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While searching for pilot whales, you often meet other marine mammal species as well. During research cruises or while simply outlooking from shores, you sometimes have the opportunity to be in the right time at the right place. Here are my examples.


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(15.03.1996) Southwest off Tenerife, Atlantic

The weather was bad and the swell that turbulent that is was actually unpromising to search for cetaceans. Suddenly, two 12 m long sperm whales surfaced right next to the (6 m long) boat. They heavily breathed after their apparent deep dive and remained motionless at the water surface. After some minutes, they were encircled by two (4 m long) pilot whales.


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(17.09.2012) Between Tenerife and La Gomera, Atlantic

Sometimes you meet cetaceans when you do not expect it. And sometimes you see behavioral performances, you have never seen before. During a ferry cruise from Tenerife to La Gomera (Canary Islands), a group of beaked whales heavily breached in unison. For certain moments, there were three individuals in the air at the same time.


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(04.01.2013) Helgoland, North Sea

On a cold January afternoon a single harbor porpoise stranded on the beach of the island of Helgoland. The individual seemed to be in a healthy state and it was quite agile while floating somehow helpless. With the support of a local ranger and by using a heavy wheel loader, the animal was brought to the port where it was 'unloaded' in deeper waters. In response, the animal breached twice and went offshore.


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(28.03.1997) Nuweiba, Red Sea

At a simple beach in the village of Nuweiba (Egypt) I sat beduin-style on a carpet and drank some tea. Just 20 m in front of me, a solitary bottlenose dolphin with its calf roamed around and accepted fish-handouts from the locals.


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(23.09.2013) La Gomera, Atlantic

Being sometimes accompanied by film makers, you get the chance to have insights you would not have by only doing research. Interesting technology and spectacular footage deliver further important contributions to promote the interesting lives of marine mammals.


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Click ...here... to have a spectacular perspective on Atlantic
spotted dolphins during bowriding (.mov file with 14.3 MB)
(Video: Roland Gockel)



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(04.01.2013) Helgoland, North Sea

On the North Sea island Helgoland, hundreds of grey and harbour seals use a sand dune as a haul-out and breeding site.


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Click ...here... to see grey seal pup behavior while a plane
is passing at close distance (.mov file with 8.2 MB)