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For December we had planned a group scuba diving holiday to Sharm El Sheikh, however due to recent going ons this was cancelled last-minute. So my partner and I ended up in La Palma; part of the Canary Islands. As scuba diving wasn’t possible at this time of year I was desperate to find some marine life, then a Dolphin and Whale tour was suggested.
The tour was run by a company called ‘Fancy 2’, at first I was skeptical. I didn’t want to pay money towards a company who fed the cetaceans in order for them to come near the boat often resulting in them harming themselves or disturbing their pods. However I searched their website and trip advisor reviews and was pleased to see the‘Blue Boat’ standards meaning that all their tours follow the laws of the behaviour code allowing the Cetaceans to live a natural life.
We booked a 3 hour trip aboard a catamaran with about 20 other people, apparently during summer they hold up to 50 people; personally I feel this would be too cramped and do not think I would have enjoyed it with that many people. It is explained from the start that sightings are not guaranteed as none of the cetaceans live in the nearby waters, they simply come to feed and then leave. However after about thirty minutes and a few people feeling quite sea sick we were greeted by a pod of around 20 Bottlenose Dolphin playing around the boat. The driver slowed right down and showed complete respect to the Dolphins in order not to scare them, then moved away after a few minutes.
The trip also included a filling healthy lunch served by the wonderful crew, who were also so informative about the marine life of La Palma. Last year the crew had also spotted Orca in the area! As it is my dream to see Orca in the wild this did make me incredibly jealous. Perhaps I could give up my everyday life for a life at sea?!
After more sailing around one of the other passengers spotted a Dorsal fin in the distance, so we changed direction and headed that way. A small pod of Pilot Whales swam across the front of the boat and then off again into the distance.
The trip lasted for 3 hours, and in this time we saw numerous different sightings. At one point we even had Dolphins on one side of the boat and Pilot Whales on the other! I am big supporter of the Blackfish movement , however prior to this I had visited Marine Parks, but seeing Cetaceans free in the wild was an emotional experience; one that has 100% confirmed that I will never visit a Marine Park again. No tank can ever compare to the Ocean for these intelligent creatures.
I would really recommend this trip if anyone who visits La Palma, while you are not guaranteed sightings if you are lucky enough to see them it is breathtaking. Wild and Free like they should be.
Credit to the Fancy 2 for the last two photos, as my camera over exposed all of mine.