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Whale watching boat trip

Having a whale of a time

semi-overcast 38 °C
View Tenerife 2012 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Nursing a well deserved hangover, we had a lazy start to the day watching two people arrive at the pool area with a whole pile of towels, reserving twelve sunbeds, then walking off again. This despite a large sign not just asking you not to, actually saying it is FORBIDDEN! The strange thing was, only 10-15% of the sunbeds were actually taken at this stage...

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The rest of the day was spent on a luxurious catamaran off the southern coast of Tenerife. Deliberately booking a coach transfer to give David a chance to drink last night too, it was fascinating to call in several hotels and all the resorts between here and Los Americas. I still prefer our quiet little resort of Golf del Sur.

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Los Americas

Being somewhat apprehensive about the type of clientèle the boat excursion would attract, I was relieved to find that despite a free bar on board, the passengers were much more interested in looking out for dolphins and whales than to pile in the booze. Raising the sails, we headed for the area where the whales are usually seen. Despite an assurance that 60% of all boat trips see dolphins and 99.9% see whales, the only life on the ocean wave were large flocks of storm petrels bobbing on the surface. A little frustrated and with a hint of embarrassment, the captain ordered the sails to be lowered again and set of by way of the powerful motor further along the coast. And there they were, a pod of short fin pilot whales in the distance. Armed with my 200-600mm zoom lens, I headed for the side of the boat and managed to get a few shots of the fins breaking over the surface of the water. After a few minutes it was becoming clear that I had the wrong lens on, and as the whales got closer and closer a wide angle lens would have been more appropriate. One of the whales actually swam right underneath where I was standing..... Wow!

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Moving on slowly, the captain suddenly spotted something else in the distance, and changed course. A large pod of bottle nosed dolphins. As is often the case, they played around in the bow wave of the boat, showing off to the camera-toting tourists. For the next couple of hours, we alternated between seeing whales and dolphins putting on various acrobatic shows for us, with the highlight being one of the whales breaching and slamming his tail noisily on the surface, several times in a row. Even the on board camera man said it was the best displays he'd seen for a long time.

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Dolphins galore!

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Breaching whale

Tired and happy, we swapped the cool ocean breeze and air conditioned coach for the hot and oppressive 38C on the balcony, When our new neighbours started a slanging match, breaking china on the hard floors and their kids screeching at full volume, we decided to retire to our own A/C lounge. Time to put a pizza in the oven. I am really quite enjoying this self-catering lark, rustling up egg and bacon for breakfast and something equally easy for dinner. What I don't like is having to buy things like salt – although not expensive, I shall only be using a very small percentage of the container. It seems such a waste, we should start a kitty system where you hand over your leftover supplies to newcomers when you leave. Although this can backfire badly – when we inherited a box full of leftover groceries from a Venezuelan couple on our one and only other self catering holiday in Barbados in 1980, we were a little perplexed to find a small deodorant in amongst the like of butter, salad cream and sugar. Our confusion turned to horror when we discovered that the deodorant was in fact not suitable for preventing BO, it was full of drugs! Oh, what to do? Should we hand it in to the police station next door? Not wanting to cause an international incident, and having seen the inside of the said police station when we called in to get our local driving licence, we decided against that course of action. Just putting it in the bin could have been easily traceable to our apartment, so that was out of the question too. Eventually, after much deliberation and cursing of the nightmare situation we found ourselves in, we flushed the stuff down the loo, leaving us in a constant state of paranoia for days afterwards!

Posted by Grete Howard 11:03 Archived in Spain

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