Hello explorers! Hello explorers!
Hello explorers! This little island of Alderney is blessed
in a way because by its very isolation
it's a haven for wildlife both on land and at sea
and here is another story
told to me by
Mr Raymond Gaudion about
some experiences at sea. It's called
'Meetings with Whales'. The richness of nature in our island's waters
is striking despite pollution.
There are large colonies of gannets puffins
petrels and seals on the stacks
and off-lying islets around our coast.
From time to time when at sea
I've come across whales. I can recall two occasions especially.
The first took place eight miles to the north of Alderney.
I was on my way to a fishing ground when suddenly
I found my boat in the middle of a pod of pilot whales.
I reckoned there were about forty to fifty of them.
The young ones in the middle protected by a ring of adults.
I cut the engine straight away fascinated by
this interesting phenomenon.
My boat became
an object of curiosity straight away for the young ones
who held themselves upright in the water
in order to inspect more closely these
strange creatures on two legs. Some of them
even rested their chins on the gunwale so as to better examine
After about an hour one of the adult males
became anxious. The only explanation in my opinion
and he charged directly at the boat. This gave me some concern
but at the last moment
he dived under the boat and as he did so
gave a great whack with his tail
on the surface
soaking us all to the skin. Now
this is a sign of aggression so we took the hint
and very carefully I started the engine
and we went on our way peacefully. The second occasion was when
I was on was when I was
onboard a friend's boat
about half a mile to the north of Burhou.
This is a small islet to the north of Alderney. This was a pleasure trip.
It was a very old wooden boat
and I suspected a few of its planks to be half rotten
but the weather was fine
and I didn't think
we were in any danger. Suddenly
I noticed a large fin
two metres high very near us.
It was a Killer Whale Orca
There were three of them. They
approached the boat and began rubbing their backs against the
hull so as to displace
the barnacles and other parasites
that covered their skin. This rocked the boat
and my companions became frightened.
I reassured them killer whales don't eat
human beings they prefer
seals I wasn't completely sure of this.
But they had to be kept from panicking.
In case fear was conveyed to whales
to incite them to attack. Wild animals have an instinct for this.
After scratching themselves against the keel
for a few minutes the killer whales swam off peacefully.
Secretly I breathed a sigh of relief.