16.01.2021 – The right decision
The objective of this morning’s tour was to find a nice group of curious Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) or Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) for our lovely snorkelling guests to meet in the water. We had enjoyed encounters with both species during recent tours, particularly with common dolphins that generally are more abundant during this time of the year. Most of these sightings, however, involved small groups that were busy hunting Garfish (Belone belone) and our team isn’t permitted to conduct snorkelling in such situations.
These small hunting parties of common dolphins were exactly what our spotter had found for us today and our crew decided to head out and check whether among these dispersed subunits, there was a group that had finished hunting and that was large enough to get into the water with. We approached three different groups of common dolphins during our trip and, while the amount of dolphins seemed to increase slightly with every sighting, all groups seemed more interested in securing a meal than interacting with our boat.
Interacting with a handful of dolphins that are clearly more interested in catching their prey would not only be irresponsible, it would go against local regulations that aim to ensure the protection of the species and that whale-watching platforms keep their behaviour in check when being around cetaceans. Our guests fully understood this and happily enjoyed the sighting from the boat, which only shows how much more appreciated responsible encounters have become and emphasised that our team handmade the right decision. We hope that they will return again soon and that, next time, we will be able to share a beautiful underwater encounter with them!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
09:30 Short-beaked common dolphins