Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5 species including orcas, fin whales and Mr Liable

Another great day with Futurismo in this beautiful island of mist. During the morning 2 boats went out to do whale watching (Catamaran "Cetus" and 1 zodiac) and 1 zodiac went out for swimming with dolphins. The sea was calm and the clouds were high, giving us an amazing view of the idyllic São Miguel Island. Early into the tour we stopped in front of the vigia (onshore lookout) 40, and watched a male orca that seem to enjoy the Azorean waters, as he was first spotted here in March and has been resighted many times since. This orca was shy today and seemed to be alone, doing deep dives and surfacing just for a short time, so we started to travel to another area to try and observe another species. The next stop was in front of Vila Franca Islet, far from shore, to see a group of common dolphins. The group was large and dispersed and consisted of about 50 individuals that seemed to be feeding. In the same place it was possible to observe some common terns that were diving down to catch what they could. The group of swimming with dolphins were with us, enjoying the view of the dolphins underwater. The vigia (onshore Lookout) informed us about the presence of one male sperm whale near by so, we started to travel slowly to the location, enjoying the jumps of the dolphins and observing some Portuguese man-o-wars along the way. We waited for the sperm whale to surface (this individual was doing regular dives of 52 minutes). When the whale emerged it stayed up for about 7 minutes, blowing many times and allowing everybody to see him. Our sperm whale encounter ended when the whale saluted us, showing his fluke (confirming that it was Mr. Liable). On our way back to Ponta Delgada we were lucky to re-encounter the male orca, this time together with a small female. The swimming boat was also lucky to see a beaked whale during their tour.

During the afternoon our 12 m boat "Song of Whales" went out for whale watching. First we re-sighted the sperm whale from the morning (Mr. Liable) and then we got to see several fin whales far to the east. On our way back we enjoyed the company of several common dolphins. Photos from today:

Orca male
Mr. Liable

Mr. Liable
Watching the sperm whale
Mr. Liable
Fin whale

Common dolphin

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