Sunday, June 22, 2014

A cetacean day

Today we encountered 6 different cetacean species throughout the day: sperm whales, sei whales, pilot whales, common dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins and striped dolphins. In the morning we first encountered a group of common dolphins feeding together with many seabirds at the surface. Next we found the sperm whales a bit further out and we got to see a few tails as they were going on their deep feeding dives. Closer to land again we encountered a group of about 15 pilot whales which included at least 2 very small newborn babies. They were logging calmly at the surface which is a typical behaviour of this species.  Those that were aboard our zodiac boat this morning also encountered a small group of Atlantic spotted dolphins.

In the afternoon we had our catamaran going out and we were just as lucky as in the morning. This time we encountered sei whales. We counted 4 or 5 individuals who were all travelling together. They were staying near the surface so that we could always follow them from their footprints. After this encounter we went towards the coastline where we encountered a very curious and active group of common dolphins. After watching them for a while we realised there were also some striped dolphins mixed in the group. What a fantastic day!

Photos from today:

One of many sperm whales of today

Pilot whale

Spottted dolphin juvenile (without spots)

Cetus

Photos fom the afternoon:

Sei whale

Common dolphin leaping next to our catamaran Cetus


Common dolphins - mother and calf

Common dolphins racing next to our catamaran

Striped dolphins

Enjoying the ride back along the south coast of São Miguel Island

Top views from our catamaran "Cetus"


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