Thursday, 3 July 2014

Whale Watching in Andenes

It’s not everyday you get to see a live whale’s penis.
We’d arrived at Andenes on the north tip of the Vesteralan Islands the night before and called into the Sea Safari Centre to book our trip for the next day, Tuesday, July 1st. They did their trips in a Rib boat which we felt would be more exciting than taking the larger boats that hold either 80 or 120 people. The ribs take 12 and the people who ran them seemed really friendly. On the trips out that day they had only seen one or two whales but we were optimistic for the next day.
Taking the Michelin Man Look too Far
At 1030 we duly arrived for our 11am trip only to be told they’d mistakenly booked us onto the 3pm slot. Dejected, we held on as instructed and they squeezed us on to the morning trip by leaving the guide behind. Marten Bril, a fantastic photographer, captained the rib and we set off in our arctic jump suits. There were sightings of groups of pilot whales so he was in a hurry to get going.
Captain Marten
Puffins bobbed away on the sea as we headed out and soon we saw the first fins, black in the distance. Before long there were pilot whales everywhere. Several separate groups came together and circled our boat, diving under it and putting on an amazing display. One chap even slapped his tail a few times then rolled on his back with his penis on full display. A rare sight indeed and marten got some great shots of it At one stage it was like they were sheep dogs herding mackerel into one area to eat them then they would stop I groups and go to sleep on the surface.
Too many whales to photograph all of them
We were out for about three hours and there were whales around for pretty much the whole time – probably around 80 – 100 in total over the area we covered. When we returned to shore the extremely enthusiastic Spanish guide/whale expert saw Marten’s photos and said what we had see was very unique and was likely to be a ‘sexual gathering’ where different pods meet to breed as they usually travel in large family groups and are careful not to inbreed.
Giant halibut caught by this girl on her first fishing trip

We have some video footage of the whale watching that shows the groups that came close to the boat. It’s a bit long but we’ve cut it down from about 2.5 hours. No penis shots unfortunately.

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