Dolphins' playground or an excursion worthy of a birthday child

by firmm Team

Text: Brigitte according notes from Katharina, photos: firmm

The weather forecast for the coming days, or rather for the whole week, predicted strong Levante. So intense that it was impossible to schedule any boat trips. We set off very early on the 7th of May to make the most of the last few hours of calm sea before the wind picked up. It was definitely worth it, as there were many exciting sightings waiting for us. With wind force 2 (4-7 knots (or 7.4-13 km/h) according to the Beaufort scale) we left the harbour of Tarifa. The first surprise of the day was a large Pilot Whale jumping out of the water.

Immediately afterwards, our mechanic David shouted excitedly that he had seen a Sperm Whale jumping out of the water in the distance.

We hurried to get there, for the animal had so spectacularly made us aware of its presence. When we arrived, he was lying on the surface of the water, clearly visible to all the guests, but he was already being quite buffeted by the waves that were getting higher and higher. After the massive, toothed whale had descended, we returned to the group of Pilot Whales we had spotted earlier.

It was a large family, which was then joined by a second, then a third. In total we counted 40 adults and 20 juveniles, who were very keen to play. We saw rolling, spy hopping, tail slapping, it was a real hustle and bustle around our boat.

The extraordinary thing, however, was that about 50 Common Dolphins joined the game. You hardly see Common Dolphins and Pilot Whales together.

Even our two experts on board, Katharina and José Manuel, could not remember ever having observed anything like this. To top things off, 15 Bottlenose Dolphins also mingled and played along. What a spectacle!

That day we also had a birthday girl on board who told me enthusiastically afterwards that this experience was well worth getting up early and that it was probably one of the best trips ever. That must be true, as she can already look back on many excursions. She is also celebrating her 10th anniversary with firmm this year.

Now the wind had already increased considerably, it was already wind force 4 (11-16 knots or 20.4 to 29.6 km/h) and we started our way home. Slowly we headed west, around the back of the island, so that we could safely approach the port of Tarifa protected from the wind and high waves. The guests disembarked satisfied, and we will probably remember this day, when three species of dolphins played together, for a long time.

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