Today was a day of dolphins, and a diverse one at that. We usually like to make sure our guests know that observing dolphins in the wild can mean many different things. The experience depends on the animals, and in their own domain they decide if and what they will show us. Today we saw these differences very clearly.
Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) is a beautiful large dolphin, yet shy. Identified easily by the scarred white heads, these deep-water hunters tend to be wary of boats and we are fortunate to get a glimpse of them here and there.
The Atlantic Striped dolphins (Stenella Coueroalba) were quite different, travelling at speed and jumping through the air to reduce friction and sometimes breaching and twirling in the air. They make for a fun but completely different experience.
And then there are the Short-beaked Common dolphins (Delphinus dephis)! These guys are quite a different story. They often like to come close, check us out, bow-ride a little and play alongside us. We’ve grown quite fond of seeing their faces pop up right next to our boat. When we look down from the bow and see them gliding gracefully in the picturesque blue world that is their home, it is impossible not to smile and appreciate how fortunate we are to share this experience.
But as we were returning to shore, reminiscing these three vastly different dolphin experiences, we were in for a bonus round: a Marlin (Istiophoridae) leaped high out of the water, and then again for those that had missed it! A breath-taking experience that caught us by surprise, making it a worthy finale to a lovely day out on the water.
By Scott Dorssers
Sightings of the day
09:00 Short- Beaked Common dolphin, Risso’s dolphins, Atlantic Striped dolphin, Loggerhead Sea turtle, Marlin.