Two bottlenose dolphins (tursiops truncatus) swimming in front of a ship, Tarifa, Andalusia, Spain.
Sami Sarkis/© Sami Sarkis
Immense pods—up to 100 strong—of bottlenose, common and striped dolphins can often be seen playfully bounding alongside ships passing through the Strait of Gibraltar. These dolphins are year-round residents of the waters here, as are around 250 long-finned pilot whales (so affable that they sometimes approach small craft to greet them). In late summer’s tuna season, orca whales can occasionally be spotted hunting. The rarest (but still possible) sightings of all here are of humpback, minke and sperm whales.