Friday, August 8, 2014

Watching and swimming with wild dolphins

Today was another beautiful summer's day in São Miguel, Azores, and we had some beautiful dolphin sightings to make the day even better. In the morning we had some encounters with Atlantic spotted dolphin, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Our swimmers this morning had a great swimming experience with the bottlenose dolphins. Our catamaran also had an extra adventure at the end of the morning. Just before heading back to the marina we received a call from a fishing boat that had a net stuck in its propeller and needed to be towed back to the marina. Luckily they were very close to the marina already, but this problem reminded us of the big problem that abandoned fishing nets (referred to as ghost nets) cause in the oceans, for marine life and boats alike.

In the afternoon we re-encountered  common dolphins, this time together with striped dolphins, as well as bottlenose dolphins. Our encounter with the bottlenose dolphins was particularly memorable as the group was very close to shore with a nice behaviour for observation (we got to see some fantastic high jumps) and we also observed some very small babies in the group. Once again we were reminded of ocean conservation issues as we noticed one of the bottlenose dolphins had a plastic bag on its fin. Lucky the bag was not stuck, but it is still sad to see this and to know that every day plastic pollution does kill dolphins, whales, turtles and seabirds. Right at the end of the day on a third tour of swimming some Atlantic spotted dolphins were also encountered.

Photos from the morning:

One of our zodiac boats with bottlenose dolphins

Another one of our boats "Song of Whales"

Swimming with bottlenose dolphins

Our catamaran "Cetus"

A beautiful view of Ponta Delgada with Sete Cidades volcanic complex in the background

Photos from the afternoon:

Common dolphins

Striped dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins close to São Miguel Island

Dolphin with plastic on its dorasal fin

Bottlenose dolphin leaping

Spot the baby bottlenose dolphin

Playful bottlenose dolphins

Enjoying our catamaran "Cetus"

A perfect summers day

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