So beautiful, so cute, so cuddly they are, the Rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis). A subgroup swam in front of the boat to show us the way to the Tropical whale (Balaenoptera edeni) and the other members of the school … or so it seemed. If you look down from the Ribeira Brava, a large, dark eye looks towards you, or the curvy drawing on the back is reminiscent of the curves of a woman. But what I find most beautiful is that when viewed from above, they look like angels. Today’s encounter with the marine mammals was phenomenal. In such situations it is almost as if your heart is carried away by the dolphins into the blue depths.
The Tropical whale did its rounds while in the company of the Rough-toothed dolphins. Identification of these baleen whales is safest when the head area can be clearly seen. Rorqual whales, a subgroup of the baleen whales, have a central ridge on their head. However, the Tropical whale still has two sidebars. But the humpback whale is an exception, it does not have a ridge.
So today we had a beautiful, angelic morning tour.
The afternoon was great too. Our Tropical whale, which was far to the west in the morning, had made its way to Calheta and was now quite close to the coast. The sociable Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) sometimes swam in the “bow” of the whale’s head. But since there were many, many Spotted dolphins in number, we also had these little dolphins in front of the boat. And these dolphins as well kidnapped quite a few hearts of our guests and the guide.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10.00 Rough-tooted dolphins, Tropical whale
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Tropical whale