Today we had to postpone guests on a possible afternoon tour to the morning due to weather-related reasons. Wind and waves were announced for the second half of the day. But the wind was swift. As soon as we left the port, the sea was crowned by light foam caps. But our guests were in good spirits. It was actually worth going out, otherwise we would have missed rare visitors, some tourist of the high seas.
So-called resident coastal Bottlenose dolphins can be found off Madeira’s coast. We can observe these groups all year round. However, a sighting of the offshore variant is more unusual. These much more powerful, oceanic Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are often very interactive. It was the same today. While the adults in the group had spread out over a wide area, the teenagers took the chance to hiss our boat. Again and again they rushed towards us, turned while swimming in the bow wave, to the side and risked a look at us. The small and large guests enjoyed it very much. Surfing the waves seemed to be very popular within the adults in the group of dolphins.
Yes, the genus Tursiops has a large distribution area. They can be found in all three oceans. Therefore, there are three different species in this genus, namely the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin, the Pacific Bottlenose dolphin and the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin.
Our visitors today may just pass Madeira. But the hope remains that they might stay with us for a little while. In any case, they are welcome guests.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sighting of the day
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins (offshore version)