With a bit of start delay today, we went out to sea. It was a long drive with a lot of time to let ourselfes drift with the views of the island. A small delegation of four Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) was waiting for us. Since two other whale watching boats had already observed this subgroup and a fourth boat came after us, it was natural for us to keep the time with the animals short. The respectful handling of marine mammals comes first. Even though we would have liked to show our guests more, this was unfortunately not possible on this trip. A short, but fine sighting had our guests anyway.
In the afternoon, the signs also seemed to indicate that sightings were difficult, but Senhor Luis, our captain from the Ribeira Brava for the afternoon, found a large school of Atlantic Spotted dolphins. Our “summer” dolphins showed interest and checked out both our traditional fishing boat, as well as our speedboat. But the Spotted dolphins were not alone! A fast-moving group of Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) passed us with plenty of offspring. Since Striped dolphins are often more restrained by nature and were also traveling with several calves, we admired their jumping pleasure from a distance.
Oh yes, a big whale stayed up close to the coast. On closer inspection, it turned out that it was a Tropical whale (Balaenoptera edeni). Some people know this species of whale under the term “Bryde’s Whale”, but I do not like this naming at all, because Mr. Bryde was a whaler. In addition, the term “Tropical whale” in the quickest way explains an absolute preference of these whales! They just love it warmer! And for that reason, our best time to meet them is in July, August and September.
We never know what awaits us in our Blue Office. Sometimes there is a lot to see, sometimes not much and sometimes nothing at all. Sometimes the animals are curious and interactive, but at other times they hold back very much. Nature presents itself in different ways again and again. That’s what makes it exciting. We are visitors, always a guest! So we can be grateful for everything we get on our Atlantic excursions, even or especially on such mixed days!
So that we can continue to admire these beautiful marine mammals, whether large or small, I ask the guests of our tour today and the readers of this blog on our petition page (Whale Watching / Marine protection) to cast their vote for the protection of the animals. In advance I say “Thank you”!
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins
15:00 Atlantic Spotted dolpins, Striped dolphins, Tropical whale
15:30 Atlantic Spotted dolpins, Striped dolphins, Tropical whale