On 16th July, twenty-six IWP members, associates and two grandsons enjoyed a spectacular dolphin-watching trip, passing through the Sado Estuary and out into the Atlantic Ocean. The majority of the party having departed Cascais by coach mid-morning, we split into groups for our lunch stop upon arrival in Setúbal. Some opted for a brief wander around Livramento indoor market before eating then we all boarded the catamaran Vertigem Azul at the nearby dock.

After depositing some passengers and picking up a few more at Tróia, the vessel headed out beyond the estuary, its passengers eager to spot the much-loved creatures, and we weren’t disappointed! Jumping and diving across the bow or off to the sides of the catamaran, we were entertained to a spectacular show. The dolphins’ appeal and antics had the passengers enraptured, with some of their twists worthy of Tom Daley’s Olympic dives! In competition with two other boats, whose passengers also wanted to enjoy the dolphins´ exhibition, the crew observed protocol by limiting our viewing time to around forty minutes.

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Through fin size and markings, the crew readily identified the individual dolphins in the pod of twenty-seven mammals that have resided in this location for decades. In fact, they informed us that relics from Roman times indicate that dolphins were observed even then. Before returning to Setúbal, we sailed into one of the bays where sunbathers thronged the beach.

The return coach journey to Cascais was much quicker than our morning one, when we’d joined the queues of traffic heading south over Ponte 25 de Abril. As we approached Cascais, appreciation was expressed to Marsha for having organized yet another highly successful and thoroughly enjoyable excursion.

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Tags: Caroline Will | José Rio | Maggie Martinho | Marsha Turner | Sade Estaury | Setúbal

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