This morning we took out a nice group of Spanish clients and they were in for a very special and lucky treat that even surprised the crew. Just outside of our departure point in Ponta delgada we encountered a humpback whale. We got to see this magnificent whale breaching (jumping out of the water) a few times before it started slapping its long pectoral fins on the waters surface. Check out the following photos we managed to take of this whale:
After the fin slapping the whale started going on deep dives, which is when we saw it bringing up its tail like this
The humpback whale was seen travelling close to shore, just off the coast of Ponta delgada
It was a real surprise for us to see this species of whale, as they are not commonly seen here this time of the year. Baleen whales, such as this humpback whale normally migrate past the Azores during the spring months, which is when they are heading to the Arctic waters to feed during the summer months. This whale could be on its way back down south for the winter and may be stopping here for a quick snack as we saw the whale going on several deep dives later during our encounter. Whatever the reason for it being here we were very glad that it passed São Miguel Island!
Of course our passengers were delighted to see dolphins during their tour as well. They got to see a couple of groups of Atlantic spotted dolphins followed by some common dolphins. Our onshore watchman (known locally as the vigia) reported that there were also a couple of bottlenose dolphins and Risso's dolphins around earlier in the morning, so today there was definitely not a shortage of species to be seen here!!!
One of the common dolphins jumping close to our boat