We sailed on the boat of Turmares in Tarifa, hosted by Whale Watch Tarifa.
We sailed along the Spanish coast of the Strait of Gibraltar and the north-African one. It was a bright afternoon with good visibility.
I remembered to flash up my GPS device in the middle of the trip to record the coordinates of the whale watching trip. We saw the dolphins in southern points of the itinerary and the fin whale near the entrance of the Tarifa port.
Spotted lots of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba):
Among the birds, shearwaters, a young alcatraz. The best surprise was a sighting of a (leatherback?) sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea?).
We failed to spot killer whales (Orcinus orca). The local killer whales usually move from the north of Africa to Spain in the second half of July. This year they remain busy near Morocco, apparently enjoying easy catches from the local fishermen.
The captain insisted to find a whale before heading back to Tarifa. He managed to spot a fin whale. This was a special moment. We only managed to see the top of the head and upper back of the whale. That was enought to appreciate how huge that beast is. The jets of water are very conspicuous and powerful.
The guides at Whale Watch Tarifa are friendly, although their English is a bit lacking. The founder started taking 76 tourists in her first season to sea, in the mid 1990’s. The captain of the Turmares ship showed the cabin and the navigation instruments.