Today it all went around! What amazing tours we had! Such excitement was not for the fainted-hearted (in the best meaning sense 😉 )! Of course we really like that! We are very, very happy to get caught by surprise, to take a potluck …. And all our guests have shown great nerves 😉
It all started on our afternoon tour with a big, fat splash on the horizon. It turned out, there were Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)! Although we have the chance to see the largest of the toothed whales here all year round, we only occasionally see them. Today it was great! Our guests could not only observe the intensive breathing rhythm of the whales before diving, but also hear it very well. I wonder if one or the other of our guests breathed in the same rhythm? 😉 However, we can extract only 9-10 % oxygen from the breath but for the gentle giants it is around 90 %, which they accumulate in their myoglobin-containing muscles and in the blood. So they are well prepared for their long dives.
On the way back, not far from the harbor, we encountered two Blainville Beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris), which practiced a very dolphin stylish approach. Close contacts to this shy whale species are rare! But this sweet whale lady (see photo – one of my favorite photos of the day!), which risked a cheeky look, kept coming back, while the clearly recognizable, very scratched whale male seemed quite unimpressed. His body was full of scratches as they arise from disputes among the males. Probably a true warhorse!
On the evening tour we first had a large school of Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), as an “appetizer”, so to speak! 🙂 And also the guests of the evening tour could admire the master pieces of Sperm whales extensively. Incidentally, there was a very dark calf on all tours! In one situation, four of these leviathans gently drifted in the wave. The calf was in the protection of the big ones. But when the giants go hunting, the calf may be waiting on the surface, just like today. Also in the evening there were impressive dive situations with great tails! We were already on our way back when Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) crossed our path and gave us some wonderful moments!!
Let’s summarize the afternoon / evening! 3x deep-diver (Sperm whales, Beaked whales, Pilot whales), 2x matriarchy (Pilot whales, Sperm whales), 2x hierarchy (Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins) and at least 5x marine mammals worthy of protection (all species we saw and of course more). Please remember the petitions!
What we were able to experience today was not really nothing for the fainted-hearted!! Simply great!
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
17:00 Blainville Beaked whales, Sperm whales, Atlantic Spotted dolphins
15:30 Sperm whales, Blainville Beaked whales
18:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Sperm whales, Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins