Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dolphins all around!

Summer is definitely here, now that we are experiencing warmer temperatures, clear blue skies and very large groups of dolphins all around! Although we didn't see any whales today it turned out to be an amazing day to see several dolphin species. In the morning we sighted a large group of several hundred common dolphins spread out over a large area. From our observation boats we watched the dolphins leaping alongside our boats and surfing the waves, while our swimming clients saw the dolphins from a completely different viewpoint beneath the surface. During this tour we also encountered a young loggerhead turtle.

In the afternoon again we encountered several hundred common dolphins again, followed by striped dolphins in the same area. The striped dolphins have a characteristic way of travelling very rapidly using long synchronised leaps low over the surface of the water. It was interesting to watch that when the common dolphins saw this they began to copy the striped dolphins by changing their swimming behaviour to match them. Our afternoon tour ended with a nice encounter with a social group of at least 60 bottlenose dolphins close to the coastline. Our swimmers in the afternoon had the chance of swimming with both common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins.

Photos from the morning:

Common dolphin

One of our skippers, Mário, inspecting a loggerhead turtle

Loggerhead turtle

Photos from the afternoon:

Common dolphins

Striped dolphin (very fast and difficult to photograph)

Bottlenose dolphin - upside down tailslapping

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins (a very social group)

Bottlenose dolphin jump

Swimming with the bottlenose dolphins...

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