Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer in the Azores

Today we celebrated the summer solstice in the Azores with beautiful sunny weather. The sea around São Miguel is clear and flat like a mirror and finally it feels like summer is in full swing in the Azores. In the morning we encountered bottlenose dolphins and those on our catamaran "Cetus" also sighted two small groups of Risso's dolphins. Further to the east we all enjoyed an encounter with a group of sperm whales that was resting and relaxing in the area. All of our passengers enjoyed the whales as they were calmly breathing at the surface and we all got to see some tails as the sperm whales went down on their deep feeding dives.
In the afternoon the sea was just as nice and the sperm whale and dolphins were still out there, again with a calm and also curious behaviour. We were lucky to see some sperm whales at the surface, including one juvenile that rolled over on its back for us to see its belly and bottom jaw. This perfect day ended with an encounter with a small group of common dolphins playfully swimming alongside our boat.
Video of sperm whale logging and diving

Photos from the morning:
Adult sperm whale diving, with a calf on her left side
3 sperm whales at the surface

Adult female sperm whale with a calf on either side of her

Sperm whale calf surfacing high next to an adult female

Risso's dolphin. Note the well-marked dorsal fin that is used to identify the individual

 Bottlenose dolphins
Photos from the afernoon:
Juvenile sperm whale diving
Juvenile sperm whale rolling on its back, showing its narrow bottom jaw
Common dolphins

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