This morning the sea had calmed down after recent bad weather so we were all excited to get back out on the water for some dolphin and whale watching. All started well as we were heading out and seeing jumping common dolphins in the distance. However, before we got close to them our boat ran over a submerged rope that couldn't be seen from the surface. The rope became entangled around one of our propelors and despite the crew's efforts we couldn't free it. Ropes and nets in the propelors is something that happens to our boats at least a few times per year and unfortunately this may be on the increase as the world's oceans are becoming more polluted with these ropes and nets as well as other debris such as plastic. This is a huge concern also for whales, dolphins, turtles, marine birds and fish because they also become entangled (or swallow) this marine debris. In the case of lost or discarded fishing gear in the water we refer to it as "ghost gear", because it silently keeps killing countless numbers of marine life, with much of this killing taking place unseen by us. The rope we ran over today was very thick and looked more like a mooring rope from a large ship rather than fishing gear. Nevertheless it can be a threat to big whales, so today we did our part in conserving the whales in the Azores by removing this rope from the ocean. Thanks to our clients today for understanding the situation and being very patient as we travelled back under the power of one engine.