24 Apr 2018

24 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty Six: Bottlenose Dolphins At Ascension Island

While we were around Boatswainbird Island as we were leaving Ascension Island, we saw our first pod of Bottlenose Dolphins for the Atlantic Odyssey. Even better they were in a playful mode & were keen to get involved in some bow-wave action. Unfortunately, we were hardly moving as we were close to the island. But they hung around & as a result, we enjoyed some close views of this widespread Dolphin species.
Bottlenose Dolphin: The water was very clear allowing us to follow them underwater. Bottlenose Dolphins are one of the larger Dolphins with relatively a uniform grey appearance, a short, stout beak and a tall & sharply curved dorsal fin
Bottlenose Dolphin: Two more coming in to the Plancius
Bottlenose Dolphin: The first of the two breaks the surface
Bottlenose Dolphin: This is the dorsal fin of the second individual which has distinctive vertical scars on it
Bottlenose Dolphin: A close crop of the vertical scars
Bottlenose Dolphin: A clearer view of the short, stout beak and tall & sharply curved dorsal fin
Bottlenose Dolphin: A better view of the short, stout beak & the distinctive crease between the beak & the head
Bottlenose Dolphin: There is a minimal blow as this individual breaks the surface
Bottlenose Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin: It quickly starts to dive again
Bottlenose Dolphin: Cetaceans can be separated from Sharks, Tuna & other Fish by their tail fins which are horizontal on Cetaceans & vertical on species of Fish
Bottlenose Dolphin: This individual has a distinctive curved dorsal fin
As we were heading towards Boatswainbird Island, we had a brief encounter with an Atlantic White Marlin. This is one of the Billfish & can reach up to 2.8 metres long, so it is a similar size to a Dolphin, but it is much slimmer with a distinctive long bill.
Atlantic White Marlin: It leapt out of the water on a few occasions showing its distinctive bill
Small Clearwing: I saw at least 500 Small Clearwings during the afternoon as we left Ascension Island. The collective name for Small Clearwings should be a Confusion of Small Clearwings