No matter how skilled the team may be, whale-watching burns down to sheer luck. There are days when finding animals is harder and there are days when we don’t find any at all. It is a voyage into the unknown…which also makes the whole thing way more exciting and the sightings so much more rewarding.
Our team was feeling confident heading out onto a slightly choppy ocean on this sunny day but we soon learnt that we’d be in for a long one when Carlos called saying he hadn’t spotted anything yet. Carlos is a champion of a spotter; he is disciplined in his work and has eyes as sharp as knives so when he hasn’t seen anything yet our first instinct is to head out as far as possible since he would have most definitely seen animals if they were closer to shore. Driving out to sea also has strategic advantages as it expands our search area; it’s the luxury of having a zodiac as a whale-watching boat.
Despite the obvious lack of cetacean activity, there were a few surprises in store for us. Shortly after we drove out onto the Atlantic, a Flying fish (Chelopogon melanurus) darted out of the water and hurriedly hovered away from the boat. As we searched we also saw a few Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) randomly flying by in gliding bouts and a few drifting Portuguese Man O’ Wars (Physalis physalis), that decorated the ocean’s surface in their fluorescent colours.
So despite the long search and absence of cetaceans, our lovely guests were grateful for our effort and for the sunny afternoon out on the ocean.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
15:00 No cetacean sighting