Encountering cetaceans at sea is always an uplifting and inspiring experience, especially since we never actually know which species to expect! Sightings can last anything between 5 and 20 minutes and range from being relatively constant to extremely dynamic, with the animals behaviour changing in a heartbeat. A big and challenging part of the adventure often includes keeping up with the animals without actually chasing them…and this was definitely a big part of our sightings on this mornings Stenella tour.
Our morning began with a sighting of a dispersed group of Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) that were dashing east and the birds circling overhead were a clear indication that they were in fact hunting. It sure is a challenge to keep up with these extremely fast dolphins especially when they’re pursuing job but the careful approach from our captain alongside the group drew in a few of the more curious dolphins of the group and our guests had the chance to enjoy some moments with these beauties up close. After a brief bowride
After leaving the common dolphins our team began heading east when suddenly an enormous spout erupted at the surface of the Atlantic. A large baleen whale, likely a Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis), was heading west in the same direction as the dolphins. It’s large body, covered in scars reminiscent of cookie-cutter shark encounters, only appeared a handful of times at the surface in between a series of long, shallow dives which made the animal very difficult to track. After snapping some identification photos our team went on to observe yet another group of Short-beaked common dolphins before heading back to Calheta, with a boat full of beaming smiles!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Short-beaked common dolphins, Sei whale