Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A day with our 4 resident cetacean species in the Azores

On this day we had very different tours in the morning and afternoon. In the morning we saw a group of bottlenose dolphins. We also tried to see a group of sperm whales to the east, but unfortunately we were not able to locate them. Nevertheless the bottlenose dolphins were great, as you can see from this example photo taken during the tour:

In the afternoon we did not find the bottlenose dolphins again, but this time we were succesfull in watching the sperm whale group. We were able to see many individuals from the group, including several whales that we recognised from previous encounters in this area. One of our boats we were really lucky to encounter a very curious sperm whale (an individual we recognise easily by the pale patch it has on its back) that came to our boat, swam a circle close around us and then dived with a high tail just behind the boat. On this tour some of us also briefly saw a fin whale among the sperm whales and on the way back we encountered a small group of Risso's dolphins (2 mothers with calves and another single adult) and a few common dolphins.

Curious resident sperm whale passing alongside our boat

We recognise this whale by the pale patch on its back

Now the whale is passing behind our boat, where it gracefully brings up its tail to start another dive

Sperm whales: adult and calf going on a dive together

Risso's dolphins: adult and calf

Risso's dolphin going on a deep dive

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