29.04.2019 – A broader horizon
Both our boats had wonderful sightings today. I had the pleasure of guiding a wonderful trip aboard our traditional boat this afternoon where we saw no less than 3 different species of cetaceans. The beautiful summer-like conditions and crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean only heightened the quality of our sightings, making this a truly unforgettable afternoon.
The trip started off with a pod of Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), whose decorative, hydrodynamic bodies sped alongside our Ribeira Brava’s colourful bow, allowing us to easily admire these decorative dolphins up close. Our captain then steered the boat further West where our spotter informed us of a group of Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). As we approached the Sperm whales we noticed a pod of Bottlenose dolphins (
) in the area, who also decided to approach our traditional boat to take a glance at their admirers. We then observed something that surprised our guests but our team is already fairly used to: the dolphins began to interact with the Sperm whales. The whole thing seemed quite peaceful, even playful, as the dolphins swam around the young Sperm whale calf that barrel rolled in the water in between the two larger females, who didn’t seem to mind the presence of the smaller cetaceans.
The altruism of Bottlenose dolphins never fails to fascinate me. They are the species that we most often see engaging in interactions with other species and they also always seem to be the species instigating such associations. Considering the intelligence and complex behaviour already observed by scientists with this species, it wouldn’t surprise me if such interactions would help broaden the horizon of each individual dolphin and help improve their social skills. Either way it is always an interesting spectacle and left everyone smiling as we slowly cruised back to the marina.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
14:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins, Sperm whales
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins