Friday, 18 October 2019

I saw my first Great Whale!

I've never seen a Great Whale with my own eyes before and on 18 August 2019 it was a dream come true!  For those that don't know me, I am a massive animal and natural history lover and have a significant passion for }-wh^ale>.  They're mysterious and magnificent creatures and ones I have a strong spiritual connection to, which led me to getting an Orca tattoo on my leg to honour my passion for cetaceans.  And yes I know Orca is a dolphin not a whale but it's still a cetacean.  😉

Whilst holidaying in Madeira I collected a number of leaflets of local whale and dolphin trips, as well as being informed of the hotel (TUI) excursions.  I settled for Ventura Nature Emotions.  I've done many 'family boat trips' so I felt that this one was the best to get me closer to seeing whales.  This company is purely focused on searching for cetaceans and had a marine biologist on board that knew species and their behaviours.

Our skipper was told by the inland spotter that a whale was sighted, I felt a bit numb.  Out comes Bryde's whale, not one but two, a mother and a calf.  I know they are often sighted at this time of year, but it's not guaranteed, as wildlife tends to be.  I was hoping to see one during the trip and I got my dream come true.  Incredible experience that I’ll never forget.  On our trip we also saw spotted dolphins, a 50+ group and a smaller juvenile group, a couple of loggerhead sea turtles and a flying fish.

Excuse the expletives, I was just overwhelmed.  A tough task as I had to record and nurse a sea sick Gary.  Here's a short video of my first and long awaited experience of seeing a Great Whale!  Now I have the taste to see more in the wild...  As always, recordings don’t give the experience justice – the Bryde’s whales were closer than it looked.

Video thumbnail by Gary Purdy.