Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Swimming with wild dolphins and our recent sperm whale sightings

Summer is slowly coming upon us in the Azores. We are having more days of good weather and calm seas, and the water is starting to warm up. This is the time of the year that we start having swimming with dolphins and more encounters with sperm whales.

Yesterday morning we had an excellent tour swimming with our resident bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins were not shy at all, in fact they were very curious towards our swimmers. At one point we could count about 30 dolphins all swimming with us. Several times we had the dolphins circling around us and coming up from the deep to have a good look at us. There´s nothing like being face to face with a large wild dolphin, it was an absolutely exhilirating experience!

As well as our many other recent sightings (common dolphins, striped dolphins and a blue whale yesterday!) we have been seeing sperm whales the past 4 days in a row off São Miguel island. We have seen many types of behaviour, including animals diving to show their huge tails, mothers and calves travelling together, and yesterday we saw a lot of socialising and a very curious female that came up to our boat and kept rolling onto her back so we could see her white belly and full body length through the water. Here are some photos from our sperm whale encounters of the past two days:

One of the sperm whales seen on the morning of the 25th:

Sperm whales seen during the 26th of April:Curious female sperm whale rolling upside down just beneath the surface

Sperm whale calf in the foreground, tail of the mother in the background

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