Whale meet again.........

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Fri 20 Jun 2014 13:44
Leviathans, denizens of the deep  - yes we've finally seen a few. Today we decided to go Whale Watching as there was no wind foreast and we had wanted to take a trip for some time - in all the time we have been sailing we have only seen two, and that was near Bermuda. The folks out here have a series of watchers who let them know if there are whales and dolphins about so if there are none, you don't waste a trip. However conditions were very misty and the sea calm and while some whales had been seen we were told the decision had to be ours - so we went with about 7 others.
At first it wasn't very promising as just outside the harbour the whale watching catamaran caught a blue fishing line around one of his props! It must be us. So we returned to Horta where the rope was duly removed by the skipper and off we went once more. This time moving at high speed to where some whales were last seen.
Nothing can really prepare you for the size of them - we came across a huge fin whale that was longer than the boat we were on. Later a pod of about 4 other fin whales approached, one even breeching, which is highly unusual for this species. But it was amazing to see them - and they knew we were there and stayed just long enough to make it interesting before heading east. Then the skipper got a call and off we went scattering large flocks of Cory's Shearwaters left and right as we came across two female sperm whales - who, in due course dived, presenting the classic whale tail. Brilliant. However its fair to say that they are quite hard to spot, and it was probably only because the sea was so calm that we managed to see them - in a rough sea I doubt anyone could, unless the "blow" is very pronouonced and large. They are big beasties thats for sure. One of the boats here has been lifted because he hit a whale at 8 knots - not sure about the whale though!
After this it was time to look for dolphins and soon enough we came across huge pods of common and striped dolphins who played around the boat, leapt out of the water, swam in the bow wave, all seemingly enjoying themselves. There were quite a few young one's on the pods as well.
So after 4 hours of watching we headed back well satisfied and were pleased to have made the trip. The skipper and the biologist on board were both great fun, amusing and knowledgeable, so a good morning and well worth it for anyone heading this way.
We also managed to catch up with the folks from Aragon last night and exchanged a few more stories and tales of seamanship (or not)!
More in due course.......
Andrew & Susan
S/V Andromeda