Whale Watching (Funchal – Madeira)
Madeira island is a paradise for those who seek a closer contact with nature, hiking trails and beaches of a incomparable beauty. Is also a destination with a vast diversity of tourism products. We can choose the simplicity of a campsite or the luxury of a 5 star hotel, we can eat a delicious snack in a traditional tavern or taste an elaborate tasting menu in one of the several restaurants with Michelin stars. We can, among other experiences, visit part of the island by Yellow Bus, ride a cable car or even watch dolphins and whales that frequently visit these waters. That’s what we did this afternoon.
An exciting and thrilling experience. The expectation of being able to watch dolphins or whales at any time keeps adrenaline levels high.
We arrived at Funchal Marina shortly after lunch. We waited for the other participants while Maria impatiently jumped and played on all the benches in the small waiting room. She was anxious to see those big, smart friends who she knew only from the stories to fall asleep and from the programs she saw at a glance while her father was zapping on television.
At the scheduled time we jump to the catamaran that awaited us at the pier.
At a slow pace, we walked away from the pier and with the amphitheater of Funchal increasingly distant, a new perspective of the island appears in our eyes. The house looks like a patchwork, lego pieces of different shapes and colors that, assembled in one another, fill the slope from the sea to “Monte”.
The crew experience is fundamental to the success of this type of activities. Everyone knows that a non-sighting and the resulting frustration of those who create so many expectations is always a possibility that hangs in the minds of all participants. But from the first moment everything is done so that it doesn’t happen. Besides the dynamic and constant sharing of information, the sea teaches those who make his life from it. This is something of incalculable value in these situations.
Waiting time paid off, and anxiety became a joyous moment when, out of the immense blue ocean, the first dolphins emerged as if they welcome us.
They jumped together as if they were dancing to an audience waiting for them in a crowded theater. A performance difficult to describe, full of beauty, energy, life and freedom.
Yes, “freedom” is perhaps the word that best describes this scenario. An immense sea to discover, to swim without strings, to choose the course and to move on, always move on.
Maria’s eyes widened as she tried to absorb everything.
– Where are they? Where are they going? Why did they jump? Can I swim with them?
Shortly afterwards the catamaran moves away not to disturb them too much. We realized that it’s also important to respect and minimize the stress of the species observed, either through the minimum safety distance or by the time spent observing them.
We decompressed on the cushioned benches as the sun rushed down the horizon.
Before returning to Funchal Marina, we found two more groups of dolphins in different areas of the Madeiran coast, one of them with some pups who closely followed the parents.
The day, even without hikes, was filled with fantastic sensations.
Tomorrow we would visit some viewpoints (“Eira do Serrado” and “Cabo Girão”) and unravel one of the best kept secrets of Madeira island.
Points of Interest:
Cetacean observation and landscapes of Madeiran coast.
- At Funchal Marina there are many companies that provide this service. Book in advance to secure the place on the boat.
- “Our” catamaran had WC. In such a restricted space there is the probability of sea seasickness, even with a calm sea. If you get nauseous, you should beware before getting into the boat. A simple nausea can ruin the whole experience.
- Have your mobile phone or camera always ready. From one moment to the next you may miss that spectacular photograph, right in front of you. You probably won’t get a second chance.
0melevation gain uphill
0melevation gain downhill
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