Monday, 12 January 2015

Dolphin Watching in Portugal

What does someone who surveys marine mammals do on their day off? Go whale watching of course! It is more than a job or a hobby or an interest. Whale and dolphin watching gets into your blood, it is your passion. For our little Morgan spending time at sea on the water, watching her cousins swimming wild and free is the best feeling in the world. So when Andre Cid decided to do some dolphin watching around the Algarve in Portugal between work for WCA partner AIMM, it was only natural that he took Morgan with him.

Out on that wonderful blue ocean

First off they headed out from Alfubeira where AIMM has its research centre, on a small Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) in search of dolphins. Zooming over the azure blue sea Morgan and Andre scanned the waters for those signs that dolphins are around. A splash, a dark fin or back…. This time it was not meant to be. No dolphins or whales. But that is the way it is with wild whales and dolphins. That’s the point. They are wild. That is not to say there is nothing else to see. Just being out on the Ocean is bliss to Morgan, and this time the trip took them to see some of the spectacular geology of the region. Gently floating on the water, the RIB took them into one amazing cave so large it is aptly called Cathedral! 

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Just a few short weeks later and Morgan and Andre Cid were back out on the water. This time with WCA partner Cape Cruiser, based in Sagres. Once again they headed out across the blue waters in search of whales and dolphins. This time their luck was in! Pods of common and then bottlenose dolphins skimmed through the waves nearby. A group of small harbour porpoise, one of the smaller species of cetacean, rolled at the surface, their breath coming in short puffs. Then there was a minke whale, bigger than dolphins but actually one of the smallest baleen whales. Finally when things felt like they could not get any better…. Orca! A small group, eight or nine and for these waters a rare sight! In five years of working at sea in this region, this is only Andre Cid’s third sighting of Orca! What a rare and special treat!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year from Follow Free Morgan!

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