26.06.2018 – Os Traquinas
Today we had the pleasure of taking the young children of the kindergarten “Infantário Universo dos Traquinas” on board our traditional boat. The grandson of our captain, Senhor Luis, also attends this kindergarten but was unfortunately absent during this trip. The youngsters and their teachers enjoyed sightings with a group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as well as with a small, timid herd of Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus). In their usual dynamic manner, the Bottlenose dolphins repeatedly surprised our young guests with brief approaches to our boat and a few leaps and breaches. As expected, the little ones were extremely excited about these encounters. It’s always rewarding to have children on board; their intrinsic affinity to and interest in nature is amazing to watch and it’s truly fulfilling for our team to bring younger generations closer to these animals.
Bottlenose dolphins are notorious for being very active at the waters surface. They leap and breach to socialize and communicate with one another but also to inspect situations at the surface. Nowadays, the majority of scientists also agree that the animals leap because they simply enjoy it. Very often, this dynamic behavior can become a spectacle during a sighting involving this species, with one or two animals being particularly surface-active. This was the case during todays final tour, where a large individual repeatedly leapt high out of the water, demonstrating the physical strength and power of this species. And yes, these animals are indeed powerful. Oceanic Bottlenose dolphins, a type that frequently occurs here around the archipelago, can reach lengths of up to 3.8m and weigh as much as 650kg. The highest leap recorded was almost 6m high. These numbers speak for themselves but witnessing these impressive performances in the wild is beyond spectacular.
by Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
09:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Short-finned Pilot whales
11:00 Bottlenose dolphins
13:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins