The sun was burning down onto the calm Atlantic Ocean today, revealing some of its best kept treasures. Our spotter soon discovered a pod of Sperm whales (Physter macrocephalus) foraging outside Jardim do Mar and our crew rushed to the scene. The sperm whales, however, were not in the mood to interact. The gentle giants were resting at the surface, a pastime that along with socialising dominates their time at the surface and a state where they prefer not to be disturbed. We saw a total of around 8 different sperm whales before darting east to meet a pod of Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba).
These beautiful yet evasive dolphins tend to arrive in Madeira in smaller sub-groups of 20-30 animals. Out in the open ocean they are known to travel in enormous pods that may consist of over 500 animals and often include other species, such as Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis).
So our team arrived in Calheta after a beautiful afternoon out on the ocean with sightings of one of the largest as well as a sighting of one of the smaller but most beautiful members of the toothed cetacean family. Our team, for one, was definitely satisfied!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
13:30 Sperm whales, Striped dolphins