Cheeky Pilot Whale-baby pretends to be the pilot

by firmm Team

Text: Jeannine Christen, photos: firmm

The sun is shining from a cloudless blue sky as we start our tour on the 25th of september at 12 p.m. The water is quiet and peaceful. However on the boat one can feel a tension, an excitement in the air. The anticipation of the guests is palpable. What can we expect from this ride?

«Oh Hello!» sounds the pleasantly surprised voice of Katharina coming from the boat deck. What or who is this small grey shadow that is approaching us so determinately? It is a tiny Pilot Whale Baby, no more than two weeks old! The vertical birth stripes can still be seen clearly.

 Two Pilot Whale calves 

Next to his mother he shows us proudly how well he is already able to “spyhopp” and “roll”. The boat is full of delighted exclamations of happiness from our guests. The charm of this sweet calf hits us right into our hearts. Unfortunately his family decides to swim away and dives underneath the „spirit“ in opposite direction. But who is still circling close to the boat? The small Pilot Whale continues playing and splashing water while his mother is moving away!

Pilot Whale family Pilot Whale baby milling around 

After a short moment the whole school turns around abruptly noticing their precious loss. Only a few seconds later the whole family is united again and now the baby is given enough time to satisfy its curiosity, the pleasure in our boat is big. The baby is everywhere around the boat, diving from one side to the other and showing his little grey head. It is a lot of fun to watch the cheerful play of the calf and big smiles and shining eyes can be seen in our guests faces.

Very close to the boat and snorting 

This species of whale got his name because of the strong social structures and the fact that the whole family always follows one dominant male. But on this special day the youngest member of the group acted like the pilot and guided his family to our boat.

Finally we begin our journey back to Tarifa and the Pilot Whales, led by the calf, follow us for a few meters. It seems like the baby wants to say: « Hey you funny toy, come back soon! »

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