Jul10

Pods of pilot whales!

Categories // Bay of Biscay Wildlife Officer

Pods of pilot whales!

Find out about the exciting encouters this weeks Wildlife Officers have witnessed on board the Cap Finistère.

Hey it’s Laura giving you this week’s blog on board the Cap Finistère, it has been quite an eventful week for Emma and I; I can’t believe that I only have just a week left on board, now I understand when they say time flies by when you’re having fun.

The start of the week was quite gloomy, with us even experiencing thunder storms. However, despite the weather the sea remained relatively calm, providing us with perfect conditions for spotting. One of my favourite spots of the week was a close encounter we had with a fin whale that popped up out of nowhere from the side of the ship, it was so close that I think I could even inside it’s blowholes. I don’t think I’ve ever shouted “whale” so loud to the passengers that were outside on deck with us. Emma also spotted her first whale breaching on the horizon, we both saw a big splash at first and I was recording the sighting from a previous blow at the time when Emma shouted “It’s a whale breaching!!”. I guess these are things that happen when there is so much going on that you just can’t keep up, and I am still hopeful for seeing my first whale breach.

Both the fish and the dolphins have been particularly weird to say the least, one of the common dolphins that we spotted appeared super excited to have seen the ship and its waves. We spotted it splashing a few hundred metres away, and as it got closer we noticed the splashing was the dolphin excitedly slapping its tail on the water as it leaped out, which was hilarious to watch. During another unusual sighting, this time of bottlenose dolphins, one individual was creating a huge splash as it also slapped its tail on the water and then made a huge leap out of the water and fell on its side making a loud crash as it flopped down on the surface!  The fish have also been very strange as we’ve seen a couple jump out which is very risky behaviour, considering the amount of gannets we’ve seen around.

My favourite sighting of the week has been pilot whales! I thought I had seen them earlier on in the week leaving Portsmouth during our quiz, but it turned out to be bottlenose dolphins, which I didn’t realise were so chunky and big. Luckily, I saw two pods of pilot whales the next day and I definitely knew they were pilot whales, as their cute round bullet shaped heads came out of the water and they are much darker than I expected.

It’s Emma here now, joining Laura for her first blog. We have only worked together for a week but we have still had such a busy and productive week; working so well as a team makes it all the more fun. It has been so amazing to see Laura get more and more confident delivering presentations and talking to the passengers out on deck during the past week. As the summer holidays are now beginning, they have brought lots of excited children on board the Cap Finistère. Laura and I have enjoyed playing games, colouring in and talking to the children during the activities, and we even created and tried out a new activity, which went down really well! After these activities they joined us on our deck watch, where we were able to show some of them their first dolphins in the wild. I will definitely be sad to see Laura leave after such a good week on board, and I hope she has an amazing last week with Louise!

It’s a shame I got to spend so little time with Emma but I’m sure we’ll still keep in contact and that’s the great thing about meeting and working with new people. I know next week is just going to go twice as fast as it’s my last week, but I’m really looking forward to being back on board with Louise and the sightings and passengers it will bring.

Common dolphin Cap Blog 100719