Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5 species: sperm whale, fin whale, beaked whale, common and bottlenose dolphins

Today, our morning trip started in a different way. Instead of travelling to the west, as the in the previous days, we went to the east part of the island where we enjoyed views of the beautiful coastline of the biggest island of Azores, São Miguel. Along the way we stopped our first stop was to see one of our resident species: commondolphins. They were very peaceful, breaking up the calm sea, swimming all together and being very social towards our boat. At the same time our swimming with the dolphins boat arrived and they could enjoy an underwater experience with about 20-30 dolphins. Our whale watching boat continued until we arrived to a whale area where we met our loyal whale species: the fin whale. After a while our lookout informed us about another species. At first, we did not know which species it was, but finally, after seeing some photos and videos we could identify it as a beaked whale. We could hardly see it, breathing three times on the surface and then it never appeared again. After a while, we received more information from the lookout. He spotted sperm whales for us. We saw them from the distance, breathing and fluking. They spent less time at the surface than usual, but  they were doing their typical length dives of 45 minutes. On the way back we could once again enjoy the company of the fin whales, who gave us a surprise by appearing close to our boat.

In the afternoon we resighted one of the sperm whales and the two fin whales from the morning. The sperm whale was very calm at the surface and then majestically lifted it beautiful large tail out of the water. Our fin whale encounter was also wonderful. Shortly after arriving to the area we were waiting for them to surface and they surprised us by coming up right alongside our catamaran.  In between our whale encounters we also stopped to watch the wonderful bottlenose dolphins that we had also seen in the morning. Additionally, we passed by both common dolphins and a loggerhead turtle on the way to the sperm whale, but we didn't stop as we didn't want to miss the sperm on the surface. All the animals were very close to each other and we didn't have to go far to go between the sperm whales, the bottlenose dolphins and the fin whales.

Video from the afternoon tour

Photos from today:

Sperm whale raising its fluke to begin a deep dive

Sperm whale about to dive

Sperm whale logging at the surface

Sperm whale curving its back, preparing to dive

Bottlenose dolphins

Fin whale

Fin whale just under the surface

Aboard Cetus in the afternoon

Vila Franca Islet

Aboard our catamaran Cetus, just outside of Ponta Delgada marina

1 comment:

lesley starkey said...

I was on the morning trip. Such a brilliant experience

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