This morning (almost) everything seemed to be at rest. Just out of the harbor, we discovered a monk seal (Monachus monachus), which was resting lazily on the surface of the sea between its dives. There are three different types of Monk seals in total. The subgroup we can encounter here is the Mediterranean monk seal. Monk seals were hunted heavily, their numbers are very reduced. On the Desertas Islands, small neighboring islands of Madeira, there is a small colony. Finding them off Madeira’s coast is extremely rare. But we were lucky and were able to admire the sleeping beauty with her cute facial expression and double chin.
The three Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) we encountered moved very slowly and calmly through the sea. The small Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) was also floating relaxed on the surface of the sea. Waiting for the Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), on the other hand, put our guests in a resting mode. We only saw their spouts from a distance.
The afternoon then became turbulent. Straight out of the harbor, the first guests saw a flying fish (Ceilopongo melanurus) sailing across the surface of the sea. The subsequently discovered Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) imitated him. As if at the push of a button, the Spotted dolphins started their wild speed and sailed across the sea. It took our unhurried Ribeira Brava a while to catch up. But then there was a cozy, intense encounter with these little dolphins. In one picture you can see a plastic bag that a dolphin carries over the fluke like an accessory. The piece of plastic was later lost in the blue. In any case, it is a very clear reminder for us to pay attention to our own plastic consumption.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Monk seal, Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales (only the spout was seen from a distance), Loggerhead turtle
15:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Flying fish