At the beginning of each week the Principal Investigator together with the captain designs a loose plan for the next days, taking into account the weather forecast and especially the sea conditions; then they evaluate the effort distribution inside the study area and the sighted species until that moment.Everything was calling for eastern routes, a Levante in the Ligurian sea vocabulary, and the lack of Risso’s dolphins and Cuvier beaked whales sightings was a good reason to go searching for those fascinating species.Within the first hour of navigation, bottlenose dolphins joined the motorsailer "Pelagos" and gifted the crew with a sighting which was one of the closest to the San Remo harbour. Together with photo-identification, also respiration patterns and a one hour sound recording were taken.A few hours later, while acoustically tracking two sperm whales, a fin whale blow appeared and the sperm whale emerged in the vicinity. Striped dolphins joined the group performing whale riding on the rostrum of the fin whale. Four species in one day… Not too bad as a start! The following days did not disappoint the expectations of the ecovolunteers, gifting every single route with more and more fin and sperm whales.Going east had become an utopia because every time we tried to do so, the sperm whales were there, right on the slope with their clicks and fluke ups, preventing us from proceeding, as each individual requires at least two hours of data collection. Finally, on friday "Pelagos "spent a lovely night anchored at Gallinara, a tortoise shaped private island in front of Alassio. Bird colonies are the morning wake up and old mysterious buildings give a pirate allure to the landscape. The week ended with sperm whale sightings overtaking fin whales.
Francesca, Nina, Giulia and Josè