Easter holidays have brought fun and excitment to the Cap Finistère plus, the first sightings Cuvier's sightings of the season!
Hello, it’s Emma, back again for my second fortnight as a Wildlife Officer on board the Cap Finistère!
It has been just as busy and exciting as expected as we have travelled back and forth across the Bay of Biscay, seeing so many more of the beautiful cetaceans we love to watch.
The start of the school Easter holidays has brought many children on board, bringing lots of fun and excitement along with them. It has been incredible to hear how enthusiastic they are about the cetaceans during our presentations and we have even been lucky enough to point some out to them on deck and see their amazement as they spotted their first dolphins and whales.
As we crossed the deep pelagic waters close to Spain on Thursday, we saw our first Cuvier’s beaked whale of the season, as it surfaced to take a few breaths. We were even lucky enough to see some scars on his back that males of this species have from territorial battles with other males. Knowing so much about these amazing animals and the incredible depths they dive down to made it even more exciting to see one!
On our Saturday crossing, we had so many sightings of common dolphins that it was hard to keep up with all the pods as they approached the ship to jump effortlessly through the waves. After our deck watch, we even managed to spot a few striped dolphins popping up between these common dolphin pods, using photos we had taken on deck. It was our first sighting of striped dolphins this season and our photos show their lovely striped pattern down their body as they were jumping alongside the ship. This reminded us how important the photos we take during our watches are, especially as these dolphins are frequently in mixed pods.
Then, after a quiet couple of days in less-than-ideal conditions, I had the perfect ending to my two weeks on board, with lots more dolphins and more sightings of our large whale blows in the lovely calm waters of the Bay! We even had a close encounter with a fin whale, as it surfaced not far from the ship, showing its incredible size and the top of its head and body at the surface. I also had my first sighting of a sunfish, which I was very excited about, as the unusual looking huge fish floated alongside the ship basking in the warm surface waters.
I hope that these amazing sightings and the beautiful weather will continue in the next week for Louise and Trina. I already can’t wait to be back on board!
ORCA Wildlife Officer – The Bay of Biscay