29.03.2019 – Luck and perserverance
The fact that we work with highly active, mobile animals that live in a habitat that is subject to ever-changing conditions makes our job often qute challenging. All encounters can be considered as a generous surprise from the ocean and we have to anticipate that things don’t always go as planned, with some tours ending with no cetacean sighting.
Giving things a second chance, however, also tends to pay off once in a while. We had two guests aboard our Stenella this morning who had been on a previous tour on our traditional boat that unfortunately ended with no cetacean sighting. Today they experienced a large, dispersed mixed group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus). Although sightings are rather frequent with these two species, it’s not granted that these dolphins approach our boats, particularly if there are so many calves present in the group! Moreover, having sightings in the morning with some baby dolphins and pilot whales is generally a good start to the day, so I was happy for everyone on board!
The guests aboard our Ribeira Brava this afternoon weren’t so lucky. Our spotter searched the Southwest waters for the entire duration of the trip and briefly managed to spot a small herd of Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) shortly surfacing between foraging dives. These suction feeders spend the majority of their time in the deep, where they also socialize and travel. We sometimes have beaked whale sightings close to Calheta but, today, the animals didn’t return to the surface in time.
I felt sad for all the guests on board because they seemed so excited about seeing cetaceans but, thankfully, all of them understood that nature isn’t programmed and nonetheless enjoyed cruising aboard our traditional boat. Sometimes even we need to remind ourselves that nothing is granted on the Atlantic ocean but, with a sprinkle of luck and perserverance, we can enjoy some rewarding moments.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
14:30 No sighting
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Short-finned pilot whales