What a wonderful trip!
Hardly out of the harbor, we had our first sighting with the Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). But were they really all big? NO, to our delight not, because there was a small calf with visible birthmarks (check out our photos) in the school. Such a sighting requires a great deal of sensitivity. Filipe, our captain on the Ribeira Brava, left the animals room and took time to create a situation in which the animals were ready to approach us. However, the group, which initially behaved cautiously, gradually changed its behavior. Finally, the mother even brought her little calf into our bow wave. A captain who understands his craft and acts with mindfulness and respect can do magic. And so it was, all guests had this extremely magical moment to be able to experience such a small creature from another habitat so consciously. It was wonderful! Thanks, Filipe!
In the immediate vicinity of our sighting with the Bottlenose dolphins, a group of the Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) moved through the bright blue. We also saw a second group of this small dolphin species on our tour today. It was interesting that one of our bow wave riders had a row of barnacles (Pedunculata) on his left beak tip. You can see this very well on one of our photos. Barnacles filter plankton from seawater.
On our way home we encountered a maritime subspecies, the Kayakus homo sapiens ;). In summer, we sometimes have the pleasure of meeting young kayakers out at sea, who plunge into the stern wave of the Ribeira Brava with pleasure. When they have found the perfect place in the wave, the pull of the ship takes the kayakers with them. A very convenient way to enjoy the way back to port. By the way, small dolphin calves use the same suction effect of their mother to keep up with the dolphin school with ease. And here’s a little tip for whale lovers! In our Lobosonda shop there is great pottery bowls and little wonder whales by Marion Loch (mari-made-it-ceramics).
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic Spotted dolphins
09:30 Atlantic Spotted dolphins
15:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Striped dolphins, Blainville Beaked whales, Loggerhead turtle