In the beginning of July 2009, we have made a 3-day trip onboard the vessel M/V Dolphin Explorer, sailng from Santa Cruz, to observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat on the west coast of Tenerife.
The journey from Santa Cruz on the North East coast of the island to the South West - the area where most cetaceans are living is not always an easy one. Very strong winds of up to gail force 7 are building up high waves, of up to 4 metres which can make the journey very interesting!. But for the Dolphin Explorer, difficult sea conditions are no problem, she is very safe and strong and we cruise comfortably along the coast. After 45 nautical miles, we pass the port of Los Cristianos on the starboard side. From here the ferry boats are going to other Canary Islands: La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma.
Here on the west coast we have no wind , no waves, no swell. We encounter several pods of Pilot Whales 5-6 metres long. Later we have been surrounded by groups of Bottle Nose Dolphins 3-4 metres long. They really enjoyed to play under the bow where they surfed in the bow wave, racing with the ship, then behind the ship to the stern, where they seemed to enjoy jumping high above the stern waves and diving at great speed back into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean..
The big Fin Whales up to 22 metres we have not seen on this trip, our time has not been long enough. To see them we need some more days on the ship and we decided our next trip with the M/V Dolphin Explorer will be a longer one and then we hope to see more. This time it was for us only a “dip in the ocean”