On-board Diary: On the way to Mógán, Grand Canary. Saturday 19 and Sunday 20, September, 2009

Author: Ana de la Torriente
Date: September 20, 2009

Unfortunately, we weren't able to continue diving off the Sahara seamounts and we are now on our way to Grand Canary.

As we all know, the trip to Mogán will take two days, so we quickly man our stations. Like always, some disappear, others work on their videos and photographs and small groups gather both on deck and inside to share a cigarette or chat. Meanwhile, Indi and Ricardo, binoculars in hand, go on deck in search of birds and cetaceans.

We are very surprised by the lack of cetaceans. Not even one has been sighted. However, different species of birds keep them occupied, like red-billed tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus), parasitic jaegers (Stercorarius parasiticus), sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus) and and Bulwer’s petrels (Bulweria bulwerii). Indi teaches the rest of us, beginners in bird studies, about the subject. Today it was the red-billed tropicbird’s turn. As an adult, this bird has two extremely long central tail feathers (more than half the length of the bird’s body). It nests in Cape Verde, but it's not clear whether they nest in the Canary Islands and only vague references exist (like in the case of El Hierro).

We reach Mogán on the 20th, at mid-morning.