Friday, July 15, 2011

Despite some cloud on the island, our vigias (lookouts) have been spotting plenty of marine wildlife today where out at sea it's been much sunnier - firstly a group of sperm whales socialising at the surface, with this individual rolling over and spyhopping so we could see its lower jaw.

Sperm whales can have up to 26 teeth on either side of the lower jaw, each of which can meaure up to 25cm in length and weigh as much as a kilogram - here in the Azores many people still have teeth from the whaling days when whalers practised the art of scrimshaw, or engraving, on these huge teeth, to pass the time at sea.

The art of scrimshaw

Sperm whales diving this morning

Our swimming groups and whalewatchers also had encounters with common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. The bottlenose dolphins were especially friendly today - one group swam alongside our catamaran for quite some distance before we stopped to observe a sperm whale resting at the surface between its long dives.

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