Jul15

The Breach Boys on tour

Categories // Bay of Biscay Wildlife Officer

The Breach Boys on tour

This week got off to a ‘snappy’ start with our Jessop’s Sea Safari on board the Pont-Aven! 

Armed with some very fancy looking cameras, we were hoping for some fabulous sightings and willing the whales to appear. Unfortunately, those few days were rather quiet on the whale-front (compared to the last few weeks) but we did see a few fin and sei whales, and three different species of dolphin – common, striped and bottlenose dolphins!  

All week, I’ve been telling people about the 22 fin whales we saw last week and the amazing breaching Sei whale, and how rare it is to see these animals breaching. Passengers were disappointed that they were not there on the best day we’d had so far – until Monday came and blew it out the water!

With some former ORCA volunteers on board we had two extra pairs of expert spotters, and we saw 41 fin whales in total – including another breaching whale! It threw itself out of the water around 10 times, almost as if it were showing off for the passengers. If you look closely, you can see the darker colouration on the left side of the jaw.

IMG 9059

This season has been rather quiet for us regarding beaked whales, but this week we saw 7 Cuvier’s beaked whales, which are the deepest diving species in the world and can hold their breath for the longest amount of time! This means they don’t spend much time on the surface, so seeing so many was a real treat.

cuviers

cuviers1

Photo credit: Hugh Venables

My time on the Pont Aven is almost over – I’ve reached the end of my contract, although I am returning in a few weeks to cover for AJ so I am looking forward to see what awaits me (I’m looking at you, Sperm whales!)

Carla

ORCA Wildlife Officer – Bay of Biscay

Best question of the week: ‘What time is the next whale watching tour?’
We watch for whales and dolphins all day every day, so passengers can come out with us any time they like!

Fact of the week: The Cuvier’s beaked whale feeds on squid in deep-sea canyons, and can dive down to 2,992 metres and hold its breath for 2 hours and 43 minutes!