It’s 14:30 and we leave the harbour for the first survey of the month. Davide remind us the procedure and it’s my turn to record the main indicators of weather conditions: wind speed and direction, waves height, cloudiness and glare. I also have to look out for boats and distinguish the different types, a task that I find not so easy at the beginning.
Once the first data collection it’s done, we head towards Sanremo and we can’t wait to spot something. The conditions of the sea are not ideal though and the waves make the boat roll, so the first minutes are dedicated to acquiring the right balance onboard.
The first three hours fly but without any relevant spot, apart from some Mediterranean and Scopoli’s shearwaters. We stop for a break 1km from shore at around 17:30. I jump into the water and Linn soon joins me, bravely overcoming her fear of deep waters. Davide suggests we could act as human hydrophones so we dive under the boat to try to hear the clicks of sperm whales which might be hunting squids hundreds of meters below us. Unfortunately, we can’t hear anything and we continue to search for dolphins. Soon after that Davide spots a sunfish.
A couple of miles after Sanremo we turn the zodiac and head back towards Imperia. The clock is ticking and, although the evening lights are wonderful, the feeling that we won’t spot anything is growing.
Just before entering the harbour, while eating a Swedish energy bar, Linn sees some splashes on the horizon. Davide grabs his binocular and smiles: it’s them! We quickly reach them and we find ourselves in the middle of a group of around 20 bottlenose dolphins hunting fishes. We follow them for the next hour and a half, paying attention to their behaviour while Davide is taking plenty of pictures.
In the end, we come back around 21:30, tired but incredibly happy about the day. Back home we find out scary news: Linn’s energy bars are gone! Will we manage to spot other dolphins even without that lucky charm?