The real reason for the visit to Puerto Santiago at the weekend was to go out on a boat trip for 2 hours to do a spot of whale watching! We'd already done it once in March but i enjoyed it so much that I wanted to go back and do it again. It's pretty likely that some whales will be seen although it's not guaranteed as they are obviously swimmimng free in the ocean and not in a tank at the aquarium. But we were lucky enough to come across quite a few whales on both occasions.
The ones we came across both times were Pilot whales. According to the guide there are over 18 different varieties of whales and dolphins that live in the area. Between the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera there is a channel which reaches 2000m in depth and in which there is an abundance of giant squid which is the main source of food for the whales. Apparently whales don't look for somewhere nice to live but look for places with plenty to eat - quite sensible really! So in the waters between the two islands whales and dolphins have settled and are permanently resident throughout the year. Which means that it's possible to go out and see them at any time. We were also told that there is only one other place in the world (although they didn't say where!) where there is a permanent colony of whales.
All the whales we saw at the weekend were in small groups of two or three. They didn't seem to be phased at all about there being boats around and a number of expectant faces peering down at them. I supposed they must be used to being the subject of photos for snap-happy tourists (me included!). The good part is that the whales are not attracted by the guides on the boats, no food is thrown to them or devices used to attract them - if they're not in the mood then you're not seeing them!
As with scuba diving, I always find it fascinating to be around aquatic life. They seem to be so calm and not worried about anything. The two hour trip for me was way too short, I could have bobbed about on the ocean for hours just watching them. But it was great to be able to get up close to them again and share a few moments with them.