This year the summer seems to have has come and gone very fast, as we are already in the last day of October. But we are still getting plenty of really good whale watching and dolphin swimming tours, and today we were even lucky enough to have really excellent calm sea conditions. This morning we had a boat going out for swimming with dolphins and another for whale watching, and it did not take us long before we encountered a group of common dolphins just outside of Ponta Delgada. Throughout the rest of the morning we moved around several different groups our 3 resident dolphin species: common dolphins, Risso's dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Our swimming clients had an especially great experience swimming with around 100 bottlenose dolphins:
Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Over the last few weeks we have been seeing many really great groups of dolphins, such as the Atlantic spotted dolphins in the photos above. Up until today we have been seeing common dolphins every day that we have been out this month. As well as large groups of these common and spotted dolphins we have been seeing our resident bottlenose dolphins (with our most recent encounter being this morning) and we have also had a few encounters with sperm whales, pilot whales and Risso's dolphins. Luckily for us here in the Azores we can see several species year round, so there is always something for us to see.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Another day of excellent sea and weather conditions here for us in São Miguel!
This morning we went out on what turned out to be another great whale watching tour. Although there were no whales in the area there was plenty of other wildlife around for us to see. Our tour started off with a group of common dolphins that were leaping out of the water as they were travelling very fast to the west:
Friday, October 21, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Today was another successful day on the sea for us. This morning we had a dolphin swimming tour and two other boats going out for whale watching. Although the sea was a bit rough in places, getting us all a bit wet, we managed to see 4 different cetacean species: sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. Recently we have not been seeing whales on as many of our tours as we did during the summer months, so it was a bonus to see the whales.
Our passengers this morning searching and waiting for a whale to come to the surface
One of the 3 sperm whales we saw together at the surface this morning
Monday, October 17, 2011
The above photo shows some of our passengers watching a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins this morning. As well as this group of spotted dolphins we also encountered two groups of common dolphins on this tour. Our passengers included a few families, so we had several children onboard who really loved to see the large groups of dolphins swimming all around our boat.
Monday, October 10, 2011
This morning our passengers were very happy to encounter a group of sperm whales! During our encounter we sighted 5 individuals: 3 adults, 1 juvenile and 1 calf. To see these whales we had to travel quite far to the west, to an area where the water is around 2000 meters deep! But it was well worth the trip, and we even got to see 2 of the adults raise their tales to go on their deep feeding dives. The following photo is of the last whale we saw, a large adult that raised it's tail particularly high to bring a fantastic end to our tour:
Before we saw the sperm whales we also had a really good encounter with a large group of common dolphins close to the coastline. We estimated there must have been more than 500 dolphins in the group, including many small dolphins...
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Today was a great day for seeing dolphins. On our whale watching tour this morning we saw 3 different dolphin species: Atlantic spotted dolphins, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Although we haven't seen any whales for a while, it's great to see so many different dolphin species in one tour. Here are some photos from this morning's tour:
Atlantic spotted dolphin
Watching Atlantic spotted dolphins
This afternoon we were able to observe the dolphins again. This time we also had a swimming tour which was really great, as our clients got to swim with a very inquisitive group of 12 or 13 bottlenose dolphins.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Over the past few days we have been seeing many groups of common dolphins. It's been a few days since we have een with whales, but the common dolphins have always been great to watch, making our tours worthwhile. We have been seeing very large groups of at least a few hundred common dolphins. Yesterday we saw a group together with a large number of seabirds, presumably feeding together at the surface. Today we saw the common dolphins travelling, which was great to watch as they all came leaping out of the waves together. There has never been a dull moment watching these common dolphins that we are able to view here year round. Here are some photos from the past two days:
Monday, October 3, 2011
Over the past few days we have had a mixture of sea conditions, but we have still managed to go out on several very good whale watching and dolphin swimming tours. Since Tuesday's big storm we managed to return to the sea this past weekend and again this morning. This morning the sea was a bit rough, but we were lucky to have a large group of common dolphins close to shore, just outside of Ponta Delgada. Our other recent sightings include a group of sperm whales (on the morning of the 29th), pilot whales (on the mornings of the 30th of September and the 1st of October) and several groups of Atlantic spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. Here are some photos from these recent tours:
Sperm whales seen in the morning on the 29th
Pilot whales (mother and calf) seen on the 30th
Bottlenose dolphins (photographed on the 30th) swimming very close to our boats