Friday, August 15, 2014

Sperm whales, pilot whales and common dolphins

Today we started the morning with a mission - to see a group of sperm whales that our vigia (onshore lookout) had spotted far away between São Miguel Island and Santa Maria Island. On perfect summer's days like today our vigias can spot whales a long way off the coastline so this means that sometimes we have to travel far to see them. The trip was well worth it as we arrived to the area to see 8 sperm whales at the surface socialising together. The family group of females had a small newborn calf with it which was playfully rolling around alongside the larger females. While we watched then we had the backdrop of Santa Maria Island in the distance behind them.

We also encountered dolphins throughout the day. During both the morning and afternoon we encountered groups of common dolphins. Our swimmers also reported some really nice swimming throughout the day with this beautiful yellow-sided dolphin species. In the afternoon we also encountered a much larger dolphin species: pilot whales! We have not seen pilot whales since July 4th, so it was a nice surprise.

Photos from the morning:

Our boat "Song of Whales" on a beautiful summer's morning

Common dolphin

Cory's shearwaters, feeding together with common dolphins

2 adult sperm whales at the surface, Santa Maria island in the background

Sperm whale calf showing its tail tip next to a larger adult

Beautiful views of São Miguel Island on our way back to Ponta Delgada

Photos from the afternoon:

Aboard Song of Whales

Pilot whale

Pilot whale

One of our swimming boats with common dolphins

Our second swimming boat this afternoon

Common dolphins

Juvenile tern

Photos of bottlenose dolphins from our later tour:

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