Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fin whales and dolphins

With a summer sun warming wonderfully in the morning we set sail, facing some colder wind and clouds but also whales. In the morning we had three graceful fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) keeping us company. They were very social and coming towards our catamaran, swimming upside down and we got a glimpse of one of the flukes. 

During our whale watching tour in the morning we did not encounter any dolphins, well, we did have great whales, but we did have a swimming boat out there as well and they swam with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). 

In the afternoon we had to drive for almost an hour an a half to the western part of the island, but the long trip was definitely worth it: a group of 6 fin whales! They were all surfacing at the same time.

As we could see during our both trips during the morning and during the afternoon, these creatures never stop to amaze us, even the more experienced crew, we are still fascinated by them, as every day with them is different. As these fin whales  are an endangered species and still hunted, we consider ourselves to be lucky to see them.

In the afternoon we also saw a small but social group of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and a young loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta).

Photos from today on our catamaran Cetus:

Our catamaran Cetus leaving the marina

Two fin whales, one turning towards us

Just about to surface

Two fin whales surfacing together

Fin whale ID photo - we can identify different individuals by their dorsal fin shape and markings

Watching whale poo

Photos from this morning on the swimming boat (Jõao Vigia):

Lagoa do Fogo 

Swiming with dolphins 

 Bottlenose dolphin with Vila Franca Islet in the background

Bottlenose dolphins

Photo from the afternoon:

Our happy tourists waiting for the fin whales

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