24.10.2019 – Wind, waves and whales
Wind, waves and whales – everyone in our team knows that these three are among the gifts of nature most appreciated by our Stenella captain, Daniel Jardim. It seems the Atlantic Ocean was also aware of this and provided all three to him on his birthday today, making this mornings Stenella tour an unforgettable and adventurous ride for both crew and guests.
Strong wind was anticipated in the Southwest making the waters near Calheta quite choppy and difficult for finding animals so our spotter, Carlos, searched the Northwestern waters from Ponta do Pargo and advised us to head to the area. Doing tours in this part of the island is always a healthy change for our team; the luscious green coastline near Porto Moniz is a breathtaking backdrop to potentially beautiful sightings. After finding a small school of Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) for us, the sharp eyes of our brilliant spotter soon discovered a group of giants foraging 4 and a half miles off the coastline. Daniels masterful approach with our zodiac allowed us to have a beautiful close encounter with a group of Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) that were socialising at the surface. During these gatherings, the animals often rub their bodies against one another and shed skin that may look like floating plastic at the surface. Today this was not the case but one of the larger animals had white pigmentations that resembled scratches that may have occurred during her hunts in the deep.
Either way sightings with Sperm whales are always full of surprises and we were all a little sad to leave the area when it was time to head back. However, our captains excellent driving through the choppy waters made our return an absolute experience in itself. It was a morning that required a great amount of concentration and effort on the side of our team and we delivered. This makes me so proud of our team and so happy for our guests!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Striped dolphins, Sperm whales