Friday, December 19, 2014

Bottlenose dolphins

Today was a bottlenose dolphin day. We always enjoy the company of bottlenose dolphins, especially the group we had today. We encountered a group of about 30 dolphins, including some smaller juveniles. We got to see some cool behaviours including what looked to be feeding at the surface, some high jumps and bowriding right in front of our boat. Although we didn't see any other species this morning we sure did enjoy the playful bottlenose dolphins






Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winter whale watching in the Azores

The Azores is one of the few places in the world where you can go whale and dolphin watching year-round. Even in the winter we have several species that we can see here, and just like other times of the year we never really know what to expect from a tour. The crew were expecting to see some fin whales that our lookout had spotted out on the horizon off the coast of Ponta Delgada. However on our way out there we came across a group of pilot whales and in the meantime the fin whales disappeared in the distant rain. The pilot whales were a nice surprise though, especially since we haven't seen them as often as usual this year. The pilot whales were diving, probably to feed, so after a while we left them and spent the second part of the morning with two of our resident dolphin species. We started with some bottlenose dolphins with the idea of going to the common dolphins after. However, the common dolphins came to us, so we had the lovely experience of seeing the two species interacting together. 


Pilot whales


Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin (background) and common dolphin (foreground) together

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fun time on the sea

A wonderful morning with both bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. The sea was like a silver mirror, and the dolphins calm and curious. We started with large group of bottlenose dolphin, maybe about 50 dolphins spread out in the area, and our swimmers had a great time in the water with them. The whale watchers left the bottlenose dolphin to search for other species and we encountered two groups of common dolphins, one with lots of small babies and another more in the mood of making babies. It was a group of juveniles and young adults "having fun". We ended our tour with a look at Vila Franca Islet and we followed the coastline on the way back.

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin

Common dolphins



A common dolphin in silver sea

Aboard the whale watching zodiac

Aboard the whale watching zodiac

Aboard the whale watching zodiac

Our swimming boat

Friday, December 12, 2014

Baby bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins, a species that knows how to make humans smile, that knows how to gracefully make the day a good day. We encountered a group of about 15-20 dolphins with some very young babies, no more then a month old, that curiously investigated our boat (and us). As they had babies around they were a little bit more shy and protective but still showing of their creations (the babies) to us. Lovely!

Who is watching who?


Bottlenose dolphins, mother with calf





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rainbow dolphins

On a rough sea and with rain in the east we set of out on the great Atlantic ocean. Today was a day of mixture and a bit of confusion, as we had two species of dolphins out there, spread out and sometimes mixed. We started with common dolphins, but went for bottlenose dolphins, and later more common dolphins with a bottlenose dolphin in the group and we ended the tour with a another group of common dolphins. You see what I mean? Confusing but in a good way! We also encountered two loggerhead turtles, watched the beautiful coastline with rainbows and lots of salty water as we had a great roller coaster ride on the way back.

This is a special photo, that I'm dedicating to all the happy clients today



Young common dolphins saying hello to us

Monday, December 8, 2014

Egípcio and Submarino giving a show

Today the catamaran left the marina to find whales and dolphins, and also a zodiac for swimming with dolphins. We had the luck of encountering the group from yesterday, Egípcio's and Submarino's family. They are bottlenose dolphins, and we have seen them for many, many years now. The group of about 80 dolphins completely surrounded us and we had dolphins jumping everywhere. What a joy! We later went inshore to experience the joy of common dolphins as well. They were more calm but still they played around and did some bowriding in the front. Our swimming boat stayed offshore to swim with the bottlenose dolphins and later during their trip they saw a small group of pilot whales, the second largest dolphin species in the world!

Bottlenose dolphin



The distinct "pyramid shaped" fin of Egípcio,
compare to yesterdays dolphin :)

Synchronicity


Watching dolphins aboard Cetus



Common dolphin



Our swimming boat with bottlenose dolphins

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dolphins and a mystery whale

Today we went out with zodiacs and we encountered our well-known bottlenose dolphin group that includes Egípcio and Submarino. There were, as usual, about 80 dolphins in the group and they were very active and playful around the boats. We soon left them as our lookout had seen the blow from a whale, so we sent one boat inshore to search and one offshore. We spent a lot of time searching for this mysterious baleen whale, that according to out lookout seemed to be a humpback whale, but we never found it so it will remain a mystery. In the end we tried to get back to the bottlenose dolphins again to at least enjoy them, but instead we got another species: common dolphins. It was, despite no whale, a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning. 

Bottlenose dolphin with a rainbow blow (can you see the rainbow?)

The distinct "pyramid shaped" fin of Egípcio

Two bottlenose dolphins jumping so close my camera barely can't handle it


Common dolphin

Hello!

Aboard one zodiac "João Vigia"

The other zodiac "Cafre" with common dolphins

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