A super start to the Sea Safari season

Author // Emily Condley Categories // Sea Safari

A super start to the Sea Safari season
Photo credit: Paul Richmond

Our trips kicked off in July and 2019 is already turning out to be a corker!

As the Pont-Aven crossed the continental shelf everyone out on deck was eagerly anticipating what they could see. In this area of the Bay of Biscay the depth drops from 200m to 4000m and causes huge upwellings of nutrients, resulting in plenty of phytoplankton and fish and in turn whales and dolphins which feed on these smaller organisms. The sightings started with several pilot whales rolling through the sea and then came the large fin whales, with their blows reaching eight meters high and standing out plainly on the horizon. The approach to Santander over the deep-sea canyons brought unmistakable glimpses of the elusive Cuvier’s beaked whale as they came to the surface of the water to breath. With so many eyes out on the sea, over 500 animals had been recorded by the end of the trip, including pilot whales, fin whales, and common, striped and bottlenose dolphins!

The second trip of 2019 set off on Tuesday 6th August with special guest, BBC Earth and Cbeebies presenter Lizzie Daly joining the ORCA Guide team for the first time. At the time of writing it is half way through the trip and what a fabulous one it is turning out to be! Three hundred and sixty three animals have been recorded, including an impressive 31 fin whales and a pilot whale party of over 50 animals! Other sightings included striped, bottlenose and common dolphins, tuna, and Cuvier’s beaked whales!

Pilot whales from August 2019 trip1

Map from Aug 2019 trip

Pilot whales seen during the August 2019 Sea Safari with Lizzie Daly and map of sightings from Wednesday 8th August 2019. 

There are still three Sea Safaris left for 2019 and each one promises to be a unique experience. So why not join us for an unforgettable encounter in one of the top five places in the world to see whales and dolphins? Not only will you have a memorable experience, but you will also be helping to support ORCA’s vital work to protect these amazing animals. During our return trips from Plymouth we voyage across the English Channel and deep waters of the Bay of Biscay. Our expert guides will help you spot the magnificent creatures that inhabit these waters, such as fin whales, countless dolphins and elusive beaked whales. Other possible encounters include pilot whales, Risso’s dolphins, and even the largest animal on earth, the blue whale! Head to our dedicated Sea Safari page to find out more and to book your once in a lifetime trip today!

Steve Lizzie Daly Sea Safari for website

A fin whale seen swimming close to the Pont-Aven during our Sea Safari in August 2019