Posted by: luisginillo | April 18, 2013

Hot off the press: sperm whale, fin whale, turtles and arrival in Menorca

After the successful launch of National Geographic’s Crittercams, we spent two nights in Torrevieja. The crew were all systems go: Francoise worked on the turtle samples in the lab, repairs to the zodiac, fixing the ship’s autopilot, office work, restocking of supplies, a full complete clean of the ship interior and exterior, and a press conference! The press conference started with Ricardo giving a presentation on Fundacion Biodiversidad’s OASIS project at the port offices and ended with us hosting the press for lunch on the Luis Ginillo.

We set off on the evening of the 16th for Menorca, sailing via the north coast of Ibiza and Mallorca. Our 200 mile trip has been nothing short of incredible. We woke up yesterday morning with a sperm whale close to the boat and shortly after by a fin whale. Never a bad way to start the day! We had flat calm mirror-like waters for the entire trip making ideal spotting conditions. Yesterday afternoon we saw five loggerhead turtles, very close to the boat, with Christian getting underwater footage of two of them.

We are now in Menorca at Cap de Banyos, with maintenance on the go and preparations in full swing for the upcoming experiment: the use of cameras on lobster traps to study their behaviour, to improve the efficiency of lobster catching methods and help mitigate bycatch.

Repairs to the RIB in Torrevieja.

Repairs to the RIB in Torrevieja.

Press conference time! Ricardo does an interview for national radio.

Press conference time! Ricardo does an interview for national radio.

The press enjoy their visit to the Luis Ginillo.

The press enjoy their visit to the Luis Ginillo.

A sperm whale yesterday morning with its characteristic spout emerging diagonally forwards from the sole nostril on the left side.

A sperm whale yesterday morning with its characteristic spout emerging diagonally forwards from the sole nostril on the left side.

A fin whale, second only to the blue whale in size, shows its small triangular dorsal fin as it dives down.

A fin whale, second only to the blue whale in size, shows its small triangular dorsal fin as it dives down.

Loggerhead turtle basking.

Loggerhead turtle basking.

Ricardo watching a loggerhead turtle swimming below him.

Ricardo watching a loggerhead turtle swimming below him.

The Luis Ginillo at Cap de Formentor, off the northwest coast of Mallorca this morning.

The Luis Ginillo at Cap de Formentor, off the northwest coast of Mallorca this morning.

The Luis Ginillo.

The Luis Ginillo.

Walter doing maintenance on the boat this afternoon. He is working in the engine room fixing the salt water to fresh water converter.

Walter doing maintenance on the boat this afternoon. He is working in the engine room fixing the salt water to fresh water converter.

The Luis Ginillo.

The Luis Ginillo.

 

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