The ocean surprised us with a lovely variety of sightings today that delighted both our team and guests. The morning tours were filled with wonderful sightings of dolphins, that included a group of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as well as a curious pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). As always, the guests were thrilled at the encounters! Dolphins simply never disappoint but our team did their best to behave carefully around the animals since these magical encounters can only be achieved through mutual respect.
The same applies for the other cetaceans we managed to encounter later today. A Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) was discreetly navigating through the southwestern waters and engaging in several shallow dives when our spotter located it, probably to feed. Our Stenella even managed a wonderful sighting with a handful of Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris), a species that belongs to the elusive beaked whales, the deep diving cetaceans that are at the centre of marine biologists interests to understand more about the dark depths of our oceans.
Days like these are a marvellous demonstration of Madeira’s diverse array of marine life but also a reminder of how important the science studying these animals is. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to behave as responsibly as we’d like to around the animals and would not be able to share this valuable knowledge with our curious guests.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins
14:00 Blainville’s beaked whales, Bottlenose dolphins, Bryde’s whale
17:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bryde’s whale