Friday, June 4, 2010

2 more days of great sightings: 3 whale and 3 dolphin species

Earlier this week the weather was pretty disappointing  However, in the last 2 days we have been blessed with a return to summer weather and some great cetacean sightings. During these 2 days we have seen 3 species of dolphin (bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and striped dolphins) and 3 species of whale (sperm whales, a fin whale, and a blue whale). Today was an especially gorgeous day and the water was nice and clear. This afternoon our dolphin-swimming passengers enjoyed a swim with our resident bottlenose dolphins, while the whale watching-passengers encountered common dolphins, sperm whales, and a large blue whale that was also seen in the morning. It has been a very good year to see baleen whales here in the Azores, including quite a few of the very endangered blue whales. Judging from the reddish-brown krill-coloured patches left behind by some of these whales, they have been feeding successfully in the area. Because of the feeding dives that some of these whales have been undertaking, we have been lucky to see blue whale flukes a few times this season (it is normally not common for us to see a blue whale's tail!). Today was one of these lucky days...we saw the blue whale fluking in both the morning and afternoon tours:

Blue whale raising its tail as it goes on a dive

Because the water was so clear, we could see the entire blue whale, 
tail and all, through the water

3 sperm whales at the surface together. 
These whales were seen breaching by our vigia (lookout) on land!

Pod of striped dolphins that were seen yesterday. 
These dolphins are usually seen travelling very quickly and surfacing in unison

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