11.09.2017 – The benefit of the doubt
All eyes were on the ocean this morning as we set off to find dolphins to encounter in the water during our snorkeling tour. The Atlantic ocean surprised us during the first half of our journey with a small pod of Striped Dolphins that were in close proximity to a small, shy Sperm Whale. We enjoyed this sighting for some time before our search continued. At this time of the year many of our summer visitors, including the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin, leave Madeira for warmer waters so we were very relieved to encounter a small pod of these animals at the end of our tour. Most of our guests were able to enjoy hearing and seeing the young juvenile cetaceans underwater before we all dried up and returned to the marina. We had a similar sighting of adult spotted dolphins during our midday tour which were probably part of the dispersed group we encountered this morning. The guests on both tours were so enthusiastic and interested in the biology of the animals and this made our journeys today all the more enjoyable. There are so many unanswered questions about these truly remarkable animals and their complex behavior and it is an absolute pleasure to share the respect we have for them with our guests.
The humility we feel towards the animals is also directed to the Atlantic Ocean in general. The invigorating part of our job is that every tour is different and we just never know what we will encounter out at sea. We can only present to our guests what nature presents to us and this makes every single sighting unique and special. The encounters on the Stenella came as a positive surprise while the Ribeira Brava crew unfortunately had no sightings. Thankfully, our guests were nonetheless grateful for our efforts and understood that we did our best to show them a wonderful time out at sea.
by Paula Thake
13:30 No sighting
17:00 No sighting
09:00 Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Snorkeling), Striped Dolphins, Sperm Whale
12:00 Atlantic Spotted Dolphins