The Lobosonda team was all smiles on this fine morning as we were finally able to head out to find some dolphins for the first snorkelling trip of the summer season. Its hard to describe how wonderful it was to finally get back in the water with Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). Watching the animals curiously approach and zap you with their sonar as they squeak and whistle amongst each other is simply mind-blowing and impossible to get used to.
Today a group of about 40 spotted dolphins swam directly towards our snorkelers as soon as we entered the water and drifted alongside us as the boat gently towed us through the Atlantic Ocean. The first animals to approach us are usually juvenile animals, who are freckled by a spot pattern that will intensify as they mature and that can even be used for the identification of individual animals. Once the pod feels comfortable around us, they usually begin socialising with one another displaying a series of behaviours that can only be admired to this extent below the surface.
Apart from our underwater encounters with the spotted and a brief sighting of a Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), we were also able to remove a large floating piece of plastic debris. Finding such a large piece of plastic in the ocean gave our team a proper reality check. The silver lining during the COVID-19 crisis was seeing pictures showing the gradual recovery of the natural environment inner absence and the clearing of air pollutants from the skies around the planet. Such images also gave us the impression that, once quarantine was over, we would return to find a more pristine ocean. Sadly, our plastic tide and ecological footprint is much larger and more destructive than we think. Humanity can endure a virus but will not be able to survive on a planet that has been destroyed by our careless behaviour. This is definitely food for thought that encourages us to do better in future!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
09:30 Atlantic spotted dolphins (Snorkeling), Loggerhead turtle