Posted by: orcaweb | May 11, 2012

Dolphins, Dolphins and more Dolphins!!

Great job Zak! Loving the Blue Shark sighting – one of my favourite all-time animals! Lets hope you get some better weather on your next trips! I struggled with sharp Dolphin photos as well… not easy!


Trip 17: Portsmouth – Bilbao & Bilbao – Portsmouth

The rain on the trip to Bilbao made sightings a bit difficult.

But we still managed to see plenty of amazing sightings, including Common and Striped Dolphins, and a Fin Whale! The rain definitely doesn’t put these guys off!

The clouds began to break as we arrived into Bilbao.

Then the sun set amongst a few patchy clouds on the horizon.

The next morning, we got some very close encounters with some Gannets. The incredibly large birds gliding alongside the ship in what was a very sunny and calm day in the Channel.


Trip 18: Portsmouth – Roscoff – Bilbao & Bilbao – Portsmouth

Travelling through the islands and rocky outcrops along the Brittany Coast makes for a very interesting journey down from Roscoff to Bilbao.

Excitingly, a large pod of Striped Dolphins, exhibiting quite typical travelling behaviour, kept low with some individuals jumping and leaping up to seven metres in height from the sea!

And then, a huge Whale blew right next to the ship! I caught its dorsal fin as it rolled back down…

Many pods of Common Dolphins approached the ship, which, rather interestingly, are thought to hold the record for the most teeth of any mammal (over 250!).

And then, one of my favourite birds, a Kestrel, joined the ship out of the heavy mist!

Incredibly, the Kestrel decided to take a rest on one of the lifeboats.

I then realised that this was the exact lifeboat outside of my cabins window! Brilliant!!

Great end to a great trip!

Trip 19: Portsmouth – Santander & Santander – Portsmouth

Wonderful weather onboard Cap Fin this morning!

Dolphins, dolphins and more dolphins!!! The number of Common dolphins seen in the morning into Santander must have easily exceeded 100 individuals in total, maybe nearer to 200 by the time we had got into Port. First thing, a pod passed the ship in the near golden sunlight of the morning.

The sea was wonderfully calm, and anything that moved could be seen pretty much instantly. The sun was shining, and the winds were warm, which meant everyone could enjoy the wonders of these magnificent animals – no excuses !


Then we pulled into Santander, the flat seas lapping against the awesome rocky coastline of North Spain, with the snow-topped Pecos Mountains behind them. What a wonderful entrance.

Buenos Dias!

Leaving Spain, there seemed to be a few Sunfish, or Mola Mola (the heaviest bony fish on the planet!), basking at the surface, potentially inviting gulls to peck and remove parasites from their bodies.

The sea was stained bright red, where clouds of what could be plankton blooms streaked across the sea.

A few of us did manage to see a whale, most likely a Sperm Whale, as well as another 50 odd Common Dolphins and a small pod of Striped Dolphins. The Commons were everywhere!


What a great week of sightings in the Bay! There were lots of happy passengers as well. It was tough choosing which photos to include without going over the top!

Until next time…

Good night!




  1. Hello Tom,I loved your Photos.Pleased the weather improved for you. Best Wishes

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