Thursday, May 8, 2014

A majestic group of fin whales

Once again we have seen fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) during our morning trip. It has been almost a month observing this species: 28 days in a row!  But today it has been a really special encounter. 

We started with two individuals a few miles off Ponta Delgada and then we found a small lonely calf swimming in different directions, in such a way we could guess that it was feeding. After a while we decided to change to an area where we found our main dish of the day: a group of at least eight fin whales swimming and surfacing in front of us. First we found a few whales gathering together with other individuals, eventually forming the final group. We all enjoyed with this sighting, since all the group was really quiet and confident. We could even smell and hear the blows of many of them! In total, we could count 14 whales during the whole trip. 

On our way back we found also a small group of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), which were curious and bowriding close to the boat.

During all these encounters we recorded data of each sighting, recording the species, the size of the group, the behaviour and so on. We have also been taking pictures for our photo-identification research studies.

Photos from today:

Our biologist Maite showing the pictures to the tourists

Fin whale close to Ponta Delgada

Fin whale surfacing

The blow from a fin whale almost touching the clouds

Cory's shearwater

Two fin whales blowing at the same time

Our whale watcher with a fin whale

Two fin whales

Our biologist Albert recording data

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