had an exciting new addition to our whale and dolphin spotting equipment in the form of a brand new GPS device. Gifted to us at ORCA by the kind folks of GARMIN this has allowed us to keep a track of exactly where each sighting was made, shows us the depth of the water travelling through and using the on screen map show passengers exactly what we have been seeing in the waters they are travelling through. A very useful tool indeed. Thank you GARMIN!

So that’s all from me for another 2 weeks. As always good luck to Mike, the crew and the passengers of the Cap Finistere. May the Whales be many and the Dolphins inquisitive!

Nathan

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