Sunday, September 1, 2013

Familiar sperm whales in São Miguel

Today we have a group of sperm whales south of Ponta Delgada in São Miguel island. The group is familiar to us and includes many individuals that we recognise from previous encounters in earlier years. The sperm whale is a resident species in the Azores so we often resight the same groups and the same individuals here. Today we have several sperm whales that are familiar to us, such as an individual we call "Bear paw", another one we call "Freddy" and a third one we call "Orca". These three individuals were all resighted in the afternoon. We can recognise these individuals by the natural marks they have on their tails, each tail is unique so that no whale is alike. During our tours we routinely take ID photographs and record data for our scientific research which helps us learn more about the whales and dolphins of the Azores.

Today we also had encounters with some playful groups of common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. Like usual the dolphins were a lot of fun as we watched them playing around the boat with their calves.

Sperm whale adult female and a large juvenile

"Bear paw" - an individua that we know very well here from previous encounters

"Orca", , from the afternoon


Seagulls doing whale watching ("Orca"), from the afternoon

Underwater photos of the spotted dolphins, from the zodiac in the afternoon:
A wonderful spotted smile

Mating dolphins

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