Review sponsored animals 2023
by firmm Team
Text: Katharina Heyer, photos: firmm
The 26th season lasted 7 months and offered us many indescribable moments. We were able to observe over 300 Sperm Whales during their impressive descent and 115 Fin Whales on their way out into the Atlantic. The Orca period lasted from 5.07. to 20.08. and brought us a reunion with the group of Camorro and especially with the grandmother, the matriarch, who had not been seen for 3 years.
Lolly is the Bottlenose Dolphin we saw the most, probably thanks to the white fungus on her dorsal fin. She showed herself over 14 times starting on the 1st of April and liked to be close to the boat.
Baby Leila is the name of the first newborn Bottlenose Dolphin we see every year. On 14.04. it was tiny but already very active. It stayed by its mother's side all summer.
Puzzle usually travels in large pods of Bottlenose Dolphins. We saw her for the first time on 21.06. and from then on in families of 24-30 dolphins.
White Cap is still easily recognisable, although the end of her dorsal fin has become slightly paler. Her cub is still with the same family. We saw them quite often in the second half of the summer in both large and very small groups.
We watched Salto from mid-April and throughout the summer with his sensational jumps. He always manages to surprise us!
Gorro is easily recognisable even at a great distance. His flat, straight dorsal fin looks amazingly large when seen up close. We sighted him almost 40 times from April to October.
Ponce with his strikingly high dorsal fin is also very large. Most of the time Sierra was also seen near him. He was first observed on 2.4 and then regularly 40 times.
Sierra often comes close to the boat, never far from Ponce. She is one of the most frequently sighted sponsored animals and is easily recognisable by her toothed dorsal fin. She has been seen over 40 times.
Baby Hook is one of the Pilot Whales we have known the longest. We have been seeing her together with her family since 2008. Triángula with her half-grown calf is still one of Baby Hook's protégés in this group. She welcomed us right away on 1 April and was seen regularly until the end of the season.
Edu is a loyal companion in the family of Baby Hook. He always stays close to his pod. He has also been sighted over 40 times.
Pedro, with his very recognisable dorsal fin, has only been observed since July. Especially close to the boat, he never fails to surprise us with his impressive size.
Fernando is still easily recognisable by his eye-catching dorsal fin. This year he mostly moved with Dientes, in a group of 2. Once he dives, he always disappears for a very long time.
Dientes has been swimming exclusively with Fernando this summer. He is also amazingly tall. We observed him for the first time in mid-June and since then regularly.
The first newborn Pilot Whale baby is always named Baby Toni. It still had a soft dorsal fin and gasped awkwardly for air as its mother lifted it to the surface. During the season it grew quickly and loved to swim under the boat with other young ones.
Franzfin with the distinct notches on his dorsal fin also came very close to the boat on 1.4. He can only be identified with certainty from close. He was seen in several families and always stood out as a very imposing male.
We only saw Johnny 3 times. He was already known to us as a very shy animal. He showed himself once a month from July onwards.
Nina, the likeable female, is easily recognisable by the small hook on her dorsal fin. She swims as usual in Olivers family. She was regularly observed throughout the summer from April to October.
Oliver was always seen close to Nina. He is extraordinarily large and moves imposingly always within a slight distance to his family. He was seen for the first time on 1.4. and then well over 30 times.
Vicenta and her little one from last year are still doing well. Since 3.4. we have seen them regularly. They still move around well protected in their large family of over 10 animals.
Willy with his prominent fin was seen rather rarely this summer. Perhaps it was due to a slight scrape visible on his dorsal fin.
Rikki we have seen almost 30 times from the 1st of April. She seems to be coping well with her injury behind the fin. She also dares to come close to the boat together with her big family.
Sonja with the notch on her dorsal fin is easily recognisable from afar. She greeted us for the first time on 1.4. and was seen another 30 times more. She has also changed pods many times this year.
We looked in vain for Drakula and Pomares. These two proud males have apparently not been in the Strait of Gibraltar this summer.
We also know a few more Pilot Whales, who are easily recognisable and whom we have also recorded. There are the females Nuria, Olga and Ella whom we have often seen. But we have also grown fond of the males Luis, Dani, Juan, Antonio, Gorbi and Punto.
Observador is the Sperm Whale that approaches us and then majestically dives in front of our eyes. On 25 April, it came very close to the boat, looked at us and swam alongside our vessel for a long time. It is breathtaking every time how close he comes to the boat, causing absolute silence among the spectators in the boat! He delighted us on 5 more days.
We saw the first Orcas briefly on the 16th of May and then only on 15 days starting in July. Fortunately, "our" well-known Orcas, namely Camorro, Baby Wilson and the matriarch were there again, together with many females and juveniles. One young macho, whom we named Rivera, caught our attention.