Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More blue whales. Also a fin whale, striped dolphins and common dolphins!

Today was a perfect day for us in São Miguel Island. It couldn't have been better for those that came out whale watching (and dolphin swimming) with Futurismo. In both the morning and afternoon blue whales were the highlight of the tour. But that is not all we saw; we saw 3 different cetacean species on both tours, making up a total of 4 species throughout the day. In the morning it was a blue whale, striped dolphins (for the first time this year) and common dolphins, while in the afternoon we saw another blue whale, a fin whale and the common dolphins again.

In the afternoon we had a particularly rare and special experience that we will never forget. While we were waiting for the blue whale to surface it suddenly came up about 50 meters away from our boat, heading straight towards us. To our surprise the whale kept coming towards us without any hesitation. The whale didn't seem afraid of us at all and passed just a couple of meters in front of the small rubber boat that we were on (to get straight to our photos scroll to the bottom of the page). We were looking right down to its huge blowholes as they let out a very loud blow. There are no words to describe what it was like to be in that small boat with the largest animal in the world passing by. Our photos following photos tell the rest of the story of our tours today...

Photos from the morning tour:

Blue whale seen from directly behind

Blue whale blow

Striped dolphins

Photos from the afternoon tour:

 Curious common dolphin swimming alongside our boat

The common dolphins were very playful and curious today

Fin whale (photo a bit far, but at least we saw it)

Blue whale with São Miguel Island in the background

This blue whale had a beautiful silver appearnce in the light

Blue whale heading directly towards our boat

Blue whale passing in front of our boat

Blue whale blowholes up close

...and the whale goes down on a dive right beside our boat

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