Sunday, 28 June 2015

Day 15 - Pilot Whales. In the wild. Where they belong!

As Paulo left last night for the 4am ferry this morning and Samara had driven him to the port and returned at almost 5am, we took they day off so she could snooze and do some work on her final PhD presentation.

We decided to treat ourselves to a boat trip, that had a high success rate of seeing whales and dolphins (though never guaranteed). We went out on the Inia Ocean Explorer, a purpose built R. I. B. (Rigid Inflatable Boat) it emits little noise as it is equipped with low-noise and low-vibration motors. The company adheres to the directives of gentle whale watching by keeping a minimum of 60 meters away from any sighted animals and engines off to drift should they approach us, which often happens with the dolphins as they are familiar with the boats and enjoy playing in the waves.

The Inia is the small yellow boat (12 seats)

My life is a little complete, as we got to see a family pod of pilot whales with young. In the wild. Where they belong! We also saw a small pod of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, but these guys were too fast to get any good pictures of.

Pilot Whales

After seeing the whales and dolphins we headed out approximately 4 miles at a speed of ~21 knots (~45 mph land speed), jumping the waves and bouncing around, which was great fun!

We then headed back in towards land at a slower speed. We were taken past a small village that had been built on a wave cut lava platform at the very base of the cliffs, a location used during the summer months by locals. Further along we were taken in to a sea cave, the entrance to which was surrounded by columnar joints.

The geology of the cliffs was quite interesting with networks of high dykes and deposits of pyroclastics cut by lava channels (I shall add pictures when I have rectified a technical issue with my camera).

We headed back to the port passing the Taburiente caldera opening on the way.

After disembarking, we headed for a tapas lunch, then relaxed on the beach for a while before getting the bus back to Los Canarios.

Every day is an adventure!

Buenos noches de La Palma!

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