Sunday, May 10, 2015

Whales, dolphins, turtles and a sunfish

Today, we had a beautiful morning out there with whales and dolphins. The day started with a calm see and close to the shore we could encounter a group of common dolphins, one of our resident species. In the pod, there were many juveniles and babies surfing the waves and coming very close to the boats, showing up their beautiful hourglass pattern on their sides. After a while, our look-out spotted fin whales, far away off Ribeira das Tainhas, which is one of our migratory baleen whale species that are passing by Azores this months. In the beginning, we could spot only two whales but almost at the end of the encounter we could count 4 whales in the area. They were travelling fast, appearing few times in the surface to breathe but we could manage to see them properly. From the catamaran we saw probably a different group of whales, 2 adults and 1 juvenile. So we had more whales out there then we first thought. 

In the afternoon, we did not resight the whales but we had a beautiful time with both bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. The bottlenose dolphins were closer to the coastline and very curious, bowriding and looking up, making eye contact with us aboard. Leaving the bottlenose dolphins our clients were seeing something strange in the water and it turned out to be an ocean sunfish (Mola mola or moonfish as most people know it). If you have never seen one before they look very peculiar. It was lying by the surface basking in the sun and after a while it turned right and started swimming lazy away. We left the fish to go to an area were the fishermen had seen a whale during lunch hour but we could not see any whales, instead we saw a group of common dolphins with new borns. Some babies no more then a week old, maybe just days. And we could spot a few loggerhead turtles to.

Photos from the morning:

Watching playful common dolphins

Common dolphin

Common dolphins

Fin whale blow

Fin whale diving

Photos from the afternoon:

Curious bottlenose dolphins

Just made eye-contact

Hanging out close to shore

Ocean sunfish (on its side)

Ocean sunfish (up right)

Ocean sunfish (dorsal fin)

Ocean sunfish (you can see its entire body, mouth and eye)

Common dolphin

Mother and new born baby

"Lets race Cetus! Lets race! I win I win I win"
- the dolphin said

Loggerhead turtle - this one just didn't want to come up to say hello

Out on our zodiac boat

1 comment:

Christian Perrin said...

What a curious and fabulous creature the sunfish is! Thanks for sharing.

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