12.03.2020 – Facing Ribeira Brava
Our traditional boat, the Ribeira Brava, isn’t the fastest vessel of our little fleet but what it lacks in speed it definitely makes up for in charm. Today the ocean was placid as we cruised eastward where our spotter had tracked down a group of dolphins. The dolphins were in a calm mood when our spotter discovered them, making them bit harder to find so we ended up cruising around the waters outside Tabua and Ribeira Brava to find them. As we scanned the area small flocks of Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) flew by, birds that are usually directly involved with any hunting situations occurring around the island. Then the call from our spotter came; the dolphins had started hunting again just outside Ribeira Brava.
Two Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) were hunting a terrified school of Halfbeaks (Belone belone) as our traditional boat entered the waters outside the town of its namesake. The animals were leaping high into the air and darting to and fro near the fish, before another 4 dolphins joined the hunting party. Strangely enough, no birds were involved apart from one adult Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) who clumsily dodged the dolphins sprint attacks below the surface as it waited for backup. Soon, it was time to return back to Calheta and we enjoyed a lovely cruise back to our marina aboard our unique traditional boat.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Short-beaked common dolphins