Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday | Whale and Dolphin Watching Azores

This morning we were lucky to have a large group of sperm whales a short trip away from Ponta Delgada. It was nice to see our resident whales again, after a period of seeing only fin whales recently. There were many sperm whales hanging out at the surface together, probably about 15 in total. For a moment they even became curious and turned towards us to check us out. After the whales we enjoyed some nice encounters with another one of our resident species - a group of at least 100 common dolphins. They were playing in the waves around our boats, even when we left they swam with us an lept alongside us for quite some time.  
Photos by Miranda van der Linde


Common dolphin


Group of sperm whales


Common dolphin


Sperm whale


Sperm whale


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A person is very small (but can do something)

Futurismo often hosts students from various countries, allowing them to gain experience with us by helping out during our tours and completing work required for their university degree. 

During the period of October to December 2017 DeniseVerstraeten joined us from Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciencesin the Netherlands. She was interested in learning about the people that joined our whale watching trips. Therefore, Denise completed a small project to gain a greater understanding of the customer experience of the trip by the help of a brief inquiry. 

Different questions were asked, such as:
  1. Did you feel any emotions by seeing the animals? 
  2. What was the highlight of the tour for you? 
  3. What key message did you take away after today’s tour?

But, of course, firstly she wanted to know why our clients went whale watching in the first place! The majority were very curious to know more about whales and dolphins, or went on a trip out of passion for these animals.

To get a little bit more insight into their motivations, she asked our clients:
  • Why they booked a tour with Futurismo. 

 - The majority responded with ‘recommendations’ or ‘reputation’.

So the tourists became more curious? Great! More than 95% of our clients reported that they experienced feelings or emotions towards whales and/or dolphins when they encountered them with Futurismo! To make it a bit more specific, 97% of their emotions were positive, however a small group felt some mixed emotions like ‘sadness’ or ‘fear. 

Why? During our trips Futurismo’s biologists explain a lot about conservation and threats to marine life. This may have had an effect on our clients’ emotions, which makes sense right? To give you an idea of the different emotions, a figure is made which is shown below.



The highlight of the tour were very different for each one of our customers, but that did not make them less interesting! 

A few that really popped out were: ‘The animals in their own environment’, ‘The information of the guide’, and ‘Awareness’.
Awareness was a highlight that also came back in the key message of our customers… Most key messages were related on conservation! (more than 50%) The majority of the people filled in a conservation-related key message like ‘Marine mammals should not be captured’ and ‘a person is very small (but can do something)’.

We were very pleased to hear our clients had a joyful experience and remembered the trip for being a contributor to the protection of these magnificent animals! 

Therefore, let’s work together and save our whales!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday | Whale and Dolphin Watching Azores

Another amazing day at sea! We got to see in the morning and afternoon with amazing weather here in Ponta Delgada. We started our tour  with a surprise: the same mother and calf fin whales we saw yesterday came to say "hi"! And they were not the only ones, we got to see another two of them. When returning to the harbor we saw a curious group of common dolphins that made us smile! In the end of our afternoon tour we could also see some giant group of bottlenose dolphins that looked like they were mating. Looking forward for the baleen whale season!

Photos by Mariana Silva and  Miranda van der Linde  




Fin whale diving 


Mother and calf Fin whale



Fin whale blow 


Fin whale


Fin whale


Common dolphins


Gull



Bottlenose dolphins



Bottlenose dolphins


Common dolphins


 Bottlenose dolphins

2017 best encounters with blue and Bryde’s whales in the Azores

Futurismo’s biologists do more than just guiding whale watching and swimming with dolphins tours. When we are out on the ocean we also collect data for our scientific research program. Each year several interns and students join the team to take part in this research and contribute to our understanding of the whales and dolphins of the Azores.



Blue whale


Blue whale

We currently have three of our biologists working on their Masters and one completing her PhD using the data we collect during Futurismo’s whale and dolphin watching tours. One of the main species that we are studying is the sperm whale that is resident in the Azores, but we are also learning a lot about migratory whales (mostly blue whales, fin whales, sei whales and humpbackwhales) as well as some of our resident dolphins such as Risso’s dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. By taking ID photographs and collecting sightings data such as GPS coordinates and behavioural data, we are trying to understand which species are seen most often when and were, any changes in populations over the years. Between 2008 and 2017 we have registered 11,333 encounters with 20 different whale and dolphin species! During the winter months we have more time to analyse our data and interpet the results, so we are currently comparing our data from 2017 to those from previous years. A quick glance at our results from 2017 already shows us that it was our best year on record for encountering blue whales and Bryde’s whales, our second best year for encountering humpback whales and our third best year on record for encountering sperm whales and fin whales. Over the next months we will be showcasing some more detailed work done by Futurismo’s biologists, so we welcome you to watch this space for some interesting updates.

Cetaceans registered:


By: Miranda van der Linde



Sunday, February 18, 2018

A great day out on the water with Futurismo! #WorldWhaleDay

Today it's #WorldWhaleDay. This day originated in Hawaii to celebrate humpback whales, but the idea is spreading around the world and now includes other whale species. Futurismo marked this special day out on the ocean in the company of fin whales, the second largest animal in the world! We got to see a mother and her calf, very calm at the surface and often surfacing near our boats. Of course we cannot forget the whales'smaller cousins the dolphins. We also encountered a nice group of bottlenose dolphins that were keen to show of some of their acrobatic jumps. What a great day out on the water with Futurismo! 
Photos by Miranda van der Linde


Fin whale calf


Zodiac boat with jumping bottlenose dolphins


Fin whale mother


Jumping bottlenose dolphins


Bottlenose dolphins mother and calf


Watching bottlenose dolphins


Fin whale mother


Fin whale mother


Fin whales mother and calf


Watching bottlenose dolphins

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday | Whale and Dolphin Watching Azores

Today is sunny and bright in São Miguel, giving us great light and colours out on the ocean for watching animals. We ended up encountering a lot of bottlenose dolphins during this morning's tour.  Across a large area we could see bottlenose dolphins everywhere we looked, spread out into many smaller subgroups. We even got to see some calves and juveniles in among the adults.


Watching bottlenose dolphins


Watching bottlenose dolphins


Mother and calf bottlenose dolphins


Watching bottlenose dolphins

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Morning | Whale and Dolphin Watching

Today we have a windy but beautiful day here in São Miguel island. The wind is sometimes a difficulty for the ocean activities and today was one of those days. We went out searching for whales but with strong winds in the open sea we had to come back. Fortunately for everyone we got to see common dolphins feeding at the end of our tour! Photos by Mariana Silva


Common dolphin


Common dolphin


Common dolphin


Great skua

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wednesday Morning | Whale and Dolphin Watching

Today we had a pretty Grey day in the ocean but always with great company!  We had a close encounter with a big group of bottlenose dolphins. A super fun group with around 100 individuals!  Always a good surprise to start the day. 


Bottlenose dolphins 


Zodiac boat and bottlenose dolphins


Bottlenose dolphins


Zodiac boat 


Zodiac boat


Zodiac boat and bottlenose dolphins 


Bottlenose dolphins playing with the waves


Whale Watching 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday | Whale Watching Azores

Today we went to the east of São Miguel Island to see whales and dolphins. We started with fin whales, what looked to be an adult and a juvenile travelling together. We had a brief visit with them, but our ultimate goal was to reach the sperm whales which our lookout had spotted further to the east. We had a really nice look at several different individuals that were coming and going to the surface. To top of this fantastic tour we still had a group of playful common dolphins to see on our way back to Ponta Delgada.


Common Dolphin


Zodiac boat


Zodiac boat



Zodiac boat and common dolphins


Zodiac boat and common dolphins


Fin whale


Fin whale


Sperm whales


Sperm whales


Photos by: Miranda van der Linde

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...