Impressions of my one-week course
Original Dutch text: Maaike Schoo - The Netherlands | English translation: firmm-team
On Friday, August 14th 2015, I landed in Málaga. Then I drove three hours to Tarifa, with my little car booked through firmm. A fine car, the cheapest one I could get, but really good quality.
On Saturday I immediately went whale watching for the first time. The orca trip was a success, because we had found the orcas within an hour. It was amazing to finally see these animals in real life. After 20 years my dream at last came true! It took me so long to realize this dream, because at first I was too young and later on I couldn't find anyone to go with me ... In the long run I went alone and that pleased me very well.
The orcas were eating with relish and swimming around. What a beautiful experience.
On Sunday I met my fellow course participants: André, from Germany, and a French family. You were still able to continue doing your own thing, which I liked very much. I had close contact with André during the course. We went on the dolphin trip every morning and every afternoon on the orca trip. We always saw orcas, except for one time, when we could not find them and went looking for the pilot whales. This was also very nice. On the third morning we met a lot of dolphins with small babies. What a spectacle this was too! They came very close to the boat and we could take very nice pictures. firmm is very respectful with the animals. They really wait until they approach the boat and do not sail - contrary to my experience with another company in Tarifa - right through a group of dolphins.
When the course was finished, I booked two more trips. The last orca trip was extremely fantastic. I had been reading a lot in advance about the behaviour of the orcas in Tarifa, but especially read that they do not often jump and usually only come up with their dorsal fins and backs ... Well, on the last day of my holiday they were jumping and playing all the time. It really was a show. Three orca tails were slapping on the water, only five metres away from the boat. The orcas were jumping around - unfortunately we found out that one of the females had a wound on her side - and the little baby Wilson tumbled over his mother and was merrily splashing around. Even the great killer whale, Camorro, got excited and enjoyed slapping his tail on the water. Oh, that was really the most beautiful spectacle I've ever seen.
I recommend to everyone to take this course. In my opinion it was an advantage that I did not have to be nervous when I didn't see any orcas or dolphins ... We had enough time, four days long and afterwards you can always book more trips, if you have not yet seen enough animals. It really feels good to book the course. Moreover, you also get some extra information beforehand and you can write down your impressions, like I'm doing now.
I will also add some pictures of this awesome experience. I'm writing this message on the last night in my room at Hotel La Codorniz - next time I'd rather sleep in the centre of Tarifa. And I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with the people around me. If you are about to go on a firmm-course, then I wish you a great time!