There are very descriptive words in the English language that are more than suitable to summarise a day on the ocean and the one for today was without a doubt: epic! What a morning! We had a fantastic group of guests geared up for our snorkelling tour with Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) but, before sliding into the water with those charismatic creatures, we had the pleasure of meeting an equally charming species. Rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis) surprised our crew in the waters outside Jardim do Mar and enchanted our guests with their inquisitive and seemingly playful behaviour. Sightings with this deep-diving species aren’t very frequent in the waters of Madeira and this fact combined with their mysterious social lives makes such encounters a true jackpot for our crew.
After the Rough-toothed dolphins we returned to our mission of finding some spotted dolphins to snorkel with and then our spotter, Carlos, found an ideal group. Our guests slid into the water one by one, behaved perfectly around the animals and were rewarded with a spectacular encounter. Towards the end, a large tuna was even visible diving amongst the spotted dolphins probably hoping for some hunting advantages. It was a rare and unforgettable sighting which even made our captain green with envy! It was a morning that made the rest of my day; thank you to all our participants!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
09:30 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Rough-toothed dolphins