30.06.2018 – Dolphin-Day
This Saturday was a true dolphin-day, we saw them on all our trips. Despite of a bit of swell in the morning and early afternoon we encountered both Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates). We also had our first snorkeling tour of this summer season with the common dolphins today: a truly amazing experience to see and hear those playful animals in their element, eye to eye, them checking us and ourselves checking them out.
During the afternoon trip, it was exactly this mutual curiosity from our side in the boat as well as from the dolphins themselves that initialized a drop by of a big pod of more than 50 common dolphins around our vessel. After a fun ride through the waves, we found the animals travelling. They swam close to the surface and occasionally jumped simultaneously in line formations out of the breakers – we had a spectacular view!
It is very impressive to see how energy efficient those dolphins move. They like to surf in the waves and use each other’s wake created by the bodies moving through the water to save power. Especially very young calves stay close to an adult animal while travelling. That way the little dolphins benefits from the body waves of their mum or an aunt and are able to follow the group on the daily migrations.
Another factor for dolphins to save energy while roaming through their offshore habitats is the positioning in specific formations. Synchronized swimming does not only play an important role for the social interactions of dolphins as this shows sympathy and affection, but it is also the most effective form of travelling in bigger groups. Different animals take turns in leading and therefore are able to relax after their shift in the paceline.
Dolphins are fascinating and inspiring in many ways. It´s always great to learn something new about their lives during our daily encounters.
by Jan-Christopher Fischer
Sightings of the day
10:00 Short-beaked common dolphins
09:00 Short-beaked common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins
12:00 Short-beaked common dolphins
15:30 Bottlenose dolphins