Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Porpoises and Purpose

Last week there were a lot of sightings of Porpoises in the Texelstroom off Oudeschild on Texel; much more than usual. So when Karien wanted to check this out, I was easily persuaded.

I joined Karien, Geert and Hauke from the Texel sea kayak club. Just drifting with the ebbing tide towards Mokbaai we soon were amidst a pod of three porpoises that just kept doing 'their thing' without really taking notice of us.

They were all around us. I never have been so close to porpoises before; they generally are quite 'shy'. It was interesting to see them intermittently lie totally still at the surface of the water (resting?) before diving again.

The only 'drawback' was that the porpoises did not care about my positioning with the sunlight to take pictures and shoot some film. With so many camera's ready, we had more than enough good pictures and some really funny shots!

Geert and Hauke both work for the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and Geert took with him a hydrophone and I could hear the porpoises make a high pitch 'rattling' sound. Also he had a good telephoto camera with him to make the best close-up shots.

Porpoises generally are in this area at this time of year. In the past five years there are increased sightings. Overall we spend more than two hours among them until the ebb tide had brought us and the porpoises to the Mokbaai and we returned to Oudeschild on the beginning of the flood.

Listen for the sound of a Porpoise or read more about whale sightings in the Netherlands on

No comments: