Madeira’s usual wind direction is from the northeast. This enables a lee area in the southwest, even in strong north-easterly winds. For this reason, all whale watching companies are located in the southwest. But in winter it often happens that we are confronted with winds from the north-west, west, southwest and south. This of course impacts our ability to take guests out to our Blue Office. We all had to stay on land for over two weeks due to the weather conditions. So much wind, waves and rain. After such a long break on land, it is of course very exciting to visit our marine friends. What has happened during this time? Is someone there? If yes, who will we meet? Today we were definitely richly gifted. On the way to a pod of dolphins, we were stopped when suddenly discovered a spout. After seeing the spout a second time and heading to the whale, a school of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) appeared. They moved towards Funchal, and we had some closer contacts. The Tropical Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) staying close to the dolphins wasn’t easy to spot, but I would say we got a good sight of him. After another boat approached, we decided to leave the whale. When observing marine mammals, their well-being is without question the top priority. Two boats would not have been appropriate in this situation. Next we went to a group of Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). They were very sociable and even small calves stayed close to us. It was a very relaxed, calm and close encounter. Afterwards, we made our way to the Ribeira Brava. Unfortunately, our other boat didn’t have it as easy as we did today. So we also kept an eye out for Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) in their area. What a joy when they appeared! Drumond, our captain and spotter on the Stenella, and Silviano, our spotter on shore, had their hands full coordinating everything. Very well done! Our guests were happy.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
09:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Pilot whales
09:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Tropical whale, Common dolphins, Pilot whales