Today we were lucky enough to observe two of the twenty Beaked whales that were around. These whales are considered very shy and thus difficult to explore. PATIENCE is announced! Many questions are still unclear regarding these animals. This shows once again that we only see a tiny little part of the overall picture. For this reason, it is extremely important to move with understanding and caution in this blue world. Our influence on the oceans, whose infinite widths and depths we have only partially explored and this complex ecosystem, which we have hardly penetrated so far, must be treated with care by us.
How exciting to meet animals, to observe them, of which we know so little. Of course that means for us guides that we can not provide all the answers right now. But what I like about it is the realization that we must always (!) remain open for the new wonders, for new insights. The mind must be ready to rethink completely, turn everything upside down. What can be better, more exciting? This is a great adventure … for the mind and for the heart and soul. It is the adventure of nature! I am always grateful for that!
But now some impressions of the day ….
The Blainville Beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) glided relaxed through the morning sea. From time to time, the male of the group emerged in the typically steeply raised swimming style. Each tooth on the left and right with barnacle growth was easy to recognize. The calf, still very light, stayed close to mom. It was beautiful to know that these whales, which are well known to vanish quickly, swam in a super relaxed mood close to us.
Then we had the contrast program, the stormy wild Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis)rushed through the sea. A small subgroup took care of their future … we hope that we can admire the result of the love here next year. 🙂
In the afternoon there were twice Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), which kept as usual their distance.
But on the way back to harbor, our guests were able to have at least a quick look at rare Madeira guests. Cuvier’s Beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) were visiting!!
Cuvier Beaked whales are easily identifiable due to their powerful physique, their short beak and unique coloring. The body is dark gray to light russet brown and her head is much lighter, almost white. Behind the melon Cuvier Beaked whales have a characteristic depression. As they grow older, males often become brighter and scarred. Some animals have an orange coating on their skin, which can come from a diatom overgrowth. In adult males, two small teeth are visible at the tip of their mandible, which are not apparent in females or young.
Waiting was announced in the evening! So patient were our guests and they truly deserved to watch these rare Cuvier Beaked whales, but unfortunately no animal appeared. This gave us a pretty concrete idea of how difficult research work can be with these shy marine mammals.
Finally, two record numbers … after a few short dives, these exciting visitors disappear during their long dives for 50-90 minutes to a depth of 800-1800m. But they are even able to dive to 3000m depth. Her long measured dive time was: 140 minutes!!!!
by Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
09:00 Blainville Beaked whales, Atlantic Spotted dolphins
13:30 Atlantic Spotted dolphins
09:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic Spotted dolphins
15:30 Striped dolphins, Cuvier Beaked whales
18:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins