24.07.2017 – A glimpse into the deep
The guests on today`s tours can definitely tell stories of an eventful Monday. We started off the week with our usual snorkelling excursion in the morning where our guests were greeted by a small group of Atlantic spotted dolphins. The people in the water enjoyed a true learning experience regarding interactions with these creatures. Our first entry into the water was rather loud which caused the dolphins to keep their distance but as our guests grew more accustomed to the tour`s procedure and behaved calmer in the water, the dolphins approached us and inspected us underwater. At the end of the trip, the dolphins seemed so pleased with us and kept following the Stenella speedboat as if expecting us to return back into the water. This once again underlines the fact that we can still learn alot about and from these intelligent creatures.
The first Ribeira Brava tour had the pleasure of encountering a group of Common dolphins close to shore, who swam so close to the bow of the boat that their squeaks could be heard by our guests. As we moved on to search for other species of cetaceans we spotted a quid cracas at the water surface. The animals features in the pictures we took indicate that it might have belonged to the genus Histioteuthis, or cock squids, deep sea creatures that serve as a favorite meal Sperm and Piilot whales. According to some studies, these molluscs have been frequently found dead at the water`s surface in the North Atlantic islands, mainly in Madeira and Cape Verde. The fairly decomposed animal did more than just fascinate our guests; it was providing shelter for a triggerfish that was shyly swimming under the squids head. In the open ocean there aren`t many places to hide
The tours during the later afternoon on both vessels were filled with a variety of other cetaceans, including Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins and more Atlantic spotted dolphins and Common dolphins.
by Paula Thake
13:30 Common dolphins
17:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Common dolphins, Pilot whales
09:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins (Snorkelling)
15:30 Common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Pilot whales
18:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Pilot whales