What an eventful day! Both our boats drove out to sea this morning with our Stenella set on finding Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) for our snorkelling tour and our Ribeira Brava leaving half an hour later with a new skipper at the rudder, Pedro Ponte. Pedro is currently filling in for Filipe, who became a father on World Ocean Day and is temporarily off duty spending the first month of his newly born daughters life with his family. Congratulations Filipe…and welcome Pedro!
While the Stenella had a great snorkelling tour with lovely guests, Pedro had a great first run on our traditional boat with two groups of Atlantic spotted dolphins bow-riding at the Ribeira Brava’s bow and peeking up at their excited admirers. His careful approach gave the dolphins ample time to initiate an interaction and we even managed to observe some Skipjack (Katsuwomus pelamis) hunting at the surface in our way out to the sighting. Such a blissful start to the day!
The afternoon tour aboard the Stenella was also full of encounters with cheeky spotted dolphins as well as lovely moments with a group of Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus). Ironically, Daniel and I had spoken about how sparse sightings had been with this species in the last months just this morning so it almost felt as if they had heard our conversation and turned up to remind us that they weren’t going anywhere.
Apart from the lovely encounters with cetaceans, our team also spotted a number of Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) basking at the surface, with the majority timidly diving down as we approached while others remained lazing in the summer sun.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Loggerhead turtles
09:30 Atlantic spotted dolphins (snorkelling)
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Short-finned pilot whales, Loggerhead turtles