Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A day with the great whales

Today we spent the day with some of the great whale species. We encountered sei whales, sperm whales and fin whales in the morning, and again fin whales and sperm whales in the afternoon. The sea was calm, and so was the behaviour of the whales so that we could have some really magical experiences with these gentle giants. We are right in the middle of the baleen whale season now, so we feel really blessed to be able to spend some time in the presence of these whales as they migrate through Azorean waters. The sperm whales who are resident here were also great to see, especially since we have not encountered them for a while. As they usually do the sperm whales showed us their tails as they started their deep feeding dives, giving us the opportunity to photograph their tails for our photo-ID research. As well as whales we also had some nice encounters with bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. The bottlenose dolphins put on a great show with their very high jumps around our boats, both in the morning and the afternoon. These are the best kind of days of whale and dolphin watching in the Azores.

Photos from the morning:

Sei whale

Sei whale

Sei whale

Sperm whale

Sperm whales male fluking - we saw the same individual both in the morning and afternoon





A curious bottlenose dolphin leaping to our catamaran


Loggerhead turtle that didn't quite want to surface

Photos from the afternoon:

Fin whale surfacing

Fin whale fin

Sperm whale fluke - the same individual we saw in the morning

Bottlenose dolphin jumping right next to our zodiac

Watching bottlenose dolphins from aboard our catamaran

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