The winter of 2021 was quite rough so far. We had strong winds and big waves. As we prefer to do whale and wildlife watching instead of wave and wind watching this year till now we did not go out on the ocean. In these conditions, it’s not just more comfortable and safer to stay on land but also possible to watch how the ocean is coming to us and with it, interesting things do reach us with the waves and the wind blowing towards the coast.
Sea rafts also known as by-the-wind sailors and Portuguese man-of-war could be found beached. This are not things made by humans just named by humans. Both species are floating organisms formed by a colony. Well worth to have a closer look but without touching it.
You might have already read our article about the Portuguese man-of-war and maybe as well the one about Velella which is the scientific name of this miniature rafts or sailors, if not feel free to have a go.
The Velellas are quite remarkable creatures as there are two forms of them existing, one looking like an N and the other like the mirrored version of it. So depending from where the wind blows one or the other type is washed onto the shore. So try to figure out where the wind and waves came from at the day we found them on the south coast of São Miguel.
Written by Carine Zimmermann