Thar she blows! / ¡Que ella sopla!

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.


IN THE NEARLY 9 YEARS we’ve lived right on the Mediterranean Sea, we have never once seen a school of dolphins or even a single whale swim by. We have been told by others, all British expats, that they see dolphins “all the time.”

I’ve regularly scanned the sea from our terrace. I’ve set up our birding telescope. I’ve stood with binoculars. These same people have said they see the dolphins from the beach “all the time.” I know there are dolphins and whales out there (I keep intending to go out on a boat), but it would be rare to see them from shore — especially “all the time.” I’ve wondered if these people are mistaking white caps on rough seas for dolphins. I was a non-believer. Until Wednesday.

On my way to the gym, a fishing boat was returning to port surrounded by hundreds of gulls. The wind was still blowing and the sea was rough. And I was stunned to see what was either a school of dolphins or even a couple of whales near the boat. They remained even after the boat entered the harbor. I snapped some photos and then jogged (and the sciatica didn’t scream) closer along the Paseo to get better shots. I zoomed in and snapped away.

It looked like a large whale. Maybe two. So exciting. I was tempted to yell to a couple of people nearby but I was too busy zooming and snapping.

And then I noticed that the whale I could clearly see didn’t seem to be moving. And then I noticed that the whale I could clearly see was in shallow water exactly where a rock should have been. The rock that holds the small harbor light. The harbor light that must have been washed away in the recent winds and rough seas. .

I took more than 90 photos of the rock. They’re pretty good photos. Click the photos to get the big picture of what I saw.

EN LOS CASI 9 AÑOS que hemos vivido en el Mar Mediterráneo, nunca hemos visto una escuela de delfines o incluso una sola ballena nadando. Otros, todos expatriados británicos, nos han dicho que ven delfines “todo el tiempo”.

He escaneado regularmente el mar desde nuestra terraza. He instalado nuestro telescopio de observación de aves. Me he parado con binoculares. Estas mismas personas han dicho que ven delfines desde la playa “todo el tiempo”. Sé que hay delfines y ballenas por ahí (tengo la intención de salir en un bote), pero sería raro verlos desde la costa, especialmente “todo el tiempo”. Me he preguntado si estas personas están confundiendo los gorros blancos en mares agitados con delfines. Yo era un no creyente. Hasta el miércoles.

De camino al gimnasio, un pesquero regresaba a puerto rodeado de cientos de gaviotas. El viento seguía soplando y el mar estaba embravecido. Pero me sorprendió ver lo que era un banco de delfines o incluso un par de ballenas cerca del barco. Permanecieron incluso después de que el barco entró en el puerto. Tomé algunas fotos y luego corrí (y la ciática no gritó) más cerca del Paseo para obtener mejores tomas. Me acerqué y disparé. Tan emocionante.

Parecía una ballena grande. Tal vez dos. tan emocionante Tuve la tentación de gritarles a un par de personas que estaban cerca, pero estaba demasiado ocupado haciendo zoom y fotografiando.

Y luego noté que la ballena que podía ver claramente no parecía moverse. Y luego noté que la ballena que podía ver claramente estaba en aguas poco profundas exactamente donde debería haber estado una roca. La roca que sostiene la pequeña luz del puerto. La luz del puerto que debe haber sido arrastrada por los vientos recientes y el mar embravecido.

Hice más de 90 fotos de la roca. Son muy buenas fotos. Haz clic en las imágenes para ver el panorama general.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

37 thoughts on “Thar she blows! / ¡Que ella sopla!”

  1. When you start seeing mermaids, seek help. Do the people who see them all of the time also enjoy a liquid lunch?

    1. David,
      Seek help hauling them out of the water. I had a thing for mermen when I was a teen.

      And at least some of those people who see them all the time are rarely sober.

  2. What a shame. Whales are so cool to see. You guys should do a whale watch sometime. That story reminds me of the time I sore a saw a mouse on the floor and told my ex to go get it. It was lying there and would barely move ever so often. It was dark after all. Turns out it was one of Busters dog toys. But i swear i saw it move!!!

    1. Mistress Borghese,
      We’ve done whale watches in Maui, San Diego, and Santa Barbara. Always exciting. Don’t know why it’s taken so long for us to get around to it here. This year definitely!

      I’m sure that dog toy moved. They always do, but usually when no one is looking.

  3. You are so funny!
    Those darned rocks did it again!!
    One of these days those dolphins and whales will surprise you.

  4. Rock on, Mitchell! The only ‘whale’ I ever saw in Spain was at The Merry Whale beach campground near Barcelona (fyi–that was 60 years ago). Had a cute one on their sign. 🙂

    1. Mary,
      69 years ago! So you were in Barcelona in a previous life! I’ve often seen a blue whale nearby… at the car wash.

    1. Debra,
      It DOES look exactly like Moby Dick’s head coming out of the water, doesn’t it? And, of course, Great White Whales are very common in the Mediterranean Sea.

  5. I once read that seeing dolphins all the time is a common affliction amongst the English. Comes from living on an island, I think. The “whale” was probably just playing possum in an attempt to lure British tourists into its gaping maw. They do that, ya know…

  6. Scoot, you’re killing me here! Oh, the mental picture of you just snapping your brains out! I’m sick as the proverbial dog right now and laughing isn’t helping this cough, but it’s helping my outlook.

    1. Deedles,
      Oh, I hope you’re feeling much better today. The outlook is more important than the cough.

  7. Haaaaa haaaaaaa!
    (This recounting of the “all the time” stories, reminds me of the times when people comment to me that they live in a neighborhood “FILLED with Sears houses”… or a town that has “TONS of Sears houses”… usually, all I find is a big rock, just like this 😉 )

    1. Judy C,
      Yes, but you have to admit the rock DOES look exactly like a Sears house, doesn’t it?

  8. we were sure we saw a seal popping his head up and down near our trail bridge many times ~ again that danged ol’ rock appeared again!! LOL

    1. Ron,
      We did that in Northern Norway. Saw a seal or other sea creature frolicking in the surf. Pulled over and took a dozen photos only to realize it was driftwood snagged by kelp. Wish I hadn’t immediately deleted all those photos!

    1. Kirk,
      And so much better for Shamu, although SeaWorld did retire them all after years of bad press.

  9. Ha! Well, it DOES look whale-like, I’ll give you that. Hopefully people thought you were photographing all those birds and not simply out of your mind. 🙂

    1. Steve,
      No one seemed to even notice me and all my excitement. So glad I didn’t yell out for them to look at the whales!

  10. We’ve seen dolphins a few times from our vantage point in Palm 5 beach bar on the paseo at Benalmadena! One year they came in almost to the breakwater, so we could make out their grey/black stripe patterned skin as they leapt and spinned. Just yesterday (our last full day of holiday) we were taking coffee on our apartment balcony and spotted a solo dolphin or porpoise hunting in the bay near the headland where Benalmadena meets Torrequebrada. Jx

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