19.11.19 – A journey in good company
I had the absolute pleasure of welcoming 12 lovely guests on board our Ribeira Brava this mornings tour and, despite a questionable weather forecast for the afternoon, the sun was shining on a rather smooth ocean for the entire duration of the trip. Despite the dreamy conditions things weren’t easy for our crew. Our spotter was having trouble finding cetaceans and ended up relocating to Ribeira Brava to search the waters further east. It seems, however, what we were looking for was hiding very well in the waters not too far off Calheta.
A small and shy group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was discreetly heading eastward and the animals were swimming in the waters outside Madalena do Mar as we encountered them. The deep waters outside the quaint little village are a hotspot for Bottlenose dolphin sightings during our tours as are those outside Tabua near Ribeira Brava. The small school was moving in compact formation and contained several juvenile animals and calves, indicating that it may have been a nursery group. These units are comprised of the first social contacts in a young dolphins life and help determine its attitude to future interactions. Generally speaking, juveniles are often curious and the first young animal that approached the bow of our traditional boat was soon followed by the rest of the posse, including usually weary young mothers with their calves.
So after a long search, the patience of our guests and stamina of our team was duly rewarded with a sighting where the dolphins almost accompanied our boat until Tabua, their second hotspot. It was a long trip but it was spent in wonderful company…and by that I’m referring to both the dolphins and our lovely guests!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Loggerhead turtle