Posted by: orcaweb | September 27, 2011

A great summer at sea…

Well I have stepped off the Cap Finistere for the last time as one of ORCAs resident Whale and Dolphin officers. Although it saddens me to not be returning to the Bay of Biscay or to the many wonderful people I have met on board, I take with me a host of fantastic memories of a great summer at sea.

With us coming toward the end of the season I was possibly expecting there to be less to see during my last week on board with Ivo, but no, the Bay of Biscay was as active as ever. I have seen many wonderful sightings on each of my weeks aboard and this was no exception.

On Saturday as we traveled to Bilbao our day started off with seeing small groups of Fin Whales as well as Common Dolphins. But the highlight of the day was seeing two Cuvier’s Beaked Whales breaching fully out the water and sighting a very distant Sperm Whale blow.

On Tuesday as we sailed out of Bilbao we spotted more Cuvier’s Beaked Whales, a small group of pilot whales and I was treated to my best ever sighting of a Fin Whale. This 20m plus behemoth of a whale surfaced only around 50m from the ship which combined with the good light quality allowed me to get a really good look at the entire animal.

Fin Whale taken by Elfyn Pugh

When Thursday came around and my last day of whale watching in the Bay of Biscay I found myself a little melancholy. This lasted about five minutes until the first Fin Whales were spotted other treats of the day included a large pod of around 70 striped dolphins and a small pod of Pilot Whales.

Well before I sign off for the last time I’ll just take the time to say a couple of things. Firstly that I’m very jealous of Mike and Ivo’s fantastic sighting of a Leatherback Turtle earlier this week and wish I could have been there to see it. Secondly a very big thank you to all of the crew of the Cap Finistere for making us all very welcome and also to the thousands of passengers who have attended our on board lectures and got up on deck to spot some whales and dolphins, you make our work at ORCA possible. 

Nathan

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