Wishes and Expectations

by firmm Team

Text: Pia Ackermann, volunteer at firmm
photos: firmm
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Easter Monday, April 13th, 2009. Two families with children between 6 and 12 years old take part in the informal introduction. With eyes wide open they follow the pictures of the Dolphins and Whales. The oldest boy is anxious for the whale watching trip and cannot wait until he sees the marine mammals. "He absolutely wants to become a marine biologist", whispers his mother. With a lot of sunshine and a calm sea we start our third trip of the day. Spindrift splashes up, the children scream happily. Joyful expectations are in the air as well as a smell of salt and sun cream.

Today it takes a long time until some animals show up . Again and again the "firmm Spirit" has to avoid the big cargo ships. We have been cruising the Straits of Gibraltar near the Moroccan coast for one hour already, still without encountering any dolphins. No word from the loudspeaker. The tension is getting thicker and thicker. Passengers, guests and the whole crew are searching the sea for marine mammals. Although everybody knew that the animals appear only when they want to, the expectations to see them are still there. Justified or not, this is not the question at the moment. They are here - unspoken, but definitely noticeable. I have the strong wish that at least one Pilot Whale or Bottlenose Dolphin would appear - especially for the kids. Another 10 minutes pass, faces become sadder ...

There! Suddenly two Pilot Whales turn up. Their beautiful, dark grey shining bodies breach simultaneously out of the sea. The children are cheering, the adults taking a lot of pictures.

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Jörn announces another family of Pilot Whales, and immediately everybody runs over to the opposite side of the boat. This family consists of approximately 10 to 15 individuals; they surf the waves.

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A mother with her baby comes closer. For a long time they swim near the boot, enough time to ease the tension. Unforgettable impressions for the guests, and fantastic pictures to send to those at home.


Yet it is time to go back to Tarifa. The boat is driving with full speed over the silent sea. Happy faces everywhere - the excursion was worth it. Silently I thank the Pilot Whales for their appearance. While leaving the boat a boy says: "That was not a real Whale watching tour, we only saw Pilot Whales." Although it did not meet his expectations, I hope that he will keep at least a few of those wonderful pictures in his heart.

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