Saturday, June 6, 2015

A morning with "Orca" and her family and pilot whales

This morning we enjoyed the company of a family group of sperm whales that is well known to us here off São Miguel Island. Our most frequently encountered female sperm whale is in this group and we call her "Orca" because of a pale saddle patch on her back that reminds us of the saddle patch on an orca. During our morning tour we encountered this whale Orca and some of the other members in her group, including a juvenile that was curious towards our catamaran. We got to see some tails, including a double tail from Orca and a juvenile she was with. Between our sperm whale encounters we also had a nice encounter with a group of pilot whales. The pilot whales were hanging out at the surface and also socialising a bit. A few times we got to see some of the large males spyhopping (sticking their heads out of the water to have a good look above the water). While we were travelling we also spotted some bottlenose dolphins and several flying fish.

Photos from this morning:

Our first sperm whale of the day

 The sperm whale "Orca" (notice the saddle patch) with a juvenile

"Orca" and juvenile fluking

Watching a curious juvenile sperm whale

A curious pilot whale spyhopping, facing right towards us

Pilot whales

 Another pilot whale spyhopping

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