13 October 2010

Cetacean Sanctuary Research 20 (27 September – 26 October)

End of the 2010 field research season

The 2010 season in the waters of the Ligurian Sea and Pelagos Sanctuary has been impressive: 13000 km travelled at sea, totalling 905 h of navigation and 297 cetacean sightings: 210 of striped dolphins, 44 of fin whales, 32 of sperm whales, 5 of Risso’s dolphins, 4 of beaked whales and two of long-finned pilot whales. How many animals? Who knows, we are still trying to figure it out. And then sea turtles, ocean sunfish, tuna, swordfish, seabirds.

But out at sea there were not only dolphins, whales and all sort of other animals. There were people too. Participants from around the world joined the researchers on Pelagos, willing to see animals, enjoy them, contribute to their protection and being a part of our endeavors. How can we forget the volunteers crying while looking at the small striped dolphins bowriding in front of them, turning on their sides and glancing at them as if they were truly feeling a bond with the people on board. The agile and gigantic, confident and majestic sperm whales resting at the surface, dominating the resounding waves. How can we forget those who remained breathless and speechless in front of a fin whale blowing, just a few metres from our boat.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. It is always a pleasure to work with happy and enthusiastic people, curious and interested, able to spread their passion and excitement. Many thanks to all of you!

Nino, Eva, Chiara and Sabina (CSR team members)


This week was fantastic, I’ve learned so much about all kinds of animals. I would recommend this trip to anyone but I would say to book two weeks because by the time the first week is over you have just settled in and found where everything goes. Thank you to all the crew for making this trip memorable.

Ruth (UK)


A stellar expedition that exceeded my expectations in many ways: from the delicious meals, to the informative conversations and lectures, the opportunity to have been a participant in these research activities has been an experience of a lifetime. Thanks for a great week of superlatives Tethys!

Julieanne (Canada)


This week was one of the most spectacular times we have ever had. The wonderful nature, the giant animals, the life on board and the patience and kindness of the researchers are only a few points that made this time so fantastic for us. We learnt a lot about the animals in the Mediterranean Sea and when we come so close to them, we felt the beauty and the uniqueness of these wonderful animals. It is a great pleasure to find people, who watch and protect them from human foolishness and unawareness. Thank you to all of the researchers of Tethys. All of you do a very great job and we are glad to know you. We will come back again!

Heimo, Sabine and Angela (Germany)


I have had such a brilliant time onboard Pelagos!  Seeing so many dolphins and whales was amazing, especially seeing the Risso’s dolphins! I have learnt so much and definitely have a greater appreciation for conserving the marine environment, I won’t eat tuna that has been fished using unsustainable methods again! Everyone has been so kind and welcoming and the food has been yummy! I definitely want to come back again next year!

Abbie (UK)


I expected it to be good but it was so much better than good in so many different ways. Some moments of pure unadulterated joy that will last me forever. Thank you.

Judith (UK)


It was a really fantastic week. It was much better than we had expected. The weather was very good. The boat was nice. We had a lot of fun and we got a very good impression of the researchers’ work. They are really professional and very passionate in their work. And in addition to that they are so polite, helpful, friendly and wonderful people. They managed to do their research and involve the participants into their work at the same time. And still, there was always time for explanation and fun! We would like to come again. Thank you and stay as you are!

Christoph and Claudia (Germany)

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