Fun, Action and Soulfood
Text and Photos: Bettina Bornatico
For the second time me and my two boys, 12 and 14 years old, spent one week with firmm out on the ocean. Equipped with proper shoes and jackets we enjoyed every boat ride at full throttle and fun in the bow of the boat. While surfing the ocean waves with the boat every day we met dolphins, pilot whales and orcas several times, and once we encountered a fin whale and a sperm whale.
Due to the mindfulness and the aim of firmm, especially Katharina who highly respects these marine mammals and feels connected to them, the boat never has been steered to close to the animals, so they can decide for themselves if they want to come towards us or not. It has been just magic when especially the small dolphins and pilot whales approached us and the boat and they swam right beside the boat, dived under the boat or observed us.
How magical – these encounters are meaningful soul-encounters. They are indescribable and touch the heart. Many thanks to Katharina who knows the animals as they are regularly crossing through the Strait of Gibraltar. I am certain that also the animals recognise Katharina and sense her big heart and her commitment to protect the wales and dolphins. Also the encounters with the orcas were unique every single time. A gripping `drama` unfolds between the orcas and the fishermen, who still pull up the huge tunas by hand; a race takes place whether the fishermen or the orcas are faster to claim the tunas for themselves. The orcas are very smart and impressive animals. As we had booked the one week course we also received a lot of terrific information through the lectures by Katharina and the marine biologist as firmm is engaged in educational work as well as the protection of the marine mammals.
If you are interested in the history of firmm: There is a book available about Katharina Heyer - `Herzenssache`- publisher: Wörterseh – worth reading! Traveling to Tarifa you have to be aware of the strong winds blowing here. firmm offers support and provides information on transfers from the airport and on accommodation; course participants can book directly via firmm. Just great! We will be back
Bettina Bornatico with Andrin and Mattia