Humpback Whales in the Bay of Algeciras

by Katharina Heyer

Two Astray „Humpback Whales“ in the Bay of Algeciras.

Text: Katharina Heyer, photos: firmm and CIRCE

When there is strong Levante (East wind) we are not able to go out on trips in the Strait of Gibraltar. An alternative option is provided though in the Bay of Algeciras, which lays more protected and is very deep. It serves as a retreat zone for many common and striped dolphins. 

Gemeine Delfine Gestreifte Delfine

In this case the firmm Spirit lays in the fishing harbour of Algeciras, close to the large ferry terminal.

On the 7th of August, as always, our captain Diego and the marinero Fernando picked up the boat in the fisher harbour to bring it to the pier. Suddenly and completely unexpected a large and a small whale appeared. The blow was different from what they usually knew; they were the lost “humpback whales”! Both had read about them in the paper but did not expect to meet these two poor animals in reality.

Since the 5th of August two “humpback whales”, probably a mother with its calf, were seen in the bay. Initially they were thought to be fin whales… The confused and completely disorientated whales kept swimming towards the land, until they finally reached the inner most part, the ferry harbour.


For a while it was puzzling how it would be possible to guide them back out of there, because with every arriving and departing ferry, they were scared once again by the loud noise. They were at the worst place in this large ferry and cargo port!

Buckelwale Buckelwale Buckelwale

Today, 8th of August, at the crack of dawn, they were thought to have left the bay!

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