12.10.2020 – Blue desert
I am always humbled by the incredible diversity of life that can be found around this beautiful island! Madeiras deep waters seem inviting to a variety of species travelling through the ocean who are grateful for a sheltered space to rest and feed during their long journeys. The Atlantic also tends to be extremely generous; we were lucky to have many cetacean sightings with beautiful conditions at sea throughout the last weeks. This morning the ocean welcomed us again with perfect conditions but, despite this, it felt like we were searching a blue desert and unfortunately returned to Calheta without cetacean sightings on both tours.
We always try our best to have a sighting at sea but also know that we must take nature as it comes. Today a grievously injured Sunfish (Mola mola) gave a darker meaning to that phrase as it experienced its final struggles before death at the surface. The animal was covered in gory gashes, parasites and was even surrounded by a few Grey Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) seizing any opportunity to gnaw off a piece of the injured giant.
It was a sad, sobering and humbling sighting. These shy, pelagic fish are the largest of all bony fish and are often seen discretely feeding at the surface. To see this magnificent animal in such a weak state was sad but also showed that even the largest predators in the ocean feed the smallest fish and that such sad moments are actually all part of a stable cycle.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 No sighting
15:00 No sighting