Posted by: tim ellis | October 5, 2011

Spains Big Three – Wednesday August 31st 2011

Cuvier' Beaked Whale

It is quite overcast when I first get up, with a strong headwind at the front of the boat, and it takes a while before we see anything. The early sightings are a variety of sea birds, generally small ones that I need someone else to identify for me – a mixture of shearwaters with some terns and skuas – although I am on safer grounds with the gannets (mostly juvenile, it seems). There are also a few common Dolphins early on, then there is a lull in activity, so I go for breakfast.

Great shearwater

Predictability, when I return I have just missed some Pilot Whales. Fortunately we do get other sightings of these during the day, but I am never in a position to get a good view of them (When the whales are near the ship, it is not a bit of the ship I am near). I am luckier with the Fin Whales and the Cuvier’s Beaked Whales, both of which I get good views (and reasonable photos) of.

Fin Whale

There are also some none sea birds, obviously migrating South early to beat the rush – including a pair of yellow wagtails and a turtle dove

Turtle Dove

We arrive on time in Santander where it’s a short drive to the Hotel Victoria (I have to admit Spain is not the first place I’d expect to find an “Avenue Queen Victoria”)* They have a set dinner menu – 4 courses + wine + coffee for 21 Euro. The food is delicious and attractively presented, so money well spent! They also have free WiFi – but even with the password I can’t connect to the Internet

*It is probably named for Queen Victoria Eugenie, wife of Alfonso XIII, who was a grand-daughter of our Queen Victoria, and grandmother to King Juan Carlos.

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