Impressions of a birthday trip

Text: Marianne Vuilleumier  

Yesterday I was out again, with firmm, in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. It was April 23rd, my birthday!

As always, I was hoping to see dolphins and whales – and secretly, of course, I hoped to possibly find a sperm whale, as these gentle giants migrate here at this time of the year.

What happened then surpassed anything I had ever imagined!

We had only just started, when Katharina Heyer’s voice sounded: ‘Sperm whale blow at 11 o’clock!’

The captain of our boat, the ‘firmm Spirit’, pressed the accelerator, because now it had to go fast. We wanted to be there, as long as the animal was filling its lungs with oxygen on the water surface.

We made it; the sperm whale had not yet dived again! But then we also already saw that there was not just one animal next to us. ‘There are two!’ we heard Katharina shout – ‘no, there are three…, four…, incredible!’

Finally at least seven or eight sperm whales were lying beside us forming a rosette, and from all sides bottlenose dolphins came and joined them. The sperm whales repeatedly stretched their heads out of the water; they probably call it ‘humanwatching’…

It was breathtaking. On the boat we only heard the clicking of cameras and over and over again: ‘Oooh, wow…’

Unfortunately, at some point a boat of another provider in Tarifa came to us and sailed directly far too close to the animals – they dived down!

Who wants to observe whales and dolphins in the Strait of Gibraltar in a respectful and professionally organized manner, may definitely only choose trips with firmm!


Marianne Vuilleumier

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