How to go whale watching

DolpinsWhales and dolphins are beautiful. There’s a serenity and friendliness about them that we find hard to put our finger on, but it’s definitely there. They’re as good as sharks are bad, you might say.

This fascination we all have with whales and dolphins is why visitors to the Canary Islands and Tenerife in particular, should take advantage of the fact that the islands form a natural boundary in the Atlantic Ocean. This boundary separates the colder northern waters and the tropical waters to the south, the waters surrounding Tenerife are whale and dolphin-central. Tenerife’s one of the top three places in the world to see the huge sea living mammals.

Whenever we’re on holiday in Tenerife – we like Puerto Colón, on the south-western Costa Adeje, the newest coastal resort on the island – my daughter Naomi and I head down to the quayside and book seats on one of the boats offering three-hour trips to do whale watching and dolphin-spotting. You’ve got a 95 % chance of seeing these amazing animals in the wild with one of these trips so unless you’re very unlucky, it’s going to happen.

When you hit the promenade, find a company that employs an expert who will talk you through what will be going on when you’re out there, try to see if it feels like he or she has some respect for the animals and you – don’t just get hassled onto the first boat by the first sales person you meet.

Check the time you depart (we prefer 3-4 in the afternoon, when the Mediterranean sun is less fierce, but you can go any time), take some sun block, a cap and sunglasses, binoculars and maybe even some warm clothing just in case the wind chill kicks in unexpectedly. It won’t take long before you’re far enough out to sea – the skipper will know where to look – and a hush descends on the whole ship as your fellow travellers go quiet and start scanning the horizon…

And suddenly, there they are! Shooting water from their blow holes, lobtailing and spy-hopping. Wait until the boat slows down, and you’ll see the whales and dolphins close up. It is a good idea to wait till the boat slows down so can you get pictures that are as sharp as possible and use a high shutter speed option to take great pictures of those unexpected jumps. If you use the cameras zoom function while the boat’s moving, you may increase the risk of blurred images. Never touch or feed the whales and dolphins, touching and feeding will disturb them. You can even jump in and have a swim yourself, of course – all in all, it’s an experience you’ll never forget and the experience will make your holiday.

There are many tour operators and holiday companies that offer trips to Tenerife, it’s a popular holiday hotspot. We are considering the Single Parents on Holiday offer for next year. The company are offering a 1 week all-inclusive 4-star holiday on the Costa Adeje next August. So why not join us? We will enjoy sun, sea and sand in a family friendly environment including Tenerife’s unique sealife.


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