|Posted on August 16, 2011 at 6:05 AM|
Our alarm went off at 4:45am and I got changed while Jess had a shower, then we tried to wake ourselves up and dressed very warm. We arrived on the observation deck just after the leader and two others at 5:45am. Within ten minutes we saw a pod of common dolphins jumping and swimming right under our ship! Totally worth getting up early for. They were beautiful, neither of us had seen common dolphins close before and their yellow patch really stood out. By 9am we had seen 164 common dolphins and 15 unknown dolphins. After seeing more common dolphins and 13 bottlenose dolphins too, we began spotting whale blows far out as we got into deeper water.
Soon enough we saw 13 different whale blows and by 11am we had seen 21 fin whales! The second largest whales in the world! As we passed over underwater canyons we saw the best part of the trip: a BLUE WHALE!! At first I thought it was two whales behind each other, then as it surfaced I realised it was one! Everyone went crazy shouting, clapping and wooing! Completely incredible. Blue whales are not only the largest whales in the world, but also one of the rarest! None of the researchers on the boat had ever seen one before! It is thought there is less than 10,000 remaining in the world. It's tongue is more than an African elephant in size and weight (over 6 tonnes) and it's heart is the size of a Volkswagen car! Underwater you could see the blue-ish colour of its skin. It was gone quickly though. Nevertheless, Jess and I ran over to the other side of the ship where we saw a fin whale very close up! Such a thrilling morning! It was like everyone was drunk or something. The photo below is the blue whale that a photographer on board took.
By now some of the public had ignored the signs on the gates which said the area was just for whale watchers and were sunbathing in our way, so we went for lunch. When we went back up after eating and chatting with the researchers, which was very inspirational, we found we had missed some pilot whales! Luckily enough a couple more came and we got to see them.
During the rest of the exciting afternoon we saw Curvers beaked whales, more common and bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises and many whale blows.
It was a long morning and early afternoon. About five we docked in Spain and Jess and I walked aimlessly round the town and in clothes shops. We found the best ice cream shop and I ordered lemon... only to get chocolate. We looked in a pet shop, which had all sorts of animals that would not have been allowed in England - like tortoises. The best bit was the supermarket and we both got a few things: I love Spanish mini breadsticks so I got a massive bag of them.
Once back on board we sunbathed on deck and watched for any dolphins as the stunning sunset disappeared. We watched a bit of live music and magic while we played cards, and then had an early night.
Categories: College Year 1