Thursday, November 16, 2017

A shy fin whale and playful dolphins

Today the sun is shinning strong here in São Miguel and we enjoyed the morning of this perfect day out on the ocean on our catamaran. It didn't take long before we came across our first dolphins of the tour - a small but curious group of common dolphins that were playing around the front of our boat. After enjoying their company for a while we continued further to watch a larger group of bottlenose dolphins. There were many of them, very spread out so that everywhere we looked we could see their splashes. Not long after arriving our captain spotted a larger spash, which turned out to be a whale! It was an exciting moment as we didn't know this whale was in the area of the dolphins. It was a young fin whale that we could see up for a few breaths, then it went down and left a trail of footprints at the surface. We waited and waited for the whale to return to the surface but it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. Nevertheless we enjoyed groups of bottlenose dolphins spread out for a bit longer before heading back to land at the end of the morning. 


Photos from today:

A beautiful morning out on our catamaran

Common dolphin

Common dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Fin whale back

Fin whale dorsal fin

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ocean hazards!

     This afternoon, after a day of unfavorable sea conditions, we went to the sea. First we encountered a group of bottlenose dolphins, a little spread out and, a little later, a group of Risso's dolphins, very sociable and active on the surface and... full of juveniles!
    During our trip we collected a large fishing net called "ghost net". It's always important to note that objects such as this, or even various types of plastic (bags, straws, bottles, balloons), glass or metals, collected during several of our trips, are a major threat in biodiversity and on our oceans.
    Every year, 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets are discarded or lost in the sea, with devastating impacts to marine life, as they can last 600 years in the ocean. It's estimated that these "ghost nets" capture and kill 136,000 seals, sea lions, turtles and large whales every year. It is also estimated that about 8 million garbage items are dumped into the oceans and seas every day and more than 13,000 plastic objects are in every square kilometer of ocean.
     Nowadays these estimates are alarming and it's essential to take care of our oceans, which harbor an enormous diversity of species, but also of our the planet Earth. We can help, by recycling and reducing the use of plastic products, for example.

Risso's dolphin

 Playful dolphins



"Ghost net"

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Salty trip ;)

We started our adventurous trip with some waves and some wind but you can’t forget that this is the North Atlantic Ocean. The animals don’t seem to bother with the weather, the dolphins that we saw in the beginning were surfing the waves the entire time… oh yeah! We continue our trip and we could see around four sperm whales! After some shallow dives and some waiting time (the parts that the documentaries don’t show us, in real life we need be awake to see these wonderful animals) one of them finally show us the tail to say “Goodbye …I’m going for brunch …yammi squids!” Finally we came back to Ponta Delgada with a smile in our face.

Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale

Friday, November 10, 2017

Riding the waves with dolphins

This morning we went out for a fun ride on the waves aboard our catamaran Cetus. We had two great encounters with our resident common dolphins. Both groups were very active - the first group was travelling, often leaping out of the waves together in large groups while the second group was actively feeding at the surface, together with a lot of Cory's shearwaters. We even managed to spot a juvenile bottlenose dolphin together with the first group of common dolphins. It was a fun morning on the ocean with the dolphins and some nice views of the island with several rainbows along the way.


Photos from today:


Can you spot the bottlenose dolphin among the common dolphins?

Cory's shearwater coming in to land

Common Dolphin

Common Dolphins

Common Dolphin

Cory's shearwater

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Another morning with our most well-known whale

This morning we went out whale watching on our catamaran and we were very happy to a large male sperm whale. He is one that we know very well, as we have been seeing him regularly here off Sâo Miguel Island since at least 2004. We call him "Mr Liable", coming from the word reliable, because we can always count on him to show up here and he almost always shows us a great tail. Today he didn't disappoint us with his beautiful tail, just like yesterday and the two other days we saw him last week. It's a perfect postcard-moment when we get to see Mr Liable's tail.





Monday, November 6, 2017

Say whale! (sei whale)

The day started with a pretty amazing sighting, we saw a sei whale from a very close distance! The sei whale is the third biggest baleen whale that is migrating around the Azores. We also had a close look at a loggerhead turtle that was swimming next to the boat! The sea during the afternoon tour was very calm which gaves us the opportunity to make some nice pictures of the two species that we saw! The first sigthing was our famous star; Mr. Liable, the male sperm whale that we see often around here. Afterwards we saw a playfull group of common dolphins around the boat. A very succesfull and joyfull day here in Sao Miguel!


Photos from today:


Sei whale

Loggerhead turtle

Sperm whale being followed by a gull

The famous sperm whale "Mr Liable"



Mr Liable diving

Common dolphins


Watching common dolphins


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Triple whale tail moment

This morning we were lucky to experience a special moment we don't see every day - seeing three sperm whales diving together. One of them we could recognise in an instant as the famous "Mr Liable" and the other two were smaller, most likely females. It was a really great moment with these three whales, the photographs tell it all...







Saturday, November 4, 2017

Big surprise!!

Crazy day and amazing tour here in S. Miguel Island! Today we saw 4 different species …can you belive it?! The wind was blowing from north but the waters were still very warm and because of that we are still able to see some dolphins that prefer the warm waters, like the Atlantic spotted dolphins. Afterwards we arrived to the area that the lookout saw a sperm whale, and do you know who it was?? Yeah! You are right! It was Mr. Liable that show us the tail, and this is not over! In the same area we also saw a small group of bottlenose dolphins but they were shy today. Now you are probably wondering what is the “Big Surprise”, so here we go!! When we were coming back to our beautiful city, suddenly appeared a fin whale and we could say hello to the majestic animal, the second biggest animal in the world!! It is not really normal to see this species here in this season of the year but nature is unpredictably AMAZING!!

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins
  
Spots and more spots

Mr. Liable dorsal

Mr Liabel tail

Beautiful rainbow

Friday, November 3, 2017

Patience works!

Today we started with a very sunny trip, and we saw two resident species! First, we enjoyed a very big group of bottlenose dolphins, who were very playful and were feeding together. We even detected some little ones! It took some time but after some patience, we saw our star again, Mr. Liable! This is a male sperm whale that we see a lot around Sao Miguel. This afternoon, we tried to find dolphins but we did not find any. However we found a lot of Corry shearwaters, a marine bird species that is an icon for the Azores. Afterwards we tried to find Mr. Liable again, and after a lot of patience we found our star again! And we saw a beautiful fluke, which gave us the opportunity to make nice pictures.

Mr. Liable tail

Mr Liable blowhole


Bottlenose Dolphin




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