25.09.2019 – Home
There is something magical about the ocean and everyone who has been aboard our tours is sure to agree. Despite its formidable power and it blanketing a world still widely mysterious to mankind, so many of us feel at home in the ocean. I’m one of them. The ocean is the reason I am here and why I have chosen the life I currently live..and why I’m also keen on sharing that passion and admiration with others!
Of course getting into the water and sharing experiences below the surface is a whole new thing altogether. During our snorkelling tours, guests who have never set for in saltwater did so for the first time out in the open ocean and were able to do so in the company of dolphins. Whatever fears the deep, dark ocean may stir up in you I assure you that these completely disappear when Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) materialise from the depths. These innately curious and cheeky characters give the omnipresent blue expanse a somewhat familiar and friendly touch. But for the spotted these are potentially unfamiliar waters; this species is a seasonal visitor in the waters of the Atlantic surrounding Madeira meaning some individuals in the school may have never even been here. Unlike human households, the home of dolphins has no barriers and is absolutely enormous. Of course every specie has a. Different relationship. To different regions of this vast habitat.
Scientists on the island are still in the process of describing the meaning of Madeira’s waters as a habitat for different species. A combination of photo, GPS and tagging data has shown that moist species use the islands waters as a convenient foraging and resting pitstop. Some also seek safety in the islands sheltered waters, like the compact nursery groups of the highly pelagic Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). Others, like the Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) tend to stick around for a significant amount of time, prompting scientists token consider some groups as residents. It is a delight to share these waters with such a charismatic species and, occasionally, we even have the pleasure of sharing them with the incredible Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Our guides. were able to take photos of the massive fluke of a juvenile Sperm whale today which will hopefully contribute nicely to the. Whale Tales project, a study dedicated to understanding the movement of these herds around the Macaronesian islands.
Sharing the world with such a variety of creatures is a luxury we are luckily still able to enjoy. If our time on the ocean is spent in a respectful and responsible manner and if we change our attitude towards our natural world, perhaps we can still enjoy it for centuries to come.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
09:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins
15:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales, Striped dolphins
18:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales