3 Fin Whales, a Sperm Whale and 30 Bottlenose Dolphins
by Katharina Heyer
March 30th offered us a very special spectacle! With Levante wind force nearly 5 we were surprised by higher waves than expected and I already was a bit worried what we would be able to find in these high waves. We were already well over the half of the Strait of Gibraltar, when suddenly near us, the front half of a Fin Whale came far out of the water. Immediately everyone was electrified, as the enormous, foamy splash was clearly visible for everyone and we began to drive parallel to the whale with the waves.
He appeared once again left of the boat. It did not take long and I could announce a second Fin Whale a bit behind the first one and then a third one, swimming about 100 metres behind the two first. Each time they surfaced they came unusually far out of the water, probably because of the very high waves.And as we noticed soon, Bottlenose Dolphins swam in front of them. They obviously used the Fin Whales for a kind of game, the same way they play normally with our boat. The Fin Whales obviously tried to prod the dolphins and therefore came more out of the water then usually.
Suddenly we discovered the blow of a Sperm Whale on the right side of the boat, which I announced of course in three languages for our guests.
This one dived down just a moment later, while we followed the Fin Whales with undiminished speed. Soon after, we spotted a dozen Pilot Whales close to the boat, also on the right side. They followed the Fin Whales, which meanwhile were surrounded by many Bottlenose Dolphins. Everywhere high splashes in the waves. And far away also Common Dolphins were jumping; apparently they wanted to be part of it all.As then a small group of striped dolphins followed the Fin Whales, swimming in westerly direction, we already had seen 6 different species of whales and dolphins! Only the Orcas were missing.
In the meantime we already had driven very far in direction Atlantic Ocean, what we normally don’t do with waves that high. Therefore a long way back awaited us. When I went back down to the crew and the guests, everybody began to talk about what they saw. All guests, but also the boat-crew of many years’ standing competed in telling their experiences and were feeling giddy with pleasure. Also for me this has been one of the most sensational boat tours ever.