The sea gently rippled and the Ribeira Brava, our proud old girl, carried us leisurely over the bright blue ocean! The morning was gradually awakening, taking its time and the day smelled fresh and adventurous, but of course in a very gentle way.
And as if they were waiting for us, a large school of Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) were roaming not far from the shore in our Blue Office. They were all leisurely swimming around us and eager to explore. Is there anything better than looking down from the bow of the Ribeira Brava into the blue Atlantic and suddenly have your glance intersect with the brown eye of a dolphin? What a gentle experience, what a beautiful gift!
Also the second big school of the day were Atlantic Spotted dolphins, this time with some offspring. Two mothers were giving their calves some bow riding training. What a gentle experience, what a beautiful gift!
The Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that we encountered later on also had plenty of time and they swam relaxed through the blue. expanse. What a gentle experience, what a beautiful gift!
Gentle is also our approach because, for a guest hospitality is everything and, therefore proper behavior is paramount. During our contact with the animals, the captain keeps an eye on the species of marine mammals and how the animals behave in this situation. This then determines how an approach takes place. We are guests in this blue element, which is a nursery, a canteen and a living room for these wonderful animals. And does not it make you proud when you receive the gift of such special encounters while remaining respectful and approaching with attentive behavior?
If we say that every tour is different, then that’s an experience. As it was today because the afternoon tour was designed for adventurers. The Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) were reserved but offered us a moment that, according to our guests, felt like we were watching a real water ballet. We witnessed the dive of a Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and a Sperm whale baby enjoying abreach. This calf was extremely daring and boldly approaching us. Perhaps it thought that a member of the Sperm whale pod had appeared and it just wanted to say “hello”? It noticed it‘s misjudgment, when it touched the boat and, startled, it struck it with it‘s tail and took off. But the calf quickly approached again, raised his head, made a little turn in front of the bow of the boat and drifted vertically in the water. What an adventurous spectacle!
The Atlantic Spotted dolphins that followed were curious and interactive. What an adventurous spectacle.
Of course, on this trip as well, the approach to the different species was adapted to the behavior of the animals.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins
10:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Blainville Beaked whales, Bottlenose dolphins
15:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Sperm whales, Striped dolphins