by Emma Chereskin – Research Coordinator

After the 10 hour flight to Sao Tome, and after a couple of days of settling in, meeting some fabulous people and planning our schedule for the next three weeks; today was the first day we were able to get out on the water to see our humpback friends.

After a 2 hour trek along the eastern side of the island from Sao Tome city to Porto Alegre, we were greeted by beautiful beaches and a large number of hermit crabs.

Out on the water, the sea was quite rough, with whitecaps and huge swells that obscured our view of the horizon.

Our captain drove the boat around Rolas Island, a beautiful little volcanic paradise. As we took out the GPS, we watched the latitude get lower and lower until finally, we were at the equator!

We were fortunate enough to say that our trek took us all the way from the Northern Hemisphere into the Southern.

Rounding Rolas Island we stopped the boat the submerge the hydrophone. We waited anxiously to hear the characteristic humpback song or whistles of dolphins, but alas the sea was silent.

We journeyed onwards with a brief pit stop at the docks on Rolas Island.

We were treated to views of a gorgeous beach with crystal clear water and were able to watch a fisherman swim home with his daily catch of octopus and red snapper.

We headed back to shore, unable to spot any whales. But a day out on the water is still better than a day spent on land.

We drove back to the city with salt drying on our skin and smiles on our faces.

So begins our whale watching season!

Here’s to better luck next time around.