Monday, August 30, 2010


July and August are the whale season. Whales come to the Gulf of Guinea to mate and, as their mating ritual includes plenty of jumping, it's easy to spot them. We've heard so many stories from people who went on whale trips (we were right next to it! it dived under the boat! it jumped so high!), that we decided it was worth any price. After all, you only live once and who wouldn't want to almost touch a whale? We signed up for the trip.

We set off at 7 am (practical info: the boat leaves from Michel Marine, twice a day) last Saturday. The day was extremely grey and the sea was rather rough but that was nothing in the face of the adventure that was awaiting us. The trip was going to take five whole hours, during which we were bound to see these amazing animals. Or so we thought.

The waves were huge. It was very difficult to stay seated on the little motorboat, which looked rather unimpressive when on the open sea. We were struggling to stay seated, clinging to the benches with all our might, which resulted in blisters on our hands and bruises on our calves. There were also some pretty scary moments when, on leaving the estuary behind, we were surrounded by huge waves, which were throwing the boat around like a toy... But still, we were optimistic: at the very beginning we saw two whales jumping out of the water on the horizon and it was only a matter of finding them. Or so we thought.

We spent five hours looking for the whales, soaked through with the sea water entering the boat but also with rain, suffering from seasickness and with our bottoms painfully hitting the benches on every wave. Five hours without seeing any animal whatsoever, apart from a stray seagull which was looking at with - I swear! - pure malice. The whales were probably right below us, laughing their heads off (or whatever it is that the whales laugh off) at our bad luck.

The most painful part, however, was not the boat ride, believe me. The trip cost us 50000 francs per person (mere 75 euro), which we had to pay for what proved to be an extremely uncomfortable morning.

Epilogue: The same day we went to visit some friends, who were shocked at our bad luck, as apparently they had seen so many whales it was boring. In the middle of the conversation our friends' little girl came up to me and presented her dummy. It had a cartoon whale on it - yes, the only one we saw that day.

The lovely picture I found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment