Posted by: orcaweb | May 29, 2013

Common, Bottlenose Dolphins and a possible Beaked Whale!

Portsmouth-Bilbao 23/05/2013

After two weeks on the ground, I sailed back on board the Cap Finistere. I really wanted to enjoy whale watching again! Now at the end of May we are near to the peak of the season so the chances to see animals increase, although we know that the cetaceans are unpredictable! At 6am I was on the deck ready to start whale watching. We were still over the continental shelf of the northern part of France but a few hours later we would be on deep waters over the central and southern part of the Bay of Biscay. The sea state was 3 and the swell 2. During the morning I was really busy, from 6:28 (time when I made my first sighting) until just before we have arrived in Bilbao I saw various groups of Common Dolphins jumped and played around the boat!

Common -AnaAlaminos – Common Dolphin

Portsmouth-Santander 25/05/2013

Again at 6am I was on deck. The day was clear, the sun was intense and the state of the sea was pretty good for seeing whales and dolphins. I had to wait until 9:40 for see my first pod of Common Dolphins. After that I enjoyed the presence of other groups of this species but each time the pods were becoming more numerous! But the best was yet to come! At 14:27, when we were over the submarine canyons that are close to the Spanish coast I could see a kind of beaked whale really close to the ship. Although the sighting was only for a few seconds, after the whale disappear in the deep waters. I think that it is quite probable to be a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale, but it’s hard to say because it’s really difficult to distinguish between the different species of this group of whales! At least also other passengers could see this shy and beautiful animal and I think that will be and unforgettable experience for them. A few time later we arrived to Santander. The day was lovely and very sunny!

Lighthouse- AnaAlaminos


Bilbao-Portsmouth 28/05/2013

After we left Bilbao at 12:30 I went on deck. Unfortunately the weather was not good. The sea state was 5-6 and the swell 3-4. Also it was very windy. Anyway one hour after I arrived I started to spot pods of Common Dolphin. One of them had between 20 or 25 individuals! After that I could not identify precisely the specie of a pod but I thought that was a group of Bottlenose Dolphin. Unfortunately they were relatively far from the boat!
Well that’s all for this week, and although I could not do many sightings I have enjoyed the company of the passengers on the deck, we have shared our experiences as well as concerns about the conservation of the oceans! Now I have to head back to the ship, so I hope tell to you more about this amazing wildlife next week!

Thanks and see you soon

Ana Alaminos


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