A fun-filled dolphin packed Easter weekend on board the Cap Finistère for our Wildlife Officer Louise.
I hope you all had a lovely sunny bank holiday weekend and it wasn’t too much of a struggle for those of you returning to work and school! If it was, here are some common dolphins riding a wave to make you smile.
On board we were in the holiday spirit with the entertainment team running Easter egg hunts, treasure trails, quizzes and lots of games all around the ship! Sunday afternoon I even swapped from woolly gloves and binoculars to face paint and brushes! I transformed faces into spider man, butterflies, bees, blue tigers and the cutest little panda! I’ll have to slip in some sea creature designs for next time!
The whales have been as mysterious as ever this week with just a few blows far out on the horizon. The dolphins more than made up for this though with numbers into the hundreds!
Our trip over to Bilbao on Thursday morning started with a couple of pods of common dolphins but soon went quiet, cold, windy and very wet. We were losing hope, and the feeling in our fingers and toes! Luckily persistence prevailed and we had a lovely sighting of bottlenose dolphins as we approached land! After a warming cup of tea and a bite to eat we made our way to the Planet’s Bar where a new set of passengers learnt about whale migration from Trina. It wasn’t long into the presentation when I interrupted with the news of dolphins. Lots of bottlenose dolphins breaching and playing shortly followed by pilot whales swimming by, taking our dolphin species count to three! We ended the day on deck with several more pods of common dolphins including some adorable mother and calf pairs!
Saturday once again had our consistent stars - the common dolphins! Their beautiful hourglass pattern in greys and yellows glistening in the sunshine! The sea was so calm and turquoise that you could see them twisting and turning so effortlessly below the waves before leaping out high into the air! Despite reaching lengths of 2.5m they look so small from 22m up on Deck 10! Between the dolphins, we watched as a skua, a very impressive seabird, fought with a gull! The Spanish coastal waters then spoilt us once again with bottlenose dolphins breaching and feeding.
Sunday and Monday sadly gave us no sightings but we did have lots of fun with all the energetic, chocolate-filled(!) children measuring out whales and playing ‘ORCA says…’ (our version of Simon says) using dolphin behaviours as actions. Tuesday ended the week with lots more common dolphins, a wonderfully weird sunfish flapping its fin above the surface and a couple more skua’s!
Hopefully the whales will turn up for the girls this week (even if it causes my eyes to turn a little green!) whilst I’m off cuddling my cats!
ORCA Wildlife Officer - The Bay of Biscay