Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sei whale and many sperm whale sighted

Today the sun made a short appearance. Finally, the sun!!! The forecast was surprisingly positive for good weather and we had a lot of anxious tourists looking forward to experiencing the whale watching in the Azores. The crew members were also eager to go to the sea because that is where they feel most comfortable. And so we went on the trip in the morning...

We received information from our lookout that there were some big animals not too far from the marina, maybe six miles away! Although he wasn't able to identify the species he knew that from the body size it couldn't be dolphins. Suddenly the small thrill we all had grew to a lot eager anticipation! When we got to the area we still didn't have the correct identification of the species so it was an amazing surprise when we saw it was a baleen whale! The big blow hole and the footprints at the surface of the water were a big help for us to identify it as a sei whale! At the surface we could identify the characteristic high dorsal fin and the roundness of the body!

The footprint that is formed at the surface of the water from the movement of the whale's tail

Viewing the sei whale from our zodiac boat

After the sei whale, the lookout told us that he had spotted more big animals, so we followed his directions towards the area of the whales When we arrived there was an very big group of sperm whales. Throughout the day we encountered about 20 different animals that made up this large group. The group consisted of whales of different ages, and we could see the small females with their juveniles alongside the bigger animals (probably males) staying close to the main group.

Four animals spent almost 15 minutes socializing and playing with each other 

Double fluke! Two of the sperm whales that decided to give us the sight that every tourist is looking for to capture on camera!!

Surprisingly, although it was a huge day for those who wanted to see whales, only a few dolphins showed up at the end. They were common dolphins that were just passing by and were not in the mood for people watching. So in the end it was a really wonderful day for whale watching!!

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