What do you write on a day like this? Where do you start? What gets priority? Not without reason is today’s blog title: Beauty and the Beast!
But let’s start with the BEAUTY: NATURE!
This morning, the guests of our two boats saw between themselves on a smooth, summery sea: Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Blainville Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon densirostris), Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), a wonderful Sunfish (Mola mola) accompanied by some Pilot fishes (Naucrates ductor) , Portuguese man o’war (Physalia physalis), Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris borealis), a small flock of Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) and Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta).
The school dolphins became curious, approached the boat and let us admire them. Far off we met a small group of Striped dolphins and they too showed off their best side. Through a few long jumps, our guests saw the beautiful drawing of this dolphin species, which are otherwise so shy. The Bottlenose dolphins, just offshore the harbor traveled slowly and leisurely to the east.
Today everything was an absolute highlight! And yet there are many times (much more often than one assumes) SUPER highlights! This was this morning the case when we watched the Sunfish. The heaviest bone fish in the Sea Kingdom floated by the blue of the ocean next to our boat. For us, this fish was big, but in fact a small animal, because in diameter, these fish can reach a circumference of 3.30m and a weight of 2.3t. Their shape has probably earned them the name! As round as the moon, as round as the sun … in some languages “Moon” fish (Peixe lua/Poisson Lune/Mondfisch), in some Sunfish. He is a fish without scales! But his skin is leathery and up to 7.5cm thick. On our trip came the question of what these Superfish eat? On the menu are preferably gelatinous organisms, such as jellyfish and salves but also crabs, cephalopods, plankton, smaller fish are incorporated their food chain. I still have (and I’m sure our guests too) this wonderful experience in mind, as this wonderful Sunfish pulls through the incredible blue, accompanied by some small pilot fishes … it almost looked like they were showing him the way. Nature, the BEAUTY full of WONDER.
In the afternoon our guests had various sightings with different groups of Common dolphins. The nursery or kindergarten group was reserved towards us. Absolutely understandable and we left them to have their space. The second sighting with these beautiful dolphins was intense and breathtaking. And it got even better, because in the third version of Common dolphins, there were also absolutely interactive Striped dolphins, surfing Ribeira Brava´s bow wave. How often does this happen? More than rare!! A feast for the eyes!
Everything on the Sea, What We are permitted (and that word is deliberately chosen!) to experience is a wondrous, ever-changing, unique experience and a gift of nature. She, the BEAUTY gives herself with all her splendor!
But now for the BEAST! In the fairy tale, the beast is essentially a gentle fellow but the beast I’m talking about today is not! While we may experience such a natural luxury off Madeira’s coast, the beast rages elsewhere in human form! Broken souls (and I know, I express my personal opinion here) who commit atrocities against nature. The second grind took place this year. 80-100 beautiful Long-fined pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) fell victim to the madness of murderous people. How can man be capable of such acts? What a crime against nature! In this case, man is the BEAST, not a gentle but a malicious one! An occasion to remember our petition list (see Whale Watching Marine Protection at the bottom).
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10.00 Common dolphins, Blainville’s Beaked whales, Bottlenose dolphins, Sunfish
14:30 Common dolphins, Striped dolphins
10:00 Common dolphins, Striped dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Sunfish