Saturday, July 11, 2015

A summer day with sperm whales and dolphins

Today was a beautiful Azorean summers day, and as keeping up with recent trends there were plenty of whales and dolphins around the south coast of São Miguel Island for us to see. We had a family group of sperm whales going on deep feeding dives throughout the day, and during both the morning and afternoon tours we had some nice encounters with several individuals and we got to see many beautiful tails. One smaller whale even became curious during the morning tour and approached us and dived near our catamaran. We also encountered some nice groups of common dolphins today. We saw them in feeding mode, together with the usual seabirds for this time of the year; Cory's shearwaters and yellow-legged gulls. Among these birds we also spotted several great shearwaters, which is unusually early for this time of the year in the Azores. Our swimming clients today also had some nice encounters with Atlantic spotted dolphins, while our afternoon whale watchers had a bonus encounter with an ocean sunish (Mola mola). One of our skippers first spotted the large shadow in the water thinking it was a sperm whale just beneath the surface (easy to mistake since it was a huge specimen). The ocean sunfish is the biggest bony fish in the world and can weigh over 2000 kg! As well as this surprise we also came across a small loggerhead turtle which was right next to a fisherman's pole. We had a good look at the turtle and removed the pole as it had some rope attached to it, something that is very harmfull to the marine life. We never know which surpises we will have during one of our tours out on the ocean!

Check out our underwater video of the sunfish by clicking HERE.

Photos from the morning:

Watching a sperm whale

Common dolphin

Great shearwater - the first encounter of 2015 in the Azores!

Photos from the afternoon:

Sunfish dorsal fin

Loggerhead turtle next to a fishing pole

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