Our Daily Trips

Like old school sailors we keep our daily trip journals & reports, feeding our blog on a daily basis with the best selection of photos and stories to tell, registering everything. Check out the amazing stories and photos we collect every day...

29.07.2018- Pit-stop

29.07.2018- Pit-stop

I always tell our guests to keep a sharp lookout for marine birds and their behavior out at sea as they may be an indication of animal activity. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), for instance, often swim close to shore and are often spotted leaping or hunting by observers on the coastline. Today observers in Calheta had alot to see in front of the marina; a large group of around 100 or more Bottlenose dolphins had congregated within a larger area near the coast, stretching from Jardim to Mar to Ponta do Sol. Some foraging advantages probably drove these animals to hunt here in their clearly defined sub-groups. While some Bottlenose dolphin individuals are partially resident, oceanic islands like Madeira generally serve as a temporary habitat and are comparable to a gas station or a diner near the freeway. Various cetaceans and many other marine species pass these islands to rest within their deep, sheltered waters before continuing on their journey through the ocean. Whale-watching companies like Lobosonda aid in the monitoring of frequently sighted or newly encountered species and thereby contribute to the greater understanding of the diversity of oceanic island habitats like the Madeiran archipelago.

Apart from the large group of Bottlenose dolphins, we also saw several Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) basking at the waters surface to warm up and breathe. These turtles are mainly juvenile and have come to Madeira after crossing the Atlantic ocean from nesting beaches in Florida or Cape Verde. The  islands waters, however, may also serve as a pitstop for other marine turtle species travelling through the Atlantic ocean such as Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate). An individual belonging to the latter was found wounded close to Canical yesterday and taken to the veterinary hospital of Madeira for rehabilitation. In contrast to frequently sighted Loggerhead turtles, Hawksbill turtles have a less bulkier head and a more pronounced beak which they use to forage for sponges and venomous cnidarians around lagoons or coral reefs. This critically endangered tropical species is rarely seen around the waters of Madeira and will be released back into the ocean upon recovery. This event once again underlines the diversity of species that can be encountered around oceanic islands like Madeira.

By Paula Thake

Sightings of the day

Ribeira Brava

15:00 Bottlenose dolphins

Stenella

09:00 Bottlenose dolphins

15:30 Bottlenose dophins

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