Sunday, March 10, 2013

Eye to eye with a wild orca in São Miguel, Azores

Today we had great luck to be able to go out (after more than a week of bad weather) in he morning and afternoon. In the morning 3 boats left the marina and we had over 150 common dolphins all around. In the afternoon we had only one zodiac and we encountered the common dolphins followed by orcas. It was a great surprise to see the orcas that usually do not pass the Azores often. Recently we have been lucky to see them more frequently. One of our vigias also spotted orcas off the coast about two and a half weeks ago, we encountered a male orca with a ray in January and in May and April last year we also had encounters with some orcas that stayed in the area for three days. Today's group of orcas was made up of at least 6 individuals (males and females) and several of them were very curious and approached our boat. Below you will see an our video and some images we took, including underwater photos of one curios female that approached us twice. This afternoon our vigia also spotted sperm whales and a baleen whale, but we ended up focusing all our attention on the orcas.

Photos from the afternoon (scroll down to see photos from our morning tour):

Underwater footage of the orca. The video can also be viewed in youtube by clicking HERE

Eye to eye with an orca right beside our boat

Male orca

Male orca with São Miguel in the background

Orca approaching our boat

Marine biologist Miranda filming the orcas eye to eye from the boat, video (amazing) will be up later!

Curios female hovering under our boat

Female orca looking up at the bottom of our boat

Males diving under our boat

Common dolphins under our zodiac

Photos from the morning:

Common dolphin

Whale watchers on board Song of whales watching a common dolphin

Aboard our catamaran Cetus, approaching Vila Franca Islet

Aboard Cetus, watching Song of Whales

Viewing Vila Franca Islet from aboard Cetus

Whale watchers on the catamaran Cetus

Azorean buzzard, Vila Franca Islet

 Common dolphin

1 comment:

keith scovell said...

Fabulous footage of the orcas underwater, an amazing encounter, I'm so jealous! I hope to get to the Azores later in the year. Keep up the good work!

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