Thursday, January 8, 2015

Just like summer - a morning with pilot whales and common dolphins

Today is an absolutely gorgeous day in São Miguel, Azores. In the morning we had a tour out on the ocean and it seemed just like summer. The ocean was completely flat and very clear, the sky was clear and it even felt warm. Out in this perfect ocean we encountered a nice calm group of pilot whales and several groups of common dolphins. It was our first encounter with pilot whales this year and they seemed to be just as curious about us as we were about them. The most impressive individual was a very large and old male who we thought we recognised from our photo-ID catalogue, but he turned out to be a different individual. The common dolphins were even more curious, as they often are. We enjoyed watching them diving around and under our boat and playing in the bow waves created by our boat. As the water was very calm and clear we could see them very well through the water. Spring is definitely on its way, especially since we are seeing more and more medusas in the water. Today we spotted what looked to be many Portuguese man-o-war, but they turned out to be the similar looking Velella velella (see photo below). Before returning to Ponta Delgada we made a quick stop to see a local fishing boat catching some squid, giving us all ideas for a lunch of local seafood after the tour.


Pilot whales

A large male pilot whale


Watching pilot whales from our zodiac

Travelling inshore to see common dolphins








A local fisherman showing one of the squid he has caught


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