Whale watching is not a visit at the zoo

by firmm Team

Even though we offer whale watching trips several times a day, every single trip is unique and special - as a matter of course for those who have the one chance within the holidays to make a tour; but also for the participants in our 1 - 2 week observation courses of firmm as well as for "repeaters", who are staying in Tarifa for some time and use the chances to go on several trips.

Of course you cannot expect dolphins jumping, being curious or playing all the time - or sperm whales right next to the boat or showing up at all - after all it is a visit in the great outdoors and not in a zoo. Or do you see deer or foxes during every walk in the forest?? Even at home you have more chances to see feral animals if you are guided by a ranger or an ornithologist, because they know where and when you have the highest chances to observe the animals. It is the same thing here when you go on a tour with firmm: Because of our experience and research work there is a real high chance to see whales and dolphins, but there is no - and should never be - a guarantee.



Pictures above: Close to our boat, several groups of pilot whales are passing by unhurriedly towards the Atlantic Ocean. (pictures: firmm )

It does not have to be a spectacular jump show every time or a fin whale - it is also very peaceful to see sleeping pilot whales (Friday, 10th August, 1.00 pm) or well fed calm orcas (Tuesday, 7th August, 8.00 am). Anyhow it was really impressive to see an unusual number of about 250 - 300 pilot whales. Normally they live in groups of 10 - 25 animals. But on Wednesday (8th August, 6 pm) we saw a lot of groups close together, within a distance between 100m and 500m, they appeared in all directions, one did not know where to look… all of them swam slowly in the same direction. It seemed like all pilot whales from the area had an appointment for a joint trip. It was kind of mystical. They did not feel disturbed or bothered by our research boat and not even by those giant cargo ships moving in the same direction like the whales. As I said - every single trip is unique and that's what makes us curious to find out more about the marine mammals and their behavior.

-Astrid Meyer-

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