Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Exploring the underwater world of the Azores

This morning we set out to swim with dolphins out in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, in the Azores! Just outside our base in Ponta Delgada we encountered several groups of common dolphins, each group of a different size and with a different behaviour. We managed to get a few nice swims with the different groups and we also observed them above water, including some tiny babies leaping out of the waves. But today it wasn't just dolphins that we got to swim with. We had a small swimming group and time spare time after the dolphins had moved on, so we went towards the coastline to snorkel around the rocks and observe some local fish species. It was a beautiful experience being surrounded by many different species, as if we were inside a natural aquarium. Some of the fish, like the ornate wrasse, are very brightly coloured so it was nice to see the contrast of them against the dark backdrop of the black lava stone walls. We also spotted many bright red seastars scattered along the bottom. It was really a unique experience this morning, exploring the underwater world of the Azores!

Some photos of the snorkeling:

One of our clients snorkeling

A bearded fireworm

Starfish everywhere!

A blenny resting on a rock ledge

Beautiful rock layers created by the forces of mother nature

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