Posted by: orcaweb | June 9, 2013

Diverse pods of dolphins and some Pilot Whales

Portsmouth-Bilbao 30/05/2013

Like every Thursday, at six in the morning I was on deck to start whale watching. The morning was quiet but there was some splashes in the water. Anyway the sea state was good for spotting whales and dolphins! The Common dolphins appeared half hour after I arrived. I could see some pods during the morning, some of them quite numerous!  Also I would like to mention that during the trip one passenger asked a really good question. He has asked why cetacean conservation is important. Well, this was my answer: First of all, they have an intrinsic value, that means that cetaceans as well as other species of animals and plants, have a unique evolutionary history- so for that reason alone they should be protected. Also it is very important to know that when we protect cetaceans, we are also protecting many other processes, species and their ecosystems. In the same way the cetaceans are top predators in the food chain, so they are part of the natural balance of marine species populations.  With their metabolism they provide nutrients to other ecosystems just like coral reefs and contribute in the balance of the phytoplankton in the ocean! These are some reasons why cetacean conservation is essential in the oceans!!

commondolphin – Common Dolphins


01/06/2013 Portsmouth-Santander

During the trip to Santander, as usual I was up early on deck. The sea state was good even though the sky was a little cloudy and seemed to indicate rain. A few minutes after my arrival I could see some sunfish. Later, about 8am, I saw a group of dolphins swimming peacefully in front of the ship. They were relatively far but in my opinion it was a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. Common dolphins started to jump and ride the waves beside the ship! In total I saw around 100 common dolphins in different small pods! I was really lucky that morning as I also saw a small pod of three or four Pilot whales. They were a bit far away but I could see them swimming slowly on the surface. Unfortunately, the weather was getting worse and was quite misty so whale watching was becoming more difficult. Finally, just before we arrived to Santander I could see a cetacean breaching! Unfortunately was really far away and was very foggy, so a positive identification was impossible. Anyway, I truly enjoyed the trip. I was always with the company of the passengers who were a great help in sighting marine life!

santander – Santander


Portsmouth-Bilbao 03/06/2013

By 14:00 I was up on deck. At that moment of the trip we were in the north area of the Bay of Biscay, over the continental shelf. Later, in the evening we were over deeper waters. The sea was calm and flat, and the day was sunny and gorgeous. During my time on the deck I could see numerous Sunfish that were floating quietly on the surface. Also I saw a shark, but I couldn’t identify the species. Unfortunately there were no whales during the evening but I had a nice time in the company of another Portuguese biologist. At least, at the end of the evening we saw a spectacular sunset.


sunfish – Sunfish


Bilbao-Portsmouth 04/06/2013

When I arrived I met a woman who has told me that just some minutes before she could see a Cuvier’s beaked whale! Unfortunately I missed it! Later I saw some pods of Common dolphins and some Striped dolphins that were mixed in that pods! Sadly the sea state was not ideal and was difficult to distinguish cetaceans or blows in the distance! However, a nice couple with experience in whale watching spent almost all the time on deck with me! Thank you!

Well, that’s all in my last week aboard the Cap Finistere!

I hope you liked it.

See you soon!

Ana Alaminos


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