Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Flipper and friends

This morning only one boat went out for whale watching and another for swimming with dolphins. Just after we left the marina we were greeted by a small pod of common dolphins, one of our resident species and the most sighted off São Miguel. During the tour we observed several fishing boats. A group of bottlenose dolphins were taking advantage of a nearby bottom longline fishing boat, a method used for catching  longhead hairtail. The dolphins were distracted by the bountiful feast created by the fishermen which allowed our boat to observe the dolphins feeding behaviour from close range. Travelling further we located Atlantic spotted dolphins. The pod was very playful jumping several times and bowriding. As we began to travel back in the direction of Ponta Delgada our lookout spotted a small group of Risso´s dolphins, unlike their cousins, this species is naturally quite shy and they rarely approach boats. We were able to watch a group with several calves surfing the waves. We concluded the tour with a dispersed group of common dolphins feeding alonside Cory´s shearwaters and Manx shearwater. In the afternoon we encountered two groups of common dolphins, one of them was "Victors" group, a common dolphin that we know very well from his flopped dorsal fin. All in all, a lovely day with Flipper and friends.

Photos from this morning:

Bottlenose dolphins - mother and calf

Our swimming boat with rainbow and bottlenose dolphins

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin

 Atlantic spotted dolphins approaching the boat

Risso's dolphins - mother and calf

Manx shearwater

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