Windy seas with a strong glare from the overcast sky aren’t exactly the perfect conditions for finding animals out at sea. On top of that, a curtain of mist stretched along the coastline of the Southwest obscuring the eagle eyes of our spotter…but Carlos sees all and it wasn’t long before he began guiding the Ribeira Brava to a group of dolphins further out at sea this morning. The dispersed group of Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) wasn’t interested in an interaction and as soon as we understood that no change in this evasive behaviour could be expected any time soon, we began to head back to the marina.
The wind and mist continued throughout the afternoon and our Stenella set off to find whatever awaited us in the waters of the Southwest. Before long, Carlos informed us of a compact group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that contained a few smaller calves, providing us with a lovely sighting as they curiously watched us from between the waves. As we observed the Bottlenose, our spotter called informing us of Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) further West so we slowly set off right after we left the dolphins to see if we could meet some other species on the way. Surely enough, some Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) surprised us on the way, gleefully leaping alongside us as we darted through the waves. The wind turned and blasted us from the west as researched for the Sperm whales and we soon managed quick glimpse of a fluke in the area but the conditions and cautious behaviour on the side of the large toothed whales didn’t allow for more. No-one took the evasive nature of the gentle giants personally, instead we were all grateful for each and every encounter out on the silvery seas today.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Striped dolphins
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales