One warm, cloudless morning, we boarded a RIB (Rigid inflatable boat) and sailed out into the Atlantic. The onboard marine biologist told us about the various species that call Madeira home and as we sailed over the deep, blue sea, suddenly the captain roared into life, as he spotted the blow of a dolphin. We edged closer ever so slowly, the engine idling softly and then we heard the puff of air and water, as a pod of Atlantic-spotted dolphins swam in unison through the sea.
It was an absolutely fantastic sight to see. The dolphins swam close to the boat, dipping and diving, intrigued by our vessel. I hopped off the boat, mask and snorkel fitted and held on to the rope handle, as the boat gently idled forward. The massive pod of dolphins swam next to, around and underneath our boat, squeaking away at each other in a playful manner.
Seeing them underwater was an incredible experience and one I will never forget – they effortlessly glided through the warm ocean water, beautifully weaving up and down, it was utterly breathtaking. At 23°C, it was the warmest sea I have ever been in and I didn’t want to get out! I’m already planning my return…
Photography by Jono and Rota dos Cetaceos