Whale Spotting in the Bay of Biscay - Plymouth to Santander Ferry

Our ferry crossing turned out to be quite a spectacle. We were expecting just to travel from England to Spain in a relaxing manner on board. How wrong we were. This trip to Santander was a naturists and whale watchers paradise on water. We saw a splendid amount of bird, some happy go lucky dolphins and some whales. We never had expected to see anything like this but are so glad we took the opportunity.

After breakfast on board we left Plymouth Sound

We were very excited to start our journey and had not had much sleep the night before. We had though made plans to stay in Plymouth overnight, to make sure we got the ferry. We were up early and got on board, car and all. We went up to one of the cafe areas and had a good breakfast, waiting in anticipation for the ferry to set of. Finally after what seemed an age we got underway. We were off! Spain watch out, historic building loving tourists are on the way!

Exploring the Ferry on the way to Santander

There was quite a lot of swell out of Plymouth, so it was difficult to get about at first. But we still managed to explore the boat. It was quite a large one, or seemed large to us, 32000 tons. I had a quick walk onto the deck outside. But it was wet and damp, so decided not to take this any further. I soon retire to the warmth of the ferry cabin.

After Lunch We Spotted Dolphins

It was lunchtime now. At this point the swell had died down and the deck had dried and warmed up a bit. We were entering the Bay of Biscay. Now we could stand on deck comfortably. As we did so a few others were pointing and making a fuss of something. I looked but could not see what it was all about. So, I tool out my camera, used the zoom and there they were, our first Dolphins. Both Florence, my wife and I were excited with this. So we stayed outside to look for some more. We saw some right at the bow of the boat next. They were riding the bow as though the ferry was the leader of the pod of dolphins (a group of dolphins can be called a pod, herd or school).

Dolphins and Whales in the Bay of Biscay

As i transpired we are so glad we did. We spotted a number of obviously foreign birds that we could not identify. Next, as we traveled further toward Santander, through the Bay of Biscay we saw another lovely sight. There were dolphins now swimming alongside the boat.

Whale Breach!

As we scoured the horizon our excitement mounted. We could not take our eyes away from the water hoping to see more wildlife. Then it happened. In the distance we saw a large dark gray, not quite black whale leap out of the water. It rolled over in the air and smash back down into the water. Some of the other on deck travellers also saw this. They shrieked with pleasure. What a sight a whale breach can be. We could not believe it. What a great natural spectacle. We discovered later this may have been a pilot whale. We continued our unexpected bonus whale watching. After some time we saw what looked to be a mother and calf. We could not fully make the form out but, we think it looked very much like a Sperm whale.

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