Posted by: orcaweb | June 22, 2012

A Short Week of some Super Sightings!

Tough luck on the weather front Zak, looks like you still managed some good sightings! I have had a very mixed bag as well, with seemingly the best part of the trips being fairly rough this week! Having only got onboard on Sunday I have two trips to report this week…

Trip 36: Portsmouth – Roscoff – Bilbao & Bilbao Portsmouth

Perfect Cetacean watching weather on the Monday, but our luck was down. Luckily the lovely weather, meant as the day drew to a close, the sun was to set over the sea, amongst a few puffy clouds on the horizon…

 

The ship glowed a wonderfully orange pastel colour, as one passenger quite poetically described how the suns rays are bending across the atmosphere to create the wonderful colour spectrum we witness at sunset and sunrise.

The next day, and the calm seas had turned a little rough, but that never stops the Dolphins from impressing, as they charge towards the ship…

Lots of Gannets, both young and old, were hanging around one part of the Bay, this individual probably in its third summer, judging by the specks of dark plumage along its wings and back.

And then, in the far off distance, a blow. And another. There must have been at least four Whales, with at least 30 sea birds circling above. None of which can be seen in the following photo, but you might be able to make out the faint pale blow of one of the Whales in the centre of the photo. Look closely…

It was tough to tell, but they could have been a herd of Minke Whales feeding on a school of small fish.

Trip 37: Portsmouth – Santander & Santander – Portsmouth

Chris, in the Brittany Ferries office, had told me the weather was due to get worse, and he was right! The winds picked up, and the swell grew as we approached Santander. But yet again, that didn’t stop the Dolphins!

 

A small pod of Striped Dolphins that by-passed the ship early on, were followed by huge pods of around 40-50 individuals charging the ship down. A fantastic morning, of hundreds of Common Dolphin Sightings!

Leaving Santander in the afternoon, the sea conditions continued to worsen. The winds howled, and the ship rocked. Sea spray constantly whipped up from the waves crashing against the ship made Whale-watching a little bit more exciting! Unfortunately this meant the camera was pretty redundant – if only I had a waterproof bag for it! A Beaked Whale crashed through the water as it breached close to the ship three times in a row. Incredible. Then a huge pod of Common Dolphins appeared. Followed by a pair of, what appeared enormous compared to the Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins. The first Bottlenose I have seen this year! And the few passengers that braved the conditions with me got to enjoy the magnificent display. I say braved, they waited in the shelter of the ship until I spotted something, and then quite happily joined me to enjoy the experience! Great afternoon for a great, but choppy, trip!

Here is to the next week! Until next time…

.Tom.

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