Entries in #explore (9)


You Won't Be Disappointed, Trust  Me

Having applied to volunteer for a project involving sighting and recording scientific data on wild whale and dolphin populations in the vast open Atlantic Ocean, my expectations before coming where; I might see something in the space of two weeks, maybe a single pod of dolphins or a few whales if I’m lucky but I found myself constantly surprised with each boat expedition.

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Sleeping  Cetaceans

It's awesome to see dolphins playing at the surface and the more dynamic they are the more exciting the experience. Sometimes, though, you can wish they'd sit still just for a moment so you could see all the detail without needing to freeze them in time with a camera.

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Pizza And Peter  Pan

Los Cristianos is the sort of place where you can get a full English breakfast or a Subway as readily as you can in London. There's nothing wrong with that but I'm quite glad that there's big swathes of this island which aren't really like that at all.

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New Year, New Adventures!

In order to give Christmas Eve a scientific touch, the presentations of the projects were held before dinner, after which we all enjoyed a tasty meal thanks to the amazing cooking skills of Rachel!

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A Visit To Cueva Del Viento - Wind Cave 

It was my last week of my 4 week stay at the project and I wanted to do something special for my last day off. While at the bus stop in Los Cristianos I saw an advert at the bus stop for Cueva Del Viento (Wind Cave), the picture caught my attention instantly.

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Sand, Sunburn and Saving Whales – My Week in Tenerife

Volunteer Oscar Naden sums up his time on the largest of the Canary Islands. Find out what his favourite moments were from a wekk on the project..

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The P place - Puerto De La Cruz

The north of the island is dramtically different to the south and worth a visit when you are in Tenerife. Find out what a trip to Puerto De La Cruz like!

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The Weird Yellow Fruit

The quest to discover what this fruit is?! Anyone know?

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Through The Eyes Of The Field Staff 

Xiana, from the snow in the peruvian Andes to the salty ocean of Tenerife!

Tenerife is an island. OK, you might say, we already know this. But it´s always worth pointing it out, because somehow, that physical isolation gives it some of its unique features: loads of endemic plants, many native reptiles (of the Lacertidae family -lizards- but surprisingly not a single native snake!), absence of natural predators (big issues due to introduction of cats, who unfortunately love hunting lizards)... and ocean, ocean and ocean. The blue ocean you see everywhere, saying hello and goodbye to the sun every day!

The particular physical characteristics of the aquatic surroundings here in South Tenerife makes the area ideal for cetaceans, so ideal that some of them stopped migrating! This is the case of the short-finned pilot whale (Globycephala macrorhynchus, calderón tropical in Spanish). This member of the dolphin´s family is the iconic species that attracts thousands of people from over the world. Actually, it is claimed that this is the place of the world with the highest number of whale-watching tourists of the world. This might be due to the nice weather all year round (even though winter is kind of chilly, especially if you are off the coast), but also because you just have to go a couple of miles off the coast to see whales, dolphins, bryde´s whales...

After my first boat trip I understood why this charismatic animals are so loved around the world, just to see a group of mothers swimming with its babies makes your day bright, and hearing them communicating gives a meaning to life! (Yes, I´m dramatising here, who says I can´t?)

But Tenerife land treasures are great also, I specially love plants here, because they´ve gone through. For example we have this, they look like cactus but they´re not, they are euphorbias. And many crassulaceas, plants specialized in storing water, like the celebrity Aloe vera (not putting it in the picture because it is a celebrity indeed).

This first few weeks have been hectic around here, hectic and fructiferous, going on the boats, training research assistants, organising talks with boat´s captains... and the most tiring activity of all: lying-on-the-beach-swimming-in-the-ocean. My best part was when after sailing for hours on the Bonadea II, trying to spot a bryde´s whale (Balaenoptera edeni), the captain decided to come back to port, and on our way back a beautiful calve of bryde´s whale emerged a few meters from the boat! Life is awesome.

Here my proof (the picture was taken by Sandra, one of our great volunteers):

And I´m ending with a picture of a real cactus, (sorry, don´t know the species right now!) around the project´s house, just because I love it (and notice the soil, so volcanic!)

By Xiana - Project Manager

Find out more about Frontier's Whale & Dolphin Conservation Project in Tenerife.

Check out what volunteers in Tenerife are up to right now!