What you can not find everything on the sea. Today it took a while until we came into contact with the dolphins, but then we had nice encounters. In the school of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), three calves were fooling around. They stuck their heads out of the water and competed to jump a few times. The Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) were also keen to jump. The animals flew through the air. One kicked its tail fin to climb a little higher. It gave us a cheeky sideways glance to make sure we were admiring it too. We arrived just in time to see the diving Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) spotted for us by our spotter.
In the afternoon, we observed four Bottlenose dolphins migrating through the sea. By the way, dolphins are identified by their dorsal fins, which are absolutely individual for each animal. Things are a little different with whales. Here, the tail is normally used for identification. Of course, this can only be done on whales that show their flukes. These include Sperm whales. With them, the shape of the tail is used to identify the individual animals. With humpback whales it is even more differentiated, because with them both the shape of the tail and the black and white markings on the underside of the tail are used to identify. As with us humans with our fingerprints, no two animals have the same tail fluke pattern. It is, so to speak, a marine “fingerprint” of the marine mammals. Incidentally, only 30% of the population of blue whales show their flukes. This afternoon, two out of four Sperm whales showed their tails in the most wonderful way. As we entered the observation area, two Sperm Whales were resting, one head down while raising its tail repeatedly in the air, the other poking its head out of the water while also standing vertically in the water. When they were back in the horizontal position, they took a few more deep breaths and dived into the deep blue.
On the way to the Sperm whales, a huge piece (approx. 80 x 60 cm) of squid arm floated on the sea surface. A Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) took advantage of the fresh seafood. Unfortunately, there was no time to take a photo. We were in a hurry to get to the Sperm whales.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
14:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins, Sperm whales