Sunday, June 28, 2015

A breaching sperm whale

Today we had sperm whales around again. It's been a really great month for sperm whales off São Miguel Island! In the morning we encountered three different individuals. First a juvenile that was surfacing with its head high out of the water and several times showing us a low fluke. Next was a larger adult who showed us how it's done by showing its tail a bit better, and later another juvenile. When we see our photos better later we can figure out which sperm whale group this is, as we can recognise the different individuals by the unique marks on their tails and dorsal fins. In the afternoon the whales were further to the east of the island, but our captains went the extra mile so that we could show our passengers sperm whales once again. This time we encountered a breaching sperm whale - a whale leaping out of the water several times, perhaps using the sound it makes to communicate with the other sperm whales in the area or maybe to rid itself of peeling skin or parasites. After the breaching the whale went under, turned around and surfaced nearby, passing between our boats. We go to see a fabulous tail from this whale as it went down on a deep dive. As for dolphins...our whale watchers today encountered common dolphins and our swimmers were also with bottlenose dolphins. There is nothing like a lovely encounter with some playful dolphins to complete the tour.

Photos from the morning:

Our first sperm whale of the day

This one was always showing us a low fluke

The second sperm whale - easily distinguishable by its white dorsal marks

Can you see the baby behind the mother?

Watching common dolphins

One of the common terns that was following our catamaran

Photos from the afternoon:

Sperm whale breaching! It did it several times as we approached

After breaching the whale became curious, turned and passed between our boats

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