Today the team aboard our Ribeira Brava was ready to set out onto a perfectly placid ocean that was grey with the glare of an overcast sky. Our spotter soon called with great news; he had found a group of Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) slowly travelling west. The hitch was that the animals were very far way, around 6 nautical miles off the coastline and that the wind was picking up fast. The news prompted our skipper, Pedro, to put our traditional boat into full throttle to get us to the sightings area as soon as possible and, as we were halfway there, the wind hit us and the sky opened up to let in the sun. Unbelievable how quickly conditions can change at sea!
Our guests still enjoyed the bumpy ride and were absolutely thrilled when we finally made it to the animals. Pedro maneuvered our boat parallel to the swim direction of the pilot whales and we had a wonderful time watching this large family of cetaceans glide alongside us. Pilot whales often lift their enormous globe-shaped heads high above the surface when they’re travelling through choppy waters in order to breathe properly. This was also observed during todays sighting and was particularly impressive to watch with the larger animals of the group, their enormous heads acting as wave breakers as they moved upwind. What a fantastic afternoon!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
14:30 Short-finned pilot whales