‘Whalecome’ to my first blog!

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‘Whalecome’ to my first blog!

Find out about Louise's fantastfc first two weeks on board the Cap Finistère! 

My name is Louise and I’m a thalassophile – I absolutely love the sea! I’m one of three very lucky Wildlife Officers to call the Cap Finistère home as we travel back and forth across the Bay of Biscay from Portsmouth to Bilbao and Santander.

I have just spent my first two weeks on board and what a fantastic two weeks they have been! If you want to know more about the beautiful creatures my first week had to offer, head on over to Emma’s blog here!

I started week two by settling the lovely Katrina onto the ship before giving my first solo presentation. The audience, already excited by the prospect of whales and dolphins, needed little convincing to join us on deck 10 for a watch! Sadly, the cetaceans didn’t get the memo but we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset and gannets flying close to the ship.

Sunset Gannet

The following morning, approaching Bilbao, we were treated to the leaps of common dolphins and the star of the show, my first breaching beaked whale! I couldn’t get the camera up fast enough to share the moment but the image of the whale’s silhouette and huge splash is firmly etched in my memories.

I thought my luck would be out for the rest of the week but oh how I was wrong! Super Saturday, as I’m now referring to it, put on quite the show. It was beautifully sunny and calm on the Bay as people gazed on. That was until I squealed with delight! The sunshine remained, but the calm was replaced by the splashing of a large pod of dolphins followed by the excited cries of ‘dolphins!’ spreading throughout the ship! And it didn’t end there. After several more energetic pods of dolphins (some possibly Risso’s!), a jellyfish and a sunfish, came the whales! Three of them! Their towering blows clear to see. Armed with a couple of photos and the opinions of fellow whale people we think they were probably the mighty Fin whale! The second largest whale!


My first stint on the Cap Finistère was rounded off nicely with sightings of our smallest cetacean, the harbour porpoise, and more common dolphins jumping high above the growing waves!

I already cannot wait for my next two weeks on board! In the meantime, I’ll be resting and dreaming of all things cetaceans whilst Katrina and Emma take watch. Happy spotting, ladies!


ORCA Wildlife Officer - Bay of Biscay