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Our Daily Trips

Like old school sailors we keep our daily trip journals & reports, feeding our blog on a daily basis with the best selection of photos and stories to tell, registering everything. Check out the amazing stories and photos we collect every day...

02.10.2019 – Anywhere the wind blows

02.10.2019 – Anywhere the wind blows

Our work is largely dependent on the conditions out on the ocean and, while we needn’t worry about bad weather conditions in summer, things can get bit more tricky as winter gradually approaches. Todays approaching southeast wind only allowed our crew to embark on tours in the morning. As we were heading out from Calheta marina, the sea seemed glassy with a barely noticeable sea breeze before gradually transitioning to a stronger gust further out. The white caps caused by the wind should have made things more difficult for our spotter but Carlos’ expertise never disappoints; we soon stumbled upon a large school of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) that were swiftly heading east. Under such conditions there are few marine mammals that create such an incredible mood during a sighting and our guests were delighted at meeting our charismatic summer dolphins. The more timid cousins of the spotted, the Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruloalba) were also close by but their evasive nature made them blend in nicely with the choppy waters.

At the beginning of our encounter with the spotted, the Stenella crew spotted a sleek looking fish, gently swimming below the surface. It turned out to be a Remora (Perciformes), a ray-finned fish that we often see attached to marine mammals, turtles, sharks and other larger marine predators. It does this using a specialised sucker at the top of its head. Remoras have a sort of mutualistic agreement with their host, removing ectoparasites and excess skin whilst the small fish receives ample protection from predators and a continuous ventilation of its gills as the host travels through the ocean. It isn’t a rarity to actually spot a remora attached to a marine predator but it is seldomly observed swimming freely at the surface like the one we saw today, a place where these fish are especially vulnerable to predators. The small, brown animal cautiously avoided our boat, swimming off almost in a shark-like manner.  We soon left to continue seeing the spotted dolphins, hoping that the Remora would soon find the protection of another host. 

At the end of the sighting with the spotted,  the Ribeira Brava headed east with the dolphins and our zodiac veered west in search of the Striped dolphins or any other species. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anything else and began to head back to the marina, in time before the strong winds hit the southwest waters after noon.  

By Paula Thake

Sightings of the day

Ribeira Brava

10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins

Stenella 

10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins

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