A good start to the season 2024

by firmm Team

Grindwale am Boot

Text: Brigitte, photos: firmm

"Semana Santa", as Easter week is known here in Spain, fell through in 2024. The rain, which due to the prevailing drought was eagerly awaited and welcomed by many Andalusians, spoilt the Easter holidays for many tourists. We also had to postpone our first excursion, which was planned for 27 March, because of the downpour.

… but at 14.30 on 1 April, the time had finally come, and we were able to leave the port of Tarifa. The entire firmm-VISION crew was delighted to finally be able to enjoy the vastness of the sea and the feeling of freedom that comes with sailing the Strait of Gibraltar! They immediately took up positions on the fly deck and kept an eye out for marine mammals.

The first sighting of the season was a Sperm Whale at 3.10 pm.
It was followed by a group of Pilot Whales, including the well-known animals Franzfin, Baby Hook, Triangula and Edu. Bottlenose Dolphins were also soon spotted.

We spotted our old acquaintance Ponce among the animals, and in addition to Sperm Whales, Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins, we also had many sightings of sunfish that day, 11 in total.

On the first trip on 3 April, we were delighted by Baby Toni, the first baby Pilot Whale of the season. The whole group came to the boat and the tiny baby, who really could only be a few days old as his birth stripes were still very pronounced, curiously inspected our boat with the adults. You could also clearly hear the characteristic "whistling" of the Pilot Whales. The animals seen on this trip were Nina and Oliver and the female dolphin Lolly.

the fluke of a Sperm Whale

We were lucky enough to observe four species of marine mammals on the following trip. Two Sperm Whales, followed by a group of Bottlenose Dolphins, which were joined by Pilot Whales. In this group Sonja made her first appearance of the season. To our delight, we also saw Baby Toni again. On the way back, we spotted a small group of Common Dolphins.

Two Sperm Whales were sighted on the last trip of the day. A little later, we encountered Lolly in a group of Bottlenose Dolphins consisting of 16 animals, including three juveniles. Among the Pilot Whales, we saw Vicenta and an animal with an injury on the left side of its body at the base of the dorsal fin. Hopefully the wound will heal quickly.

As you can see, we can be satisfied with the first trips of the season. We look forward to many more great encounters with the marine mammals of the Strait of Gibraltar in the coming months.

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