Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sperm whales, dolphins, a sunfish and a leatherback turtle

In the morning, three of our zodiacs left the marina and after only a few minutes we saw our first group of cetaceans: the resident common dolphins. They were playful and social towards our boats, jumping and bowriding next to us. After that, we switched groups and dolphin species. Our vigia told us to travel more to the south and afterwards, we encountered bottlenose dolphins. They were about 15 individuals, spread out in the area, feeding and socialising around our zodiacs. Meanwhile, between the boats we saw a sunfish, the largest bony fish in the world. Then, we left the area going to the south to try to find whales. One of our zodiacs, saw two blows one mile out. We get the area but they never appeared again. They were baleen whales, but we don´t know sure if they were fin whales or sei whales. The people on our Full day tour were more lucky as they encountered some sperm whales more to the East of São Miguel Island. Upon returning to Ponta Delgada, we saw a group of Risso´s dolphins, more curious than normal, approaching very close to the boat.

In the afternoon we went out with two boats. We started with common dolphins again, after them we found a playful group of bottlenose dolphins in the area where our lookout had seen a sperm whale diving. We waited around the area for the sperm whale while we were enjoying the bottlenose dolphins surfing the waves. After a while, we could see two sperm whales at the surface, one of them far away but the other one close enough to take pictures of the tail.

When we were coming back to Ponta Delgada, close to the coast line, our skipper João found a Leatherback turtle!!!It was an amazing encounter with the largest sea turtle species!

Photos from today:

Sperm whale diving

Leatherback turtle

Bottlenose dolphin jumping

Risso's dolphin

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