Posted by: onboardtourswhales | May 29, 2018

Madeira Islands post 8- Desertas Islands and Dolphins!!

March 18, 2018 Awesome Tara arranged a trip for university graduate students and a few of us elders 😉 to sail southeast of Madeira Island to the Desertas Islands, by way of a sailing ketch from the first whale watching tour company on Madeira, started by one of the researchers we work with. Desertas Islands are a Nature Reserve for endangered Mediterranean monk seals and nesting seabirds. We were hoping to see some seals and seabirds but they tend to haul out and nest on the eastern side, while we approached the western side. Notice the 2 houses for the 2 Rangers- the only human inhabitants on the barren Desertas Islands! The geology and strata tell ancient stories. The winds and surf were up again so we couldn’t land and explore a bit. Some kids were seasick and felt better while we moored and some kids went snorkeling in the too cold for me water. We bashed our way back toward Madeira. Taking bonine- meclizine before the trip helped me, unfortunately too late for the kids. Some students hung onto the bowsprit going up and down like an amusement park ride, getting completely soaked and laughing the whole way. Reminded me of my sons doing the same thing the morning after we sailed through a dark night of hurricane force winds. I admire that resilience! No photos of the student bowsprit ride as I was getting sprayed, happy the sun was shining to dry us. Zoom in on the last scenic photo, what looks like a bridge, is the built over the water landing strip at the airport! Seeing all the common and bottlenose dolphins riding our bow and stern wakes made the day 🙂



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