My Tenerife Wildlife Extravaganza

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“Ballenas!” the Spanish captain announced suddenly, energetically pointing starboard. All the tourists jostled excitedly whilst descending the stairwell. I followed to the lower deck of the glass-bottomed boat, uncertain for I didn’t speak the native language, so I pondered as to what all the commotion was about. Everyone tussled to peer through the underwater windows.

Golden shafts of heavenly light filtered through the translucent water. Wait! What’s this? A monster-like creature was gliding effortlessly towards us… its streamlined body leaving nothing in its wake. Elegantly, it tapped its nose against the glass inquisitively, and eyeballed me! I noticed that it had a nasty scar on its face causing untold pain. With a graceful movement it rolled over revealing its accompanying baby, comically small compared to his mum’s sheer enormity. Suddenly I twigged; this was a pod of short-finned pilot whales which the captain had warned us would be an extremely rare sight at this time of year. Their gentle beauty and inquisitiveness left me spell-bound for the full fifteen minutes they chose to perform for us.

As we trundled back towards the harbour, we passed Los Gigantes, the mighty cliffs of Tenerife, with every ledge and crevice full to bursting with nesting sea birds. Just to top the expedition off we saw a pod of dolphins hunting a shoal of fish in a flamboyantly acrobatic fashion! The marine show was the icing on the cake. It was well beyond my greatest expectations, but I have some amazing photos to prove it wasn’t a dream!

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