August sure is full of surprises! While our Stenella remained on dry land today for some maintenance, our traditional boat managed sightings of 3 different species on both her tours! And what a combination of species we were able to enjoy, all with little calves swimming alongside them!
In the morning our team managed a sighting with a large Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) that was peacefully foraging with her calf in front of Calheta. The pair had already been sighted a few times last week and our team recognised the pair through the calf’s folded dorsal fin. The lovely sighting was followed by encounters with Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), two oceanic dolphin species that often display curious behaviour towards our boat. Today, on both trips, the pods approached our traditional boat in the company of their little calves, who gleefully swam alongside their mothers, mimicking their every move.
Although the dolphins (as always) planted a huge smile on the faces of all guests on board, my personal favourite encounter today was with a group of, as yet, unidentified beaked whales. The small compact group had a little calf at its centre and, again, had us assuming that the animals may either be Gervais beaked whales (Mesoplodon europaeus) or the elusive True’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon mirus). If they are confirmed as the latter species, the True’s beaked whale would be a new confirmed species in the archipelago rounding the number of confirmed species to 28!
Beautiful baleen whales, curious dolphins and a potentially new species….this last week of August hasn’t been anything short of exciting for us in Calheta!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Bryde’s whale
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Unidentified beaked whale