Two Whales in the Frioul Archipelago

Encounter with the whales

While we were enjoying the indian summer in Marseille and doing a boat excursion, we were surprised by an encounter with two whales, a hundred meters away from the island of Ratonneau (Frioul Archipelago). We had the time to take our iPhone and share with you this beautiful moment. The whales just came accros the Château d'If and were swimming along the Frioul near the Blue Cost. We had already encountered dolphins, but this was way different. The biggest was about three times longer than our boat, that is about 15 meter. We felt small next to them, but these fin whales’ size was average.

Fin whales

Fin whales are between 15 and 20 meters tall, and weigh from 60 to 70 tons. They can live up to 90 years old. They are the second tallest animal, right after their cousins, blue whales (33 meters). They move in small groups of less than six individuals, or as couples like the one we saw. They are slender and have a little grey fin on their back. They are protect ed species, and are estimated to be 3000 to 5000 in the Mediterranean sea.

Approach the cetaceans

Since this video was shot, the protection of cetaceans has been reinforced, especially inside the national park of the calanques. Getting close to them is forbidden if there are young whales. Otherwise, you can watch them from the sides, if you maintain 100 meters between you and them. The code of conduct for whale watching can be find on the website of Sanctuaire Pélagos.