Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beaked whales and many dolphins in a perfect calm ocean

Today was one of those perfect calm days, just like in the middle of summer. The ocean was calm and clear and it was like gliding over a mirror with perfect reflections. In this calm ocean we first encountered two of our resident dolphin species: common dolphins followed by bottlenose dolphins. Just when we thought that would be it for the tour we received news that some beaked whales had been spotted just a bit further to the east. It didn't take us long to see them and we were lucky to see them well, which is usually not the case with these very shy and elusive animals. Here in the Azores we can see 6 different beaked whales species and it can be very difficult to determine which is encountered because of the difficulty in observing these animals. However, from our photos our biologists aboard the catamaran could determine that they were Blainville's beaked whales. The clients aboard our zodiac boat this morning also had a bonus encounter with a loggerhead turtle.
Just like summer!

Video of the common dolphins bowriding in crystal clear water

Photos from today:

Common dolphin with plastic on its beak - luckily the plastic fell off and the dolphin is safe - for now

Common dolphin surfacing to breathe

A bottlenose dolphin juvenile

Alvin - a well-known bottlenose dolphin

Our zodiac boat with bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins

Beaked whale surfacing - notice the prominent beak that gave these whale their name

Beaked whale with a missing fin tip

Watching common dolphins

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