Thursday, April 17, 2014

7 days of fin whales (and a few blues)

On a cold and rainy morning in São Miguel, Azores we enjoyed the presence of fin whales once again. We have now sighted the second largest animal on the planet everyday since last Thursday. Viewing was slightly more difficult today, with the combination of wind and rain, however this did not draw our eyes away from the sea, braving the cold with raincoats and waterproof trousers we were focused on watching this whale cruise through the waves. The whale was diving frequently, indicating feeding behaviour, this is common with the migrating whales arriving in the spring they spend the winter months in warmer waters in the southern oceans mainly giving birth and reproducing. These warm waters are nutrient poor so this forces the whales to travel and find richer feeding grounds in the North of the Atlantic. Once the whales reach the Azores they are very hungry and spend up to several weeks gorging on small fish like mackerel and crustaceans like krill. We also spotted an elusive group of bottlenose dolphins a few miles away from Ponta Delgada.

In the afternoon we started with a fast swimming fin whale, but we ended up with two calm and curious blue whales right next to our boats. Today was one of those days when it is easy to understand why the blue whale got its name; we could clearly see the light blue color through the water and track it for the next surfacing. We ended our tour with a group of common dolphins right outside our marina with lots of newborn babies. Another great day at sea!

Photos from the morning:

Photos from the afternoon of the blue whales:

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