Thursday, January 10, 2013

Curious common dolphins surround our boat

Today was a nice calm winters day in São Miguel and the ocean around the island was full of dolphins. There were groups of common dolphins spread out across all the areas that we were travelling through, and many of them were very curious towards us. There was one group in particular that were calmly swimming right alongside our boat, looking up at us and making a lot of noise that could be heard from the boat. They were almost motionless in the calm water as they were just floating and looking up at us. They were really beautiful to watch, as you can see in our and video below (the video can also be viewed on our Youtube account). This morning we also encountered a small group of about 6 bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins were spending a lot of time diving, but every time they came up we got to see them well and we were able to take many good ID photos so that we can identify the individuals later (something we do as part of our research). We also had a brief encounter with a loggerhead turtle and we spotted several Portuguese man-o-war (one with a wreck fish in its tentacles), indicating that spring is on the way!

Listen carefully for their echolocation noises in this video
The video can also be viewed directly on youtube


Common dolphins underwater
Common dolphin looking up at us

Common dolphins

Common dolphins, dark coloration. Compare to the photo above

Watching common dolphins around our bow

Portuguese man-o-war

Bottlenose dolphins

 Bottlenose dolphin diving

Bottlenose ID photo - even the smallest nicks can be used to identify the dolphin

 Common dolphin leaping alongside us on our way home

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