Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Another sei whale day

Today we encountered sei whales again. The sei whale (pronounced say whale) is the third largest animal in the world and can reach up to 20 m in length! In the morning our vigia spotted three individuals far to the eastern part of the island. By the time we got there the whales had split up so we ended up watching 2 of the individuals. The whales were constantly travelling further towards the east, always very close to the surface so that we could see the dark shadows from their bodies through the water. After spending some time with these sei whales we turned back to Ponta Delgada. On the way back we encountered a nice group of at least 100 common dolphins. The dolphins were also travelling, going west together as a coordinated group. It was a beautiful sight seeing huge groups of dolphins leaping out of the waves together. We spotted quite a few baby dolphins, including some newborn calves that still had fetal folds from being inside their mother's womb (see photos below).

During our afternoon trip we encounter a beautiful group of common dolphins, in this group there were many babies and they were travelling fast against the wind. We were lucky to see also a  loggerhead turtle. At the end of the trip we traveled close to the coast line of São Miguel and our clients could enjoy the views of the beautiful island and the Vila Franca do Campo islet.

Photos from today:

One of the two sei whales surfacing

The other sei whale

Common dolphin newborn calf - notice the fetal folds (vertical lines)

Newborn common dolphin (the young ones are lacking the bright yellow colour)

A large group of common dolphins surfacing in unison

 Cory´s Shearwater

Common dolphins 

View from the top deck of our catamaran Cetus

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