Thursday, September 4, 2014

We go the extra mile to see whales

Today we started with many dolphins to the east of Ponta Delgada in the morning and we ended with sperm whales far to the west of São Miguel island. First, in the morning we encountered several groups of common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. They are always delightful to see and made all our customers very happy. A few lucky people that went on one of our swimming with dolphins tour in the morning had the rare chance to see common dolphins travelling together with yellowfin tuna. Not many are lucky enough to ever see this with their own eyes beneath the surface! For the people on another swimming boat that went out earlier they got to have an underwater encounter with a loggerhead turtle.

In the afternoon one of our vigias (onshore lookouts) did an excellent job of spotting a group of sperm whales very far to the west, about 30 km off the coastline. It's not easy work to spot whales so far away, but we have some very skilled vigias working with us! It took us a while to get to the area, but it was well worth the travelling over a calm ocean to finally reach a group of at least 5 or 6 sperm whales, including a calf. On our way back we also encountered a very active group of Atlantic spotted dolphins that played in our bow waves for a while. And finally, we also spotted several flying fish on the way back, not long before returning to Ponta Delgada.

Photos from the swimming:

Leaving early when the light is still morning light

Swimmers and bottlenose dolphins

Photos from this morning:

Common dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

A familiar bottlenose dolphin we know well from its broken top jaw

Our swimming boat pulling a large fishing net out of the water - this entangles marine life and is a big killer!

Photos from this afternoon:

Sperm whale logging at the surface

Another sperm whale

Playful Atlantic spotted dolphins leaping next to our boat

Atlantic spotted dolphin (juvenile) wave leaping

One of our marine biologists describing our sightings

Enjoying the beautiful coastal views of São Miguel Island on the way back

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