1 May 2018

1 May 18 - West African Pelagic - Day One: Some Entertaining Aquatic Mammals

The first day at sea on the West African Pelagic had been good. We had managed to see Razo Lark from the zodiacs. Additionally, during the afternoon as we sailed away from Razo, I had managed to see & get at least record photos of all my Cape Verde Seabird targets. There were a couple of other Aquatic Mammal highlights to entertain us on the bridge wing. Throughout the day, the wind had been blowing around thirty knots & the seas were lively. As the start of the afternoon, a number of Birders were watching from the bows. This had been the best place for close views & photos of Storm-petrels & Flying Fish over the previous couple of weeks on the Odyssey. Although, it had poor visibility for watching Cetaceans compared to the bridge wings. But we were no longer in the calm seas between St Helena, Ascension Island & Cape Verde. Today, the seas were a lot rougher.
John Holmes (left) & Steve Holloway (Wildwings leader)
Jemi, Colin, Mike & Little John
We had a new Inezia Tours flag
By mid-afternoon, most of the Birders had had the sense to find a better location, as occasionally there were waves breaking over the bows: but a few stalwarts had decided to stay.
Karen (Expedition staff), Geoff & Neil Bowman: After one or two waves had broken over the bows, Geoff decides to insult the sea gods
Geoff insulting the sea gods
Karen, Geoff & Neil: The sea gods gave Geoff an answer five minutes later
Karen, Geoff & Neil: Initiation into becoming sea mammals
Karen, Geoff & Neil
Karen, Geoff & Neil: Luckily their camera gear survived. A few days later I pointed out that Little John had been elusive on deck & was told his Nikon camera gear had been written off by a wave. Good karma as he had been very inconsiderate to many of the other passengers on the Odyssey to ensure he got his photos. It was noticeable that the offer of a spare camera & lens was not made to him. It had been to one of the other Wildwings guys, Kevin, when his camera was inadvertently soaked & written off on an Odyssey zodiac. Clearly, Little John was also not popular with other Wildwings punters who stayed on, as that spare camera gear remained in the cabin
Just before the light started to go, a pod of around twenty five Atlantic Spotted Dolphins appeared around the bows. Unfortunately, they didn't stick around. But it was my first Atlantic Spotted Dolphins so I wasn't going to complain.
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin: I was pleased to get this photo considering they didn't stick around for long. This was my 38th species of Cetacean & 9th & final Cetacean Tick on Plancius
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin: They are clearly another acrobatic species of Dolphin