A good season
The waters around Madeira can be quite mysterious, you never really know what you will find in the deep, to some this is phobia-inducing, the endless deep dark blue under our boat. But to us this limitless potential of wonder is the reason we set out every day with our gaze on the horizon and to see what we can find.
We also share these findings, not just with each other as one shares an experience, but also as data, information for local scientists so they can keep an eye on the ecosystem here, see how the populations change, what species thrive and what species don’t. As the climate changes, and the waters get warmer, some species may be seen more, whilst others less. With the abundance of cetacean species that we may encounter on our trip, we have the confidence to tell our guests that this is a cetacean safari and we are confident to find animals most of the time, understanding of course that it is still nature, and mother nature makes no guarantees.
This brings us to the story of Cape Town South Africa, another beautiful place to visit with many different species to observe, most famously the possibility to dive with Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Yet this season, not a single great white shark showed up. Where normally several hundreds show their scary face as they hunt seals at Seal island. Both the causes and the consequences are unknow, yet the season for those in Cape Town in the shark watching business must be a terrible one for sure.
Bringing the subject back to whales, it was actually suggested that a pod of Orcas (Orcinus orca) may be to blame, since Orcas are the apex predator, above even the Great White shark in the food chain, they may have scared them all away because a pod of large intelligent orcas will eat a great white for breakfast if they want to.
Beautiful creatures as the orcas are, they scare away dolphins as well, so we may hope no groups decide to call Madeira their home.
By Scott Dorssers