Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blue whales and fin whales everywhere!

Today we have been on the water in the morning and afternoon again and both tours have been very successful. In the morning we started with an encounter with two fin whales. It was a mother and calf pair, travelling side by side. The calf was small, probably no more than a couple of months old. We enjoyed watching them, seeing the way they were surfacing together and seeing how small the calf was next to its mother. Later we encountered common dolphins, a large group of at least 100 individuals spread out over a large area. The dolphins were very active and were often jumping and splashing at the surface, probably a hunting technique as we saw some terns hovering around the dolphins.
Our afternoon tour was all about the big whales. There were a few common dolphins around (and some striped dolphins far away) but we ended up spending our time first watching many fin whales and then a massive blue whale. We saw several groups of fin whales that suddenly became very active and started chasing each other at the surfacing, travelling around 20 km per hour. Several times we saw the whales swimming upside down, showing their bellies and splashing a lot at the surface. We were lucky to see all this activity that seemed to be mating behaviour. Everybody was very happy, especially when we got to see our big blue whale to end the tour.

Photos from the morning:
Fin whales - mother and calf

Fin whales - mother and calf

Common dolphins jumping next to our catamaran

Curious common dolphin
Our biologist Miranda with one of our clients Keith who has been with us several times
Click HERE to see his amazing photos

Photos from the afternoon:

To see a video of the blue whale today click HERE

Fin whale head bending upwards

Fin whale mouth showing the bottom jaw

Fin whale

Fin whale head

Fin whale upside down, showing the white underside of the fluke

Two fin whales in close contact

Fin whales chasing each other

Two fin whales, one upside down behind the other

Blue whale blowing at the surface

Blue whale just beneath the surface

Young whale watchers enjoying the ride back to Ponta Delgada

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