26 September 2010

Cetacean Sanctuary Research 19 (21-26 September)

The summer has gone, the air is getting cooler and the days are noticeably getting shorter day by day.  Still, when the sun comes out it warms the people up putting a smile on the face of the chillier ones. But you know what? Whales and dolphins always make the biggest difference and there is no wind or rain capable of bringing down the mood and the excitement of the crew. Each day was spent out and, with flat or rough sea, the usual striped dolphins, especially the very little ones, showed up gladdening the people with their funny and clumsy swimming together with their mothers and companions. A small loggerhead turtle and a couple of ocean sunfishes tried to go unnoticed but the watchful eyes of the observers on board of Pelagos didn’t miss them. From smaller to bigger animal the size changes, but excitement and amusement were always the same. Sperm whales with their gentle majesty were fluking just a few meters off the boat, leaving everybody speechless. Finally, how to forget the astonishing colourful view at our awakening between the Lerins Islands? A red rising sun on the horizon and a setting full moon over the sky of Cannes: as magical as rare. With this picture still vivid in our eyes, it comes easy to recall what Aldo Leopold said: “Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.” (A Sand County Almanac, 1949).

Eva, Letizia, Monica and Nino (CSR Team Members)


This was an amazing week, I really enjoyed it and I was able to learn a lot about cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to Nino, Monica, Letizia and Eva for being so kind with me and for giving an answer to all my questions (a lot of questions). Thanks to Paolo that is a perfect sailor, also with an awful sea like today! I hope I will have another experience like this next year. Bye!

Zaira (Italia)


Every day was so special as each day had something new to offer. I will always remember the first time I saw a sperm whale fluke go up; it was breathtaking. We had such nice weather too, and staying between the Iles de Lerins for two nights was just magical. I had so much fun and will remember this week forever. Thank you Letizia, Eva, Nino and Monica for giving us such an enjoyable week. I sure learned a lot about cetaceans and the research aspect of studying them. I hope someday to be able to contribute to the life of cetaceans like you do.

Mirjam (UK)


Bye, Bye Eva, Letizia, Monica and Nino. Thank you for a very exciting week with a lot of new experiences. It has been amazing to see the striped dolphins cruising under the bow and be lucky to get the eye contact with the mammals. We also enjoyed to see a lot of striped dolphin calves next to their mother and jumping around in the water. We were also lucky to follow some sperm whales during the week, who are incredible whales. It has been great to experience how you study the mammals and it has been exiting to learn about the mammals in the Mediterranean sea (especially Nino’s lesson with documentaries that put the research into a bigger perspective, e.g. overfishing and endangered mammals). We will take all these facts and the knowledge about how important it is to protect the environment with us back to Denmark. You all four have been an amazing team to join and you have been very open to everyone – we felt very much at home on the boat. And to Nino... don’t worry, we will take action on the problem at the Far Oer Islands. Loads of kind regards.

Louise and Matilde (Denmark)