Friday, June 29, 2012

Another beautiful day with sperm whales, a sei whale and hundreds of dolphins

What an amazing day again in São Miguel! Today we had sunshine the whole day and we felt very lucky to be able to go out on our catamaran in the morning and afternoon, as well as whale watching from a zodiac in the morning and swimming with dolphins in the afternoon. Our sightings were also incredible, in both the morning and afternoon. In the morning we started off with a sei whale which may be the last of the baleen whales to pass here for the season. After the sei we moved on to a group of sperm whales, which included many very social individuals that were very curious particularly towards our zodiac boat. During the morning we also had a few sightings of common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins, although the whales were the highlight of the morning.

In the afternoon we returned to the same group of sperm whales which happend to be in the same area as a large group of at least a few hundred Atlantic spotted dolphins. Throughout the first part of the tour we moved around between sperm whales on the surface and the dolphins spread throughout the area. We had one particularly memorable encounter with a sperm whale that was bombarded by a small group of curious dolphins that wanted to swim around the whale. The whale didn't seem to like it one bit and after some rolling around on the surface and sticking its head out of the water it quickly raised it's tail to escape to the deeper waters. On this tour we also saw a group of common dolphins closer to shore and then we ended the trip with just one more sperm whale that showed a beautiful high tail to give us a nice ending.
Following are a few of our photos from today:

Photos from the morning:

Watching a sei whale from our catamaran

Watching a sperm whale from our catamaran

Our zodiac boat with a very curious sperm whale

Photos from the afternoon:

Sperm whale diving

Sperm whale sticking its head up after being approached by some curious dolphins

Watching dolphins in the foreground with a sperm whale in the background

Watching common dolphins from our catamaran

Dolphins spread out around our boat

Our last sperm whale encounter for the day

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