We had some very interesting encounters this morning during our Riberia Brava trip. Thirty minutes into the tour and two nautical miles off Ponta do Sol, we encountered a group of common dolphins traveling and diving to hunt. Naturally, the animals didn’t show alot of interest in interacting with us since their top priority was food. Nonetheless, we watched the water’s surface carefully to see if any dolphin decided to surprise us with a spontaneous leap.
Suddenly Filipe, our skipper, spotted the dorsal fins of three beaked whales carefully moving towards our boat. We identified the individuals as Blaineville’s beaked whales and, to our surprise, they decided to spend a lot of time close to our boat. These whales occur in small groups of up to 9 individuals and are deep divers, often spending up to 45 minutes hunting underwater. Moreover, they are usually shy in nature and rarely approach boats but today they were so close that we could see the rake marks near their beaks from fights. It was amazing to see such curiosity from these discreet mammals, whose behavior has not yet been extensively studied.
After the whales left, we hadn’t even moved the boat when we were yet again surprised by a large group of Atlantic spotted dolphins. These dolphins never fail to impress, with their juveniles swimming playfully around the boat, occasionally leaping and bowriding. Atlantic spotted dolphins were also encountered by the Stenella tour guests at noon wrapping up a delightful and eventful morning for us at Lobosonda.
by Paula Thake
Sightings of the day:
09:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Common dolphins, Blaineville’s beaked whales
12:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins