Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A whale day

This morning we went out whale watching in our other catamaran Quatro ventos as well as our smaller boats. We stared with a group of bottlenose dolphins near Ponta Delgada but the group was small and not easy to watch, so we continued further because we already knew that our lookout had spotted sperm whales for us further to the east. Not long after arriving to the area we saw the first blow. In the end we encountered 2 adults followed by an adult and calf pair. On the way back we passed by a few common dolphins, but this time it was really the whales that made tour.

Photos from today:

Female and calf

Female and calf

Adult fluking

Bulwer's petrel

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Delightful dolphins

Today we enjoyed some lovely encounters with some of the dolphins of the Azores. Throughout the day we had our swimming boat with bottlenose dolphins, giving our swimming clients some great looks at the dolphins underwater in their natural suroundings. We also had some common dolphins around, a small group in the morning and a larger group foraging in the afternoon. The group in the afternoon was seen with several seabirds, mostly Cory's shearwaters and common terns, but also a more rare juvenile northern gannet. Some people on our zodiac boat in the morning also got to see some Atlantic spotted dolphins. The sun was out and the dolphins were playful and friendly so it was a great day for all.

Photos from the morning:

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

The bottlenose dolphin "Bubblemaker"

Swimming with the bottlenose dolphins

Not far from Ponta Delgada!

Photos from the afternoon:

Bottlenose dolphin

Baby bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

Common dolphin

Cory's shearwaters

Juvenile northern gannet

Monday, July 27, 2015

Resident, migratory and seasonal

What a day, six species in total. We had all our four resident species in the morning. We started with some common dolphins along side our boat as we traveled to see a male sperm whale. It took some time and patience to see this majestic male but finally we got a great tail. After this wonderful sight we had a group of Risso's dolphins with new born babies. Today they were calm and curious and playing close to our catamaran and some of the babies were spyhopping and looking at us. Some boats also encountered bottlenose dolphins. In the afternoon we started with our resident bottlenose dolphins but soon we took of to see a baleen whale. Normally we see them in spring time as they migrate but they have been late this year. It was lovely to see this fin whale now in summer. And we ended the tour with our seasonal Atlantic spotted dolphins. During the day we also sighted loggerhead turtles, leatherback turtle, flying fish and Bulwer's petrels.

Photos from the morning:

Sperm whale

The sperm whale diving

Risso's dolphin

Photos from the afternoon:

Atlantic spotted dolphin
Atlantic spotted dolphin jumping
Bottlenose dolphin

Fin whale

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Starting with dolphins and ending with whales

Today we started the morning tour with a group of about 30 common dolphins which we enjoyed for a while before heading a bit further out for a much larger group of bottlenose dolphins. These bottlenose dolphins were the highlight of the morning tour as it was a group of about 60 of them tightly packed together and being very social. We got to see some incredible jumps from this powerful animals and for sure our swimming clients had some great underwater encounters with them.

In the afternoon we had common dolphins again and a smaller group of bottlenose dolphins. We spent some time with them until we got the call on the radio that a whale blow had been spotted. We got to the area and after a bit of waiting we saw a shadow just beneath the surface. We tracked it for a while not knowing for sure what type of whale it was until it suddenly surfaced. It was a sperm whale and there were more than just this one in the area. These whales weren't coming up much and didn't show any tails, but we were just happy to be able to see them.

Photos from the morning:

Common dolphin mother and baby

Photos from the afternoon:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Common dolphins

Today we started off with common dolphins in the morning, close to Ponta Delgada. It didn't take long to reach them and we enjoyed some time with this group of about 20 to 30 dolphins. They were quite active as this is the season of reproduction. We were able to spot many juveniles and even one or two tiny calves that had just been born recently this season. And ofcourse with it being the reproductive season the adults were creating the next generation of babies for the next year. The afternoon was filled with more encounters with active common dolphins that were once again mating and playing around in the waves. We encountered different groups along the coastline, west of Ponta Delgada and on our way back we enjoyed coastal views and sunny skies.

Photos from the morning:

Photos from the afternoon:

Enjoying coastal views of São Miguel Island on the return journey

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