Filed Under (General) by Rob on 15-09-2007

Today, Rob, Ruth and some other friends went on the whale-watching boat trip from Cotonou. It was a very eventful journey, but not in the ways we had expected…


This is the boat we went on, which is actually a small war ship (see the guns on the front?!). Decent enough boat, though, and a nice upper deck for viewing. Before leaving, we were all given travel-sickness pills – just in case – and the kids were all given life jackets, and enjoyed playing with the whistles:

We set off and enjoyed the view of the Cotonou shoreline as it got smaller and smaller. However, it soon became clear that the sea was a tad choppy – either that or the boat was not very stable (or probably both). Here are Rob & Ruth on the upper deck with our friend, Joanna from Scotland (this photo is also for her Mum, who is now a regular visitor to the blog – hello Joanna’s Mum!)


Within half an hour of leaving Rob, Ruth and basically half the boat were all throwing up due to all the rocking – a most unpleasant experience! As the round trip was about 4 hours long, that’s a lot of time spent being sick! We found the best solution was to lie down, so Ruth and I lay down on a ring of rope on deck and had a kip, waking only when prompted by nature for further overboard evacuations . Here’s Ruth looking extremely sea-sick:


(NB I have not modified the colours on this photo – she really was that pale).

Now, one might tolerate being incessantly sick on a whale-watching trip in exchange for seeing a few whales. However, today they were nowhere to be seen. At one point, one of the crew frantically started shouting out Baleine, baleine, baleine! and pointing into the distance off the port side. We looked and saw what could have been a spray of rising water, but as it was so far away and was all over in a couple of nanoseconds, it was hard to tell.

Well, we made it back, but very jaded (almost literally colour-wise). The whole event made me think of Jonah and his adventures – he may have had a tough time for disobeying the Lord, but at least he got to see a whale – and extremely close up too! Also, it was the whale that did the spewing, not him! (Jonah 2:10)

Nevertheless, if you’re not prone to (or bothered by) travel sickness and think you may be more lucky than us (NB we have a friend who did see a whale on a previous trip) then click here then click on Baleines (whales) for more information (and there’s even a photo of whales to be seen!)

Thanks for visiting!

3 Comments posted on "Enough to make you whale…"
Linda McNeill on September 16th, 2007 at 8:30 pm #

Really enjoyed your entertaining whale watching blog. So sorry so many of you were sick, especially wee Ruth. Thank you so much for the photo of Joanna. Glad she’s made it onto my favourite blog site. Keep up the good work. Linda (Joanna’s Mum)

Rachel Lewis on September 17th, 2007 at 8:35 am #

Sorry to hear you were sea sick 🙁 We went whale watching a couple of years ago off the coast of Mull in Scotland, and saw nothing – but the sea was nice and calm!

Hope you’ve regained your normal colour now!

Steve Plummer on September 18th, 2007 at 9:51 am #

I was more fortunate – whale-watching off Mull a few years ago and enjoying one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Could you force yourselves to have another go, or is that a “don’t go there” question??!!