In the morning we saw Pilot whales with calves. These whales have a distictive form of their dorsal fin. It has a broad base and in older animals it is extremely curved backwards. Extraordinary is their social structure. These beautiful animals are highly sociable and lives together in a matriarchy, with an experienced female leading the group. When a female dives down for hunting and her calf remains at the surface, other females babysitt her calf and take care that no predator approach.
On the afternoon tour, spotter Carlos lead us to a big school of oceanic bottlenose dolphins. They were travelling in a high speed in eastern direction. Skipper Senhor Luis had to speed up as well (Ribeira Brava) in order to follow the animals for some time. The oceanic or offshore type of bottlenose dolphin is bigger than the ones (inshore type) we usually used to see in Madeira. The oceanic version lives rather offshore at high sea.
Many our guests are well equipped with various types of cameras, it is a familiar view. Today, the sightings were recorded in another way, by sketchbook. Little Serena from Switzerland (age around 4-5 years) first observed Cory’s Sherarwater and later the Atlantic spotted dolphins. Then she sketched the animals in her book with a pencil, considering also the details. Big compliment Serena, your drawings were great.
by Astrid Haas
Sightings of the day:
09.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins and Pilotwhales
17.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins and Offshore Bottlenose dolphins