03.08.2018 – Wind of Change
Today the conditions out at sea changed drastically over the course of the day. The waves have been small during the early morning trip and we enjoyed a comfortable ride to the East. We went far offshore and covered a large area but unfortunately there were neither Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) nor Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) around.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed a nice sighting of more than 20 Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) not so far off the shore. The animals have been slowly travelling to the East, subgroups were socializing and we could even observe hunting behavior with jumping dolphins, lots of surface activity and a big Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) catching a fish out of the water. Madeira´s southern coastline, especially the impressive cliffs of Cabo Girão which culminate at a height of 580 m built a spectacular panorama for this close encounter.
It was also the Bottlenose dolphins who played around our traditional fishing vessel, the Ribeira Brava, in the early afternoon. The waves became higher and stronger during this tour. The conditions can change very fast out on the ocean and with further increases in the wind speeds we had to realize that this was the last trip of the day. White caps on the waves were visible all over the waters off Calheta and the gusting winds blew sand from the nearby beach to the marina.
But as fast as the wind can pick up, it can also slow down. According to the forecast it will be fine tomorrow and maybe this wind of change will bring us more marine animals and great sightings for the next few days.
by Jan-Christopher Fischer
Sightings of the day
08:30 (snorkeling) Bottlenose dolphins
12:00 Short-beaked common dolphins
13:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Shark