We took a walk on Monte Gordo beach on New Year's Day to clear the 'cobwebs' from our heads. We were surprised by the crowd that was gathering at one end of the beach and went to explore...
What we found was a beached whale! A number of people had already entered the water and were trying to get the Whale free from the sand bank that it had beached itself on.
As we watched, more people got in to the water and kept the Whale upright and facing into the waves (every time a wave came in the Whale had been rocked onto it's side). It soon became obvious that there was a Marine Biologist directing operations (together with Maritime Police Officers managing the gathering crowd). Unfortunately, even with 20-30 people in the sea with the Whale there was no sign that they could get it back into deep water; then the cavalry arrived in the form of the Coast Guard vessel from Vila Real! After a few minutes the rescuers has managed to get a line from the boat to the Whale and towed it into deep water. The boat then shadowed the Whale to ensure it didn't return to shore.
We stayed and watched the volunteers, marine biologist and finally the coast guard for about 2 hours. The whole experience was a really positive example what people can do when they work together and a great way to start 2018.
Unfortunately this story does not appear to have a happy ending. The following day a Whale was washed up dead on a beach 30 kms west of Manta Rota and the assumption is that it was the same one that was saved on New Years Day.
You can see more pictures and read more here: portugalresident.com/new-year%E2%80%99s-beached-whale-turns-up-dead-on-armona-island
Nuala & Matthew
We fell in love with the Eastern Algarve a few years back. We'll try and impart our knowledge of the area and other travel tips via these blog posts.