Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Northern bottlenose whales to the east!

Today we have enjoyed the company of some Azorean dolphins again. In the morning we all encountered common dolphins and a small group of Atlantic spotted dolphins. Some of us also encountered the larger bottlenose dolphins. This time of the year many people are enjoying swimming with dolphins also and we had two boats out there doing this in the morning and another 3 in the afternoon. During the afternoon the catamaran also returned to sea and encountered a group of about 10 northern bottlenose whales. It is the first time this year that we encountered this rare species here in São Miguel, so it was a lucky sighting. Our vigia had already spotted them several times over the course of the past week, but they were always too far away for us to reach them. This afternoon they were still a bit far, right at the eastern end of the island, but still we made it! We saw them really well on the surface for a few minutes before they went on a dive of 28 minutes and then came up again about 2 miles from where they dived! Beaked whales, like these northern bottlenose whales, are almost always very difficult to watch because of their shy and elusive nature and the very small amount of time they spend at the surface. We consider ourselves to be very lucky this afternoon!

Photos from the today:

Our swimming boat with common dolphins

Watching dolphins from the catamaran

Common dolphins accompanying our catamaran

Passing Vila Franca Islet aboard our catamaran

Northern bottlenose whales

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