The season 2020 has ended

The summer holidays are over and Tarifa's streets have been empty since the beginning of September. We have therefore also closed down for this year.

Despite the short season we had many special sightings. We hope that the situation will become normal by the next season and can't wait to take you out to see the whales again from the 26th of March 2021 on.

See you soon in Tarifa, Katharina Heyer and the firmm team

Review sponsored animals 2020

by Katharina Heyer

Fotos: firmm

Never before in our firmm history we had such a short season (July 01st – September 07th 2020.). Therefore, it might be that some photos are not so sharp or that we do not have any photos of some animals. We have seen all the animals mentioned in the text, but due to the short time we had not as many opportunities to take good pictures as usual.

Bottlenose Dolphins

Lolly is still very easy to identify by the fungal infection on her fin. She lives in a large group of about 20 dolphins and is always accompanied by her young. She often approaches the firmm-boat. We have seen her this summer right at the beginning of July and then regularly.

Baby Leila is the first baby dolphin of the season. This year we did not see this year's Leila until July due to the late start of the season. A cute little Bottlenose Dolphin baby that was still swimming awkwardly next to its mother.

Puzzle is usually present in the larger groups of dolphins. With its slightly serrated dorsal fin she is quite easy to spot.

We didn't see Cutty often, only at the beginning of the summer and then again at the end of August. She must have been present in the larger schools, which we often saw away from the boat.

White Cap always came close to our boat from the beginning of August. She always swims side by side with her young one, who has been accompanying her for several years.

Salto surprises us again and again with unexpected jumps. He seems to be the one who is most eager to jump in his family. It looks like he also enjoys jumping in the bow of the big freighters.

Gorro

Pilot Whales

We saw Gorro for the first time on the 23rd of July and then very often throughout the summer. One can recognize him from far away, because his straight dorsal fin is very distinctive. Gorro is also a striking big Pilot Whale male. He alternates between various families.

We did not see Ponce again until August. He is still one of the largest males and has been accompanied by Sierra almost every year, which was also the case this year. He does not shy away from the boat, so he is easy to photograph.

The easily recognisable female Baby Hook appeared right in the first days of the season together with Triángula and her baby from 2019 to welcome us after the long break. She is one of the most trustworthy of all, because we have known her for many years and so she is used to the firmm boat. The two females are still accompanied by Edu and Pedro.

Like last year, Edu was always together with the family of Pedro, Baby Hook, Triángula and her baby. He was one of the first to show himself to the firmm-boat after the unusually long break. All animals of this group seem to have survived the long break well.

The big male Pedro approached the firmm-boat on one of the first trips this year after the extremely long break. Together with Edu, Baby Hook and Triángula they formed an inseparable little family.

Fernando appeared right away on the 2nd trip of the season. He was either with Dientes or with two others. Fernando has been one of the most frequently sighted Pilot Whales for years. When he dives, we know that he will stay under water for a long time, so we usually leave.

We observed Dientes on the 24th of July together with Fernando. Like in the last years the two are inseparable and always together. Dientes is as big as Fernando. With few exceptions, the two are now travelling alone.

Every year we name the first newborn baby Pilot Whale Toni. This season, on the 3rd of July, we were able to admire this year's Baby Toni very close to the boat. The baby still had the typical vertical stripes from birth. But during the summer he has become quite perky and approaches the boat without fear.

Unfortunately, we never saw Lola with the bad injury this summer.Her wound seemed to heal well in 2019, but from the second half of the season 2019 we have not seen her until today.

We recognise Franzfin by the striking little point on his fin. He only came close enough to the firmm-boat a few times so that we could identify him with certainty. He prefers to swim a little further away and watch us from a distance.

We saw Johnny for the first time this summer on the 29th of July. He was spotted several times, always in different families. Although he is rather a small Pilot Whale, his fin is easily recognisable. He was also present at the big family reunion on the 27th of August.

Sierra we saw for the first time this summer on the 22nd of July. Her serrated dorsal fin is conspicuous. She is a rather small female, who is accompanied in her group by two males. Most often she was together with Ponce.

We have been able to observe Nina and Oliver since the beginning of July. They were in a small group that kept some distance to the firmm-boat.

Nina can be easily recognised from a distance by her characteristic fin with the little hook. During the course of August, she became once again more trusting.

Oliver is the handsome big leader of this group.

We were very happy to meet the injured Vicenta again in the Strait of Gibraltar after the long break. Her large wound has now healed well, but the scar is still clearly visible. She usually stays at a great distance from the boat.

We have not seen Willy very often. With his striking notches in the dorsal fin he is easily recognisable. He is rather small and seems to be an active Pilot Whale

We saw Pomares for the first time on the 22nd of July this summer. He swims in a group of 6 animals and there he is the biggest. He still is easily recognizable by his many abrasions on his back. They did not fade away, but they all healed well.

We know Sonja since last year. She has conspicuous marks in her dorsal fin and is therefore easy to recognise.

We know Drakula already since 2019 and we saw him again on the 21st of July. He has a particularly strikingly shaped fin, which resembles two canines, and he therefore got the name Drakula from our crew.

Sperm Whale

Observador is always good for a surprise!

This time we discovered him on the 8th of August. He didn't come close to the boat, but he accompanied us for a remarkably long time parallel and as it seemed to us, he was watching us, just as we were watching him. Then suddenly, to our great surprise, he jumped completely out of the water.

Orcas

Already since October 2014 we are observing Baby Wilson. This year we saw him on the 3rd of August in a particularly active group of several young animals. They enjoyed surprising our guests at the back of the boat with their big jumps.

Camacho, the grandfather of the present pod, has unfortunately not been sighted in the last three years. His now adult son is Camorro.

Camorro and his ever-growing family were seen on the 3rd of August. He was moving far away from the fishing boats, just before Tangier. He was travelling with several young animals, which played and jumped close to the firmm-boat. Among them was Baby Wilson.

On the 21st of August we finally saw Lucía with her calf Estrella. They were travelling in their usual extended family, in which many active young animals live. Lucia was busy catching tunas while Estrella was watching her closely.

The mother and grandmother Matriarchin was there on the 21st of August, when Camorro came to the Moroccan fishing boats with the whole family, including many young animals, to feed. It is always a special pleasure for me to see the old matriarch still in good health as I have known her for 23 years now! She was already the oldest at that time and should be in a respectable age by now.

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